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Aluminum Wiring

When was your last home electrical inspection? You have your furnace cleaned and inspected every year why not your electrical system?  One of the leading causes for home fires is faulty aluminum connections.  Aluminum wiring for branch circuits has been outlawed since the 1970's.  Yes there are existing installations using aluminum wiring for branch circuits but are they installed with the proper copper pigtails and approved copper to aluminum splicing products?  This is a major cause of overheating and damage to wiring as well as possible fires.

Worn Out Breakers

A worn out circuit breaker may be the problem if you have a lack of power in your home.  If you are having problems figuring out which circuit breaker is worn out, follow these tips provided by our residential electricians in Calgary.  Find the power panel.  You must find the power panel in your home in order to see if a circuit breaker is damaged.  It is a box made of metal with many fuses or switches in it.  You should check in your basement, or maybe even in a storage closet.  Power panels can be installed in several places in the home.  Generally, it is not in plain sight, whichever spot it is placed it.

The circuit breaker causing problems should be found.  If a problem should occur with the electricity in your home, a circuit breaker will stop the current flow to protect the electrical circuits.  So, a damaged one should be replaced as soon as possible.  A switch that is facing opposite from the rest should be located.  You must completely read the label that comes with the breaker to be certain that you have not turned the breaker off.  There's a problem with your power panel if a circuit breaker, which you didn't intentionally touch, is not facing the correct direction. 

Try resetting the circuit breaker.  The following step to check whether your circuit breaker is OK, is to reset the breaker.  Ensure that nobody is near anything that receives power from the circuit breaker e.g. light fixtures, power points etc.  Once you flip the switch back, make sure it's pointing in the same direction as the other circuit breakers in the box.  Get somebody to see if the power is back on in the room.  If power is back, and the circuit breaker has not changed direction, there is no problem.  However, if power is not restored or if it immediately reverts back to the off position, the circuit breaker may need to be replaced or the circuit diagnosed. 

You should be aware of circuit breakers that may trip just a little too quickly.  If a circuit breaker trips, or shuts off automatically, it may need to be replaced. If you haven't increased the load on the breaker and you still find yourself checking the power panel numerous times a day an old and faulty breaker is likely the problem.

Watch out for those breakers that just won't trip.  The opposite of a breaker that trips all of the time is a breaker that never trips at all.  A faulty circuit breaker will not trip in the case of a problem.  It is important that you take care of it immediately so that you don't become a victim of electric shock.  If you are concerned with the safety or condition of your power panel, DO NOT TOUCH IT.

Why are my smoke detectors chirping?

This could mean one of two things:

1.  An intermittent chirp is probably an indication of a defective smoke detector.

2.  A consistent chirp is probably an indication of a low battery condition and the smoke detector requires a new battery.

Does my electrical system require maintenance?

Absolutely it does.  Over time with the heating and cooling of terminations the connections can become loose causing arcing and sparking.  Having these loose connections can result in loss of power at any point throughout a circuit as well as excessive heating and potential of fire.  Every 3-5 years it is worthy of an electrical inspection and retorquing of all your electrical connections as well as testing of all your safety devices.

Why does my recess can light cycle on and off since I put a larger wattage bulb in?

Modern Recess Cans are rated for a maximum wattage bulb and are equipped with a thermal device that does not allow a bulb larger than that rating.  If a larger wattage bulb is used, as the excess heat builds up, the thermal device will shut the can off until it cools.  This is a safety device to protect your home against fire.

When my air conditioner cycles on, I notice my lights blink.  Is this normal?

Yes.  This is a common occurrence when large motor/compressor loads start.  These devices cause a minor momentary voltage drop, demonstrating itself as the blinking in your lights.  This has no negative effect on the electrical equipment within your house.