Electrical tips and advice to help you maintain your Colorado Springs home
Performing work on your home can be dangerous and costly. We have electrical safety tips and advice to keep you and your Colorado Springs home safe and prevent expensive repairs that result from inadequate or unnecessary work being done. Please call us at (719) 268-9433 if you have any questions or would like a free estimate.
When resetting a tripped breaker in your electrical panel do not try to turn the breaker back on from the tripped position. Instead, fully turn the breaker to off first, then turn the breaker handle to the on position. Breakers will not reset from tripped position to the on position.
Do not install ceiling fans too close to existing can lighting, as this can cause a strobe affect when the blades are turning.
Do not install ceiling fans on standard electrical boxes that are made for light fixtures. Ceiling fans will fall from the ceiling if they are not installed on proper boxes rated for ceiling fan installation.
How to reset a tripped Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlet. If you have a tripped GFCI outlet push the “Test” button first (it should make a clicking sound) then push the “Reset” button
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are located in bathrooms, garages, kitchens, and outside. More than 1 room may be protected by the same GFCI outlet so check all your GFCI outlets if you lose power in one of these areas. The GFCI outlet protecting your bathroom may be in your garage.
If you have a freezer or refrigerator plugged in to an outlet consider also plugging in a power outage back up flash light to the same outlet, if the flash light turns on you have lost power to your refrigerator or freezer. This will alert you that you need to give your perishables immediate attention.
Smoke Detector Maintenance
-Change your batteries once a year on a date that is easy to remember (birthday, setting back the clock, anniversary, etc.)
-Hard wired smoke detectors also have battery back up, so change these batteries as well so you will be protected during power outages.
-Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years. Smoke detectors do not last forever, they expire every 10 years and should be replaced. Always use the same brand of smoke detector throughout your home do not mix and match brands. Some brands are not compatible with each other.
-You should have smoke detectors inside of every bedroom and in hallways within 10 feet of bedroom door. Also include smoke detectors in your common areas such as your basement, family room, and recreation areas.
–Consider spending a little more and get smoke detector carbon monoxide detector combination units for added safety.
Do not work on aluminum wiring your self, call a professional. See this web link for more information on the hazards of aluminum wiring.
Have your Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) electrical panels evaluated and replaced. FPE panels are not Underwriter’s Laboratory approved because they can fail to trip under heavy electrical load. Underwriter’s Laboratory delisted most FPE products during the 1980’s due to safety concerns. We recommend homeowners research and weigh all information available regarding their FPE panels. FPE panels are unpredictable and unreliable.
Always get multiple bids, we recommend at least 3 estimates for any up coming work you are considering. If you are being pushed to start the work today, you may be paying too much.
Electrical contractors are required to be licensed with the state of Colorado. You can check their credentials online at Colorado.gov. Do not let an unlicensed or uninsured individual work on your home, it is probably the most valuable thing you own. You can also check their credentials with Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. You can also request a certificate of insurance from the contractor which will confirm what types of insurance coverage they have if your home is damaged or a worker becomes injured.
If you are having trouble with breakers tripping in your electrical panel, don’t just put in a bigger breaker. This is a sign of a larger problem, using the wrong sized breaker in a panel is a fire hazard. Your wiring may not be rated for a larger breaker.
Check with your utilities provider for rebate offers.
We are here to help. Please let us know if you have any questions on how we can provide you with electrical safety tips and advice.