Do you have questions about residential or commercial electrical services? Listed below, are frequently asked questions related to lighting, code compliance, generator and transfer switches, and more.
Do I need an electrician to install my floor heat?
Yes! Only a licensed electrician can install floor heat. Installing floor heat also requires a separate permit and inspection by your local city or county. If someone other than an electrician installs your floor heat, it is possible an inspector can have it removed.
How do I properly dispose of fluorescent lights?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains how to recycle and dispose of fluorescent lights. It is best to call your local garbage/recycling company and find out what facilities are available for disposing of fluorescent lights in your area.
How many carbon monoxide detectors do I need in my house?
If you use natural gas, you need to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. You need to have one on every floor and within 15 feet of the bedroom doors.
How many smoke detectors do I need in my house?
According to the National Electrical Code, you must have 1 smoke detector on every floor, 1 inside each bedroom and 1 outside each bedroom.
To save on costs, should I buy the parts and hire an electrician to install them?
While it may be tempting to go to your local hardware or home improvement store and buy all the parts you need instead of having the electrician purchase them, you are going to be missing a key element. The electrician will not warranty the parts you buy yourself. This means that if you buy the parts and have the electrician install them, then something goes wrong with the part within the first year, it will be your responsibility to buy a new part and hire the electrician to install the new part. If you let the electrician purchase the parts from the outset of your project, they will warranty the parts so if something goes wrong in the first year they will come out and replace the part free of charge.
What is the difference between low voltage fixtures and standard fixtures?
Low voltage fixtures include a transformer that transforms the voltage from 120 volts to 12 volts. A lot of lighting manufacturers are offering low voltage options because the fixtures (i.e., pendant lights and under cabinet lights) have smaller cords. The main misconception of standard versus low voltage fixtures is that a low voltage fixture is more energy efficient. This is not the case. Voltage and watts are different measurements and wattage is what is used to calculate your electrical bill. Standard and low voltage fixtures use the same amount of watts and will not change your electrical bill.
What is the most energy-efficient lighting for my house?
By far the most energy efficient lighting available right now is LED. The standard incandescent bulb is not as energy efficient as LED or fluorescent, but you can reduce the energy used by installing dimmer switches on lights in common areas and bedrooms.
Why do I need to change my light box to a fan-rated box when installing a ceiling fan?
The main difference between a light box and a fan-rated box is the size of the screws that are used to mount the fixture. Because a ceiling fan moves and vibrates while operating, you must use a fan-rated box with larger screws than a standard light box. The boxes may look the same, but if you are going to install a ceiling fan in a room, the box must be labeled as rated to hold a ceiling fan. While this may seem like an unnecessary extra step, this will protect you and your family because you do not want a ceiling fan vibrating out of a light box and potentially falling on someone or something. Also, it’s important to remember that this is required by the National Electrical Code.