We know there are always questions as a homeowner, why does this outlet look different then this one? What does it mean when my breaker trips? How do I reset a breaker? I am Matt Miller, the premier Owasso electrician, and I would like to talk to you about some of these questions and give a few tips. I know as a homeowner it is overwhelming especially when it comes to electrical and so many unknowns for a homeowner.
GFCI’s (ground fault circuit interrupter)
I am going to tell you a little more about a GFCI, and explain to you how it works and why we need these in our homes.
A GFCI will have a “reset” and “test” button in the middle, these serve a different purpose from a regular receptacle and that’s why they do look different. Per the NEC (national electrical code) you have to have GFCI protection in the following area’s in your home. GFCI’s should be at: Bathrooms, garages, outside, basements, kitchens and with-in 6 feet of sinks. This does seem like a lot, but they are here to protect us so we want to make sure your home has the GFCI’s installed where they should be. As an Owasso electrician we can help get all of this set up for you.
A GFCI can either come in a receptacle or a GFCI breaker, both of them have a smart system inside them that senses if there is current leakage to the ground. If the GFCI does detect any current, then that’s what makes it stop working and have a red light on the GFCI. They are designed to protect homeowners, it is very important to make sure your GFCI’s are in proper working order. In order to test your GFCI simply press the “Test” button in the middle of the GFCI, that will turn the circuit off. Pressing “reset” should make the GFCI start working again. If the GFCI does not start working again, that means there is an issue. Make sure to contact our Owasso electrician office to help you fix this issue, remember GFCIs are very important to have working in your home and if a GFCI is not working, usually they are doing their job by telling you there are unsafe conditions.
Arc Fault Breakers
Arc fault breakers, more like “smart breakers” this lets the breaker detect an arc before it produces heat and sparking which could cause a fire. This arc could be anywhere in your home, a switch, receptacle, any lights, or wiring inside the walls of your home. A good example of this would be, if you have not had any electrical issues in the past but you hang something on your wall with a nail or screw, and it accidentally goes through the wiring. This would not create a direct short, but it could turn off your circuit which would make the Arc fault breaker trip. That Arc fault breaker is there to protect you and your family from this happening, the breaker is doing its job if it trips in a situation like this. Our Owasso electricians can help if you are currently experiencing these issues.
A common known area for an arc fault would be in the receptacles or switches throughout the home, where the connections are loose and start creating an arc fault. If this were the case, the arc fault would get worse over time and because of the heat and the metal it could cause a fire. This is why Arc fault breakers are very important to have in your home as well as the GFCI’s as mentioned above. Both GFCI and Arc fault breakers are newer to the industry, and because of this they are not cheap. We can not put a dollar amount on safety for our home and families. If you are unsure if you have Arc fault breakers in your home please reach out to us, we would be happy to make sure you are safe with the updated NEC (national electrical code)
As a family owned business we are very involved with each of our customers, you become a part of our family once you become one of our customers. We would love to come to your home to inspect it to make sure your Owasso electrician system is up to date with the latest edition of the National Electrical Code, if you are in doubt if you have GFCI’s where needed, or if you have arc fault breakers in your panel please reach out to us, we will come out and inspect your outlets and your breakers. We want all of our customers to feel safe in their home, this is one way we will be able to help you feel safe every night! When we arrive, we will make sure to talk you through your concerns and listen, we will explain to you exactly what we are looking for and why. During our on-site visit, if we feel there is a problem that should be corrected to your electrical system, we will talk to you on site about why and what is needed to make sure your home is safe. Then our office staff will give you a free estimate within 24 hours of your inspection, and we will get you scheduled for the next available appointment, since we know your safety is very important.
WORKING IN NEIGHBORHOODS PROGRAM (WIN)
Growing up in Tulsa and raising my family here, it was important to me to be part of a program that helps local citizens with emergency repairs. City of Tulsa, working in neighborhoods program (WIN) was started in 2006, to focus on: housing, and neighborhood services. They provide housing programs that maintain the City’s affordable housing repairs and rehabilitation; preventing early institutionalization of the elderly by creating incentives for development of affordable housing. Our Owasso electricians help residents wanting to voluntarily correct code violations; providing an enforcement program to correct any violations. This program has been very helpful to local citizens around Tulsa, this has helped many residents ensure their home is safe by qualifying for a panel upgrade, or running a new dedicated circuit to those that are overloaded. We work very closely with the City of Tulsa and to ensure the safety of others who are a part of this program.