Electrical Problems? What Could They Be?

Most homes in the Chicagoland area fall under strict regulations when installing their electrical infrastructure. The same goes for a business, where it is often crucial to adhere to the best possible standards. If there is a problem with the electricity at work then work is inhibited, and no one wants to see that. Common issues with the electricity can occur, this is just the nature of how power is delivered and provided. The first step to diagnose an issue is to be an informed home or business owner. The following aims to educate our clients and everyone alike to be able to have a sense of the problem before they call us, so we can all be more prepared in case of an issue.

Was that a power surge?

A power surge is when a boost of power interrupts the steady flow of power your appliances and lighting feed off of. There are a couple of causes that are often out of the control of the home or business owner. For instance if there is a moment where there is a lack of power from a refrigerator, it will sort of demand more juice the next moment and this is when a surge is essentially invited.

Each home and business should have an electrical breaker box, which is there to protect, among other things, all the circuits which could be fried from a surge. In a usual case upon a surge the breaker box closes the circuits to avoid a fire, and then all that is needed is a reset, which is very simple. Here is a video tutorial which comprehensively shows how to reset your breakers.

Most new appliances also have surge protectors built in. Which serves as just another layer of safety in this industry, which is always a good thing. Steps to take to avoid surges, excluding all the non-controllable variables, are to not use a power strip to plug in way too many things. This can lead to a surge to provide for everything plugged in, especially if they use a lot of juice. For instance, if you have a space heater, lamp, and high functioning desktop computer all attached to one power strip it has the very real capacity to invite a power surge.

Type of Power Source

(Avoid this type of power source.)

Other Type of Power Source

(This is also very questionable.)

Using discretion and taking the right steps to mitigate any electrical issues can make power surges an easy issue to fix. If it does not let up you can always call EMF Power!

Is this outlet working?

Many home restrooms and kitchens have a GFCI outlet, or a ground-fault circuit interrupter. It is to help protect from electrical shock, which can occur in a bathroom or a kitchen. Consider the countless appliances used in those rooms: hair dryer, curler, hair straightener, blender, toaster, microwave, electric shaver, and it goes on and on. Being privy to this fact sometimes when you plug those appliances in, they do not get power.

GFCI Outlet

As you can see in the image above, the test button pops out to mimic a circuit breaker. Your outlet will not work until the reset button is pushed. All you have to do is push it and you can get back to making those smoothies in the kitchen or having the best blow dried hair on the block.

Flickering Lights, or Haunted House?

Flickering lights can have a host of causes. The first thing to do is to know exactly what kind of lights you have, EMF Power actually wrote a piece on this regarding CFL and LED lighting. If you have the old school fluorescent lights, which get really hot, the flickering may be indicative that it may go out shortly. In that case you will not be able to buy those same ones,and with a CFL light bulb you may see flickering too. The flickering can either be because it is not screwed in all the way, or, due to CFL lighting being gaseous it may take a second to fully illuminate. The same goes for those florescent lights in garages. If it is especially cold outside they may take a minute, and sometimes more to fully illuminate.

Flickering Lights

(Okay, this might be an issue.)

Another issue regarding flickering lights could be a poor connection, which is dangerous and brings up to our next top tip:

Wiring is Serious!

Poor wiring is one thing, it can cause poor connections and if left exposed can even be the catalyst for an electrical fire. If any wire is exposed the best thing to do is call EMF Power. Only a licensed electrician should handle potentially dangerous exposed wire. This problem is often more common than not, and knowing that you should call a professional immediately is a top tip when diagnosing common electrical problems.

By: alex britva

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At EMF Power, we consult Chicagoland and North Shore homeowners on the safety and efficiency of their homes. Our skilled technicians work with the highest level of professionalism and integrity. Contact EMF Power for all your electrical needs at home, at your commercial property or your industrial property.

3665 Woodhead Drive
Northbrook, IL 60062