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Top Plano Electrician | How Arc Fault Circuit Breakers Can Save Lives And Improve Home Safety

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

As a Top Plano Electrician, I know better than anyone how powerful and useful electricity is. It also makes me more aware of what most people tend to ignore or forget: electricity is dangerous. Electricians are required by law to carry insurance, and for good reasons. Electric current is capable of starting fires and destroying your property and equipment in a matter of moments. The proper safety precautions really can save lives, and there‘s always something we can do to improve home safety.

One of the most important precautions is located in your electrical panel: the circuit breaker. It is designed to keep you from using more electricity than the wiring or receptacle can handle at one time, what we refer to as overcurrent protection. This protects your wiring from taking on too much current, which can cause the coating around your wiring to melt, the leading cause of electrical fires. Circuit breakers serve another purpose as well; not only to protect from surges coming from outside your home, but from potential hazards within it as well. Current flowing through a failed piece of equipment or appliance can cause sparks, which have the potential to start fires or damage other electrical devices. A properly functioning circuit breaker can shut off the power to this device. It’s very important, however, that you use a circuit breaker of the proper size for the circuit to ensure that your wiring is properly protected.

Circuit breakers come in specialty varieties as well; the most important are ground fault circuit breakers (GFCI), for wet locations, and arc fault circuit breakers (AFCI). AFCI’s, in particular, can help prevent some of the most common dangerous situations in your home.

I’ve dealt with plenty of cases where electrical fires have started because people ran an extension cord under the carpet, so that they can power the lamp in the center of the room. Over time, people walking over the cord stretches out the wiring, making it so thin that the current overloads the thinly stretched wire, creating an arc fault; the electricity “jumps” the wire, completing the circuit in a way the cord can’t handle and generating heat that starts a fire. Arc fault circuit breakers prevent this by shutting the circuit down when the arc fault occurs.

So what do you need to know about arc fault circuit breakers? To start with, by code AFCI’s should be installed on any circuit that isn’t protected by a GFCI or directly wired into an appliance. It’s in your best interest to have your safety devices routinely inspected to maintain their optimum performance and capabilities; in particular, your circuit breakers should be inspected at least once a year. The inspection process is quick and relatively inexpensive, and something that simple really can save the lives of you and your family.

You can trust ElectricMan to help and get the job done right. 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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Plano Electrical Service Tip | What You Need to Know About LED and Fluorescent CFL Lights and Saving Money

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 http://www.nationalnewstoday.com

Everyone wants to save money.  With the economy, still slow and unemployment high, family and business budgets are tight.  Thus, we’re all looking for ways to lower our bills, and there aren’t many bills more devastating to budgets than the electric bill.  Not to mention those bills during a brutal Texas summer.

At the same time, people are finally beginning to understand that the damage we do to our environment is harmful in the long run, and are trying to find a way to reduce our impact on the planet.  A lot of the time it seems like we must choose between saving money and helping the earth.  That is simply not the case when we’re talking about options for lighting your home or business.  The employees of my Plano electrical service tell you that you can acElectrican-LED-and-Flourescent-lights-Saving-Moneytually do both at the same time, and that it‘s as simple as changing a light bulb!

Light bulb shopping has changed a lot in the last ten years.  Our choices are no longer limited to the incandescent (and sometimes halogen) bulbs we all grew up with.  Today fluorescent CFL lights are available in almost every store, and LED lights are starting to become more widely available as well. These bulbs use far less energy to create the same amount of light, which ultimately means less energy you have to pay for.  The savings can be seen with a single bulb.

For example, if you replace just one 60-watt incandescent bulb you use four hours each day with a 12-watt LED equivalent, you’ll wind up saving almost $10 a year on average! These bulbs can save you money and hassle in ways you might not think of at first.  For instance, LED and CFL bulbs produce very little heat when compared to an incandescent bulb which means that they don’t attract insects, and that your air conditioner doesn’t have another heat source in your house to cool down.

There are electrical benefits to having cooler bulbs too: less heat being generated by light bulbs means that there’s less heat stress being placed on the sockets and fixtures they’re attached to.  Less stress on the fixtures means that they have a much longer life, and that you’re saving money you’d otherwise have to spend on repairing or replacing them.

All these choices beg the question of which type of bulb is better.  From an electrician’s view, they’re both superior to the old kind of bulbs.  Personally, I think LED lights are superior to fluorescent CFL lights right now.  The technology that makes CFL bulbs work is still primitive.  Think of what cell phones looked like in the 1980‘s compared to today; right now, the CFL bulbs you can buy are the fluorescent bulb version of those old brick phones. LED lights have very distinct advantages:

  1. LED lights don’t need time to warm up like CFL bulbs do.
  2. Dimmer switches don’t work with CFL lights, but LEDs dim just like an incandescent bulb.
  3. Probably the biggest issue I have with CFL bulbs right now is their impact on the environment. They’re full of toxic mercury and lead compounds which can be very hazardous to the water supply, which means you can’t just throw them away.
  4. Fluorescents can’t be changed while warm, either.  They’ll break off at the base, and cleaning up a broken CFL bulb can be a nightmare, with the potential threat of mercury poisoning of you and your loved ones if you’re not careful.

These reasons are why I generally recommend LED bulbs; they’re more earth-friendly, easy to dispose of, use less energy than even CFL bulbs, and last a very long time.  They can be more expensive than other bulbs, but you’ll save enough money on your power bills in the long run to come out well ahead!

For Plano, electrical service or questions about what type of lights are best for your needs you can trust ElectricMan to help and get the job done right. 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 to Protect Home From Lighting Strikes By Using 24/7 Emergency Local Dallas Electrician

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

30% of all surges/outages are caused by lightning strikes

The strike doesn’t even have to be a direct hit on your home but can occur within half a mile.  As a matter of fact, the majority of surges that most people take are from problems at someone else’s home or somewhere further down on the power company lines.  A surge doesn’t have to be lightning; it can come from an automobile accident that hits a power pole or even frLighting-Dallas-Power-Outageom a routine maintenance on the main power lines when they turn the power back on.  This off and on of the power with the main electrical lines can send surges into your home or business that I have seen destroy lots of electronic equipment and appliances.

Almost every home has multiple computers, and expensive home entertainment systems.  Even our appliances are high-tech with monitors built into the doors of refrigerators and laundry appliances with electronic controls.  These items are especially vulnerable to spikes in your home’s electrical current that may cause melted circuit boards and overheated wires.  Repairs to these expensive gadgets are much more costly than replacing a blown out light bulb or electrical outlet.

There is no substitute for surge protectors plugged into your wall outlet that allows you to plug in all of your equipment for protection.  This is the equivalent to using a seat belt that only goes across your waist and not your chest.  By installing a whole house surge protector in your electrical panel, you’re adding protection.  Let’s say you take a surge (or get in an accident).  Would you want just a lap belt, or a full body protector?

No matter what you’re protecting, whether it is your family, your business, or your possessions, you should always be prepared and proactive instead of reactive.  With simple surge protection, you could be saving yourself