ask an electrician Have you ever had the opportunity to ask an electrician your burning residential electric questions? We field a lot of questions from our clients, and they tend to fall into several general categories. Fortunately, Arc Angel Electric feels that it’s important for people to be educated about their electrical system, and that’s why we love spending time answering customers’ questions. Before you go ask an electrician yourself, check this list of our five most frequently asked questions:

Q. I just bought a house that was on the market for a long time. The power has been off for over a year, and the power company won’t restore service to the house. What’s up with that?

A. This is an extremely common question, especially with so many people buying foreclosed homes these days. So, if the electricity has been off for over a year, the electric company’s regulations state that they cannot restore power until an electrician has inspected the home and it’s certified to be clear of electrical damages. This is required for your own safety, and for the security of the structure.

Q. What’s the difference between a circuit breaker panel and a fuse box?

A. A fuse box is what your grandparents had in their home, and a circuit breaker panel is the modern, upgraded version. However, both are designed to turn off power in the event of an electrical overload. A circuit breaker is mechanical and can be reset after it’s been tripped, but a fuse must be replaced after it’s been tripped. Circuit breaker panels offer better safety and protection.

Q. Okay, so a circuit breaker has been tripped. How do I figure out which switch has tripped, and how do I reset it?

A. Some circuit breaker switches have lights on them. The switch will light up when the breaker has been tripped, and other switches just move into a neutral or middle position when tripped. Simply flip the circuit breaker switch off, and then back on to reset it.

Q. Ask an electrician “can you replace a ceiling light with a ceiling fan?”

A. Yes we can, but we need to make sure that the electrical box in the ceiling is appropriate for the weight and torque of your new ceiling fan.

Q. What is a GFCI plug, and where should I have them installed in my home?

A. GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. GFCI plugs are designed to cut power to the plug when it senses that electrical current is traveling an unintended path, such as through water or a person’s body. In other words, it helps to prevent electric shock. GFCI plugs should be installed anywhere moisture may be present. This includes on the outside of the house, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, and in unfinished basements.

Before, during, and after a project is completed, Arc Angel Electric’s technicians are glad to answer all of our customers’ questions. No question is too big or too small, because your family’s safety could be on the line! For your next residential electric question, ask an electrician you can trust by calling Arc Angel at 770.889.9243.