HOW DO I KNOW IF MY HOME HAS ALUMINUM WIRING?
A: To determine whether your house is wired with aluminum wiring, look for the “AL” mark on the overall jacket of your wire in places where the wire is exposed (near the electrical panel, between joists in unfinished basement ceilings). If wiring jackets are not accessible you can remove a device from a deenergized circuit and check the wire colour (not insulation colour). If the wire colour is silver not copper you can conclude that your wiring is aluminum.
MY SMOKE DETECTOR KEEPS CHIRPING. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
A: This could mean one of two things.An intermittent chirp is probably an indication of a defective smoke detector.A cons detector requires a new batteryistent chirp is probably an indication of a low battery condition and the smoke.
IF I HAVE SURGE PROTECTION ON MY MAIN SERVICE SHOULD I USE POINT-OF-USE SURGE PLUGINS AT MY TV, STEREO, COMPUTER, ETC.?
A: Yes. Main line surge is no absolute guarantee and any additional surge protection downstream in the system offers a greater level of protection.
I HAVE SURGE PROTECTION ON MY HOME. AM I TOTALLY SAFE FROM LIGHTNING STRIKES?
A: Unfortunately, not. Surge Protection only offers additional levels of protection. Nothing can guarantee completely against Mother Nature and where she chooses to strike.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY LIGHTS, SWITCHES AND RECEPTACLES DON’T WORK?
A: Check to see if the outlet is on a switch. Check and reset GFCI outlets and circuit breaker. Check light bulbs and replace if necessary. If none of these are the problem, call Blue Wave Electric to check it out.
WHAT CAUSES THE LIGHTS IN MY HOUSE TO FLICKER?
A: Though it could be that your service panel is not equipped to handle the load of your appliances, it could be old or improperly installed wiring that is to blame. DO NOT RISK A FIRE. Call a professional at Blue Wave Electric today to find the problem for you.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO CALL AN ELECTRICIAN?
A: • When you are resetting circuit breakers or changing fuses too often • When you turn on your air conditioner and the lights dim in the room• When your lights flicker or go on and off • When you can smell electricity burning• When you have six electronic devices going into one outlet behind your electronics center • When you have receptacle outlets over burdened by multi-plug strips • When a three-prong plug needs a two-prong adapter • If you have to run extension cords to plug in electrical devices
THERE IS A HUMMING NOISE COMING FROM MY PANEL> WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
A: This could be the result of a defective breaker. Replacement should be immediate as this defective breaker could cause serious harm to electrical components.
WHAT AREAS OF MY HOUSE SHOULD BE GFCI PROTECTED?
A. GFCIs should be installed in all wet locations including unfinished basements, garages, anywhere outside the dwelling, within six feet of any sink, kitchens, bathrooms and powder rooms.
WHAT ARE THE BUTTONS ON MY GFCI OUTLETS FOR?
A. One button is the test button. When it is pushed, it should turn off the outlet and all other outlets that are tied to it. The other button is a reset button, which is used to turn the power back on to the out let and any others that are tied into the outlet.
WHY SHOULD A HOMEOWNER UPGRADE TO ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING?
A. Electricity costs money and we all know it’s not getting any cheaper. This reason alone makes upgrading to energy efficient lighting – light emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) –makes good economic sense. Upgrading in this manner will immediately save you money on your monthly utility bill and will eventually pay for the upgrade in the long term. In addition, having an energy efficient home is good for the environment as most electricity is still produced with non-renewable resources. In short, the use of energy efficient lighting in your home is a win-win situation for both you and the environment.
WHY IS ONE PRONG WIDER THAN THE OTHER?
A. Electric plugs only need two prongs, and that’s all many of them have. One prong connects to the hotwire, which is the live circuit wire, and one connects to the neutral wire, which is the one that completes the electrical circuit. Some 120-volt plugs have a third prong for grounding the appliances they serve,and plugs for 240-volt appliances, which require two hot wires, have four prongs. The basic 120-voltplug, however, has two prongs.
WHAT SIZE SERVICE DO I NEED INSTALLED IN MY HOUSE?
A. Alberta’s Electrical Code requires a minimum 100 Amp electrical service for new construction. Most older homes have a 60-amp service, while it is not required to upgrade to a 100-amp service, it is required by most insurance companies. While the electrical Code requires a minimum 100-amp service, it never hurts to upgrade to a 200-amp service especially with all the new electronic devices, air conditioning, electric heat, hot tubs, and so on, this will ensure you extra space for future additions.