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Dallas Electrician | Save Time and Money By Troubleshooting Common Power Problems via Phone

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit www.nationalnewstoday.com

Electricians exist because of problems with your electrical system. But not every problem requires an electrician to come to your house for a service visit. Often, a simple phone call and a few questions can fix the problem!  Troubleshooting common power problems like this not only lets you get on with your life, but it saves time and money! Not every electrician is willing to tell you this, of course. Too many electricians, even legitimate ones, are motivated only by the money they can get from piling on charges from a service call, instead of being interested in helping their customers. Customer service and caring for families’ situations is more important than money. Remember that gets you better friends, employees, and customers.  I really do wish more electricians remembered that.  Having said that, here are some of the most common problems I solve without scheduling a service appointment and have successfully helped repair over the phone:

  • My air conditioner’s not working! This is always one of the most frustrating problems you can have with your electrical system, and it’s hard to think of anything worse than being stuck going an extended period of time without your air conditioner in the middle of the summer.  Your air conditioner or heater is a very complicated system, so there are a number of things that could be causing the failure.  One of the most common reasons an air conditioner stops working is because the circuit breaker it’s on was tripped by an incoming power surge;  this can be fixed over the phone!  If the problem is more complex, a good-hearted electrician can still walk you through a number of steps to determine whether the problem requires an electrician or an AC technician to repair.
  • My outside outlets aren’t working! I get this call at least once every Christmas, when people putting up their Christmas lights discover that they can’t get anything plugged into an outside outlet to work.  Again, calling a Dallas electrician saves time and money in the long run.  As I mentioned in one of the other articles available here, external outlets are fitted with a GFCI for safety reasons.  (And if they aren’t, they should be!)  If the GFCI has tripped, none of the external outlets will work until the GFCI is reset. The GFCI which controls external outlets is located inside, often on the wall of your garage. Many times a homeowner doesn’t even realize what it does or where it is, and proceeds to stack boxes or tools right in front of it!  Resetting the GFCI can be done by anyone, and an electrician doesn’t need to be in your garage to help you locate the GFCI.
  • The ceiling fan I installed isn’t working! Most ceiling fans have four connections (wires) that hook them into the wiring in your ceiling, which has 3 leads.  So which wire gets hooked up to which lead?  When you combine that with instructions that are usually insufficient, poorly translated, or just plain confusing, it’s not really a surprise that people have so much trouble with the installation.  A good electrician should always be willing to explain over the phone what to connect where, and in what order (and yes, order DOES matter in electrical installations).
  • The lights on my ceiling fan flicker! This is almost always something that can be fixed without a home visit.  As strange as this may sound, the problem isn’t generally with your wiring or electrical system; the problem is light bulbs.  Many ceiling fans have been installed on lighting dimmers, which do NOT work with compact fluorescent bulbs; the reduced current causes them to flicker, not dim.  Putting an incandescent bulb in the socket can fix the problem immediately!  Also ceiling fans should not be installed on lighting dimmers but on a three speed fan dimmer or single pole switch. A separate switch should be supplied if you want to control the light from a dimmer.

For more information and other tips Electric Man to the rescue.  We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

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Best Dallas Electrician | Help with Electrical Safety Do’s and Don’ts for Appliance Installations

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit www.nationalnewstoday.com

There’s something exciting about making a large purchase: the rush of buying, the nagging fear that you can’t afford it, the anticipation of it making your life better or easier.  This feeling is especially true when it comes to a new appliance; it’s an investment in saving you time and effort. What if the investment you just made turns out to be a dud because of overlooking the impact it would have on your electrical system?

A lot of the work of an appliance happens within the machine, we tend to not think about the fact that an appliance is really a very complicated electrical machine. In addition, we ignore that they require a lot of electricity to operate. They can really strain your electrical system. This is especially true of modern appliances; it seems like they’ve found a way to computerize everything, and that only makes the power needs of an appliance grow even when they are “Energy Star” rated. Installation of these complex modern appliances seem as easy; some almost seem like they only need to be plugged in and forgotten. This approach neglects the fact that there are important things to keep in mind with regards to appliance installations that can cause serious problems for you down the line.

