OCA Electrical, Los Angeles licensed Electrical Contractor

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FAQ

Questions and Answers to help you identify your common Electrical problem.

FAQ for Los Angeles Electrician



Frequently Asked Questions/

How do I know if I should call an electrician?

Aside from the obvious reasons of needing a new electrical outlet installed, needing an electrician to install a ceiling fan or recessed lighting, or having some other type of electrical device installed, several issues suggest the need to hire an electrician including flickering lights, overburdened electrical outlets, the smell of electrical burning, and a constant need to reset circuit breakers.

Should I be worried that my circuit breaker panel is beginning to hum or buzz?

The circuit breaker panel should not make a humming or buzzing noise. Since it is making noise, this indicates that something is wrong, possibly a bad circuit or poor contact. You should call an electrician to look at it.

Why are some of the electrical outlets in a room working, and yet, other outlets are not working?

It is possible that only the non-working electrical outlets have gone bad and need replacing. It is also possible that these outlets are wired to different circuits.

After I replaced the bulb in my recessed lighting fixture, the light blinks on and off instead of staying on? What’s wrong?

Recessed lighting fixtures have been designed with a safety feature that turns off the bulb when the temperature exceeds a safe level. It is possible that you have replaced the bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture can safely handle.

What is a UPS and how does it differ from a surge protector?

The letters UPS stand for uninterrupted power supply. This type of device generally has protection from electrical surges built into it. The UPS is commonly used with computers and laptops since it sends a message that the computer’s battery is low, allowing you to save your work before the computer turns off. A surge protector is designed to protect electrical devices from surges of electricity that can occur after a power outage or during fluctuations in electrical voltage.

Does it matter how many electrical outlets I have in each room of my home?

Without enough electrical outlets, you may need to use multiple extension cords. Using too many extension cords can be dangerous, especially since it creates obstacles for walking. In general, it is a good idea to have at least one outlet along each wall, although installing an outlet every six feet is an even better idea. Certain appliances, such as air conditioners, should have their own electrical outlet.

What is an A.F.C.I.?

The letters A.F.C.I. are used interchangeably with arc fault circuit interrupter. This is a device that offers more protection against dangerous arcing of electrical wires than a standard circuit breaker. An A.F.C.I. detects and eliminates dangerous arcing before it can create a fire.

What is a G.F.C.I.?

The letters G.F.C.I. stand for ground fault circuit interrupter. This type of device can stop the flow of electrical currents in the event a fault or problem occurs. It is typically used in locations where water is present.

Why do outlet prongs come with a third prong now?

The third prong is designed to provide grounding for the electrical device.

What is the typical number of amps that a home should have installed for electrical service?

Although many states require a minimum of 100 amps for residential use, many of the newer electrical appliances and devices should be connected to 200 amps. Many newer homes are wired for 200 amps.

I bought a home that still has an old-fashioned fuse box. Is this safe?

If the fuse box and your electrical wiring are up-to-date and in good condition, then they are safe to use. If you have any doubts, you should ask a qualified electrician to check into it for you.
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