Here are some helpful tips, tricks and general information for determining the problem:
- When bathroom, kitchen, outdoor, or garage outlets go out, first check all GFCI locations. Try pressing the Reset button (typically the red button).
- If there are multiple outlets and/or lighting that is out, first check for a tripped circuit breaker in the panel box. If you find a tripped breaker, reset it by turning it to the off position and then back to the on position. (Note: Sometimes tripped breakers are not noticeable, in this case you could try turning each breaker off then back on, but make sure that all electronics have been backed up first (i.e. computers).
- Dimmer switches do get warm. This is because they resist electricity, holding the excess power.
- It’s best to plug vacuum cleaners into bathroom or kitchen outlets. Vacuum cleaners are a higher amperage appliance and will often trip standard 15amp circuit breakers. Kitchen and bathrooms are generally 20amp circuits.
- If you own an electric car, charging with a normal 120-volt outlet can take up to 10 to 12 hours, however, by upgrading to a 240-volt circuit your car can charge in four to five hours.
- If you are putting up outdoor Holiday lights, make sure to have the proper cover on your outlets; this will ensure you don't trip the GFI breaker when it rains. You can purchase a bubble cover at any local home improvement store.
- There is a reason why the fixtures specify the wattage bulb needed. Using a higher wattage bulb than the fixture specifies can create excess heat and eventually wear on the insulation of the wires. So next time you are changing a light bulb, check the wattage of the bulb to ensure it matches the fixture specifications. The wattage is usually printed somewhere on the fixture.
- Water is a conductor, so you should never touch electrical appliances while standing in water...even if it's only a small puddle of water. The electricity will travel through the water, through you and to the ground. If you need to work on an appliance that is near standing water, first make sure to turn off the breaker. This is also why you should never use water on an electrical fire.