Obviously, you don’t always need to call an electrician whenever you install an appliance. With that being said, there’s nothing wrong with doing so if you’re not sure what you’re doing. The Best Dallas Electrician you can hire can help you avoid a lot of potential hazards and costs down the line. If you’re still planning on installing your new appliance yourself, keep in mind the following electrical safety do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t assume your installation was done with safety in mind. This is especially true in older homes, where the wiring may not be up to modern specifications.
  • Do turn the power off whenever you change out an appliance. It may seem a bit excessive, but it can save you from a nasty shock or from shorting something out.
  • Do be careful when removing older, hardwired appliances. Back in the old days, most large appliances were just wired directly into the electrical system, without any sort of protection other than the breakers in your electrical panel.  Just pulling these kinds of appliances out can short out the appliance or other parts of your wiring, to say nothing of other potential damage. When removing an older appliance, you should either be extremely careful not to damage the wiring or hire a professional electrician to help you remove them. That electrician can also help you with the next step: replacing that wire with a properly rated outlet and cord so that you can simply plug or unplug the appliance in future.
  • Don’t put a large appliance where you can’t move it or clean behind it! I see this way more than I should, especially in new home construction.  People have lovely custom cabinets built around their ovens, making it impossible to replace the oven or access the outlets behind it without tearing out all the cabinets around it!  There’s a safety issue in play here, too:  flammable dust and lint build up behind appliances over time.  You should always install a new appliance in such a manner that you can remove it to clean behind it, at the very least when you’ve pulled it away from the outlet to replace it with a new one.
  • Do check the electrical requirements of your new appliance. This is especially true if you’re upgrading to a new appliance. Like I said before, many of these are now partially computerized, and draw a lot more power than a similarly sized older appliance as a result.  If your new appliance draws more power than your wiring and circuit breakers are rated to handle, you can easily overload the circuit without realizing what you’ve done. If you find that this is the case, you should call an electrician before you try to plug the appliance in; often the problem can be solved just by rewiring the outlet or modifying your electrical system to handle the increased load.

For more information and other tips Electric Man to the rescue.  We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

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How can you tell if your electrician is licensed?

There’s an old saying that goes, “A good man is hard to find.”  Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case when you’re selecting a Dallas Electrician to perform electrical repair.  By selecting a licensed electrician, you can be assured that you’re going to receive competent, safe, superior service.  So how can you find out if the electrician you’re considering is licensed?

Anyone who performs electrical work in Texas must be licensed, whether it’s general electric repair or specialty electric jobs.  There are various types of electrician’s licenses, including:

  • Master Electrician
  • Journeyman Electrician
  • Residential Wireman (only for wiring a home)
  • Residential Appliance Installer
  • Electrical Apprentice (Must be accompanied by a Journeyman and the Journeyman must work for a Master Electrician).

There are also different licenses for businesses, which require the inclusion of various levels of electricians, as well as liability insurance.  When an electrical business is licensed, they will display their license number on vehicles and websites.  This is perhaps the best way to find out whether the electrician you want to hire is licensed or not.  Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to look up a specific company and find their license number.  Your electrician should have his business’ license number displayed on his vehicle as well.  Be sure to look for a Texas Electrical Contractor License (TECL) number on the work truck or car. For example, our TECL number is listed right on our homepage and on all of our vehicles, so everyone who visits will know we’re a licensed, insured electrician Dallas residents can depend on.

Hiring a licensed electrician means that your home will be as safe as possible.  All licensed electricians are required to attend continuing education courses, so they have the most up-to-date information to service their clients.  So, the next time you need a Texas electrician, do a Google search or visit the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to find a properly licensed electrician who will do the job right.

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Troubleshooting Electrical Problems

There are many ways to do electrical work, but only a couple of them are approved methods.

Here’s what to look out for from a craftsman‘s point of view:

  • Flying Splices are joints or connections made on the electrical wiring that are not contained inside of a sealed box.
  • Breaker Trips and causes more than 8
  • Turning on certain appliances causes lights to dim and flicker.

These tips come to you from a Dallas Electrician that you can trust. We are available 24 hours, and have been serving North Texas residents and businesses since 2004.

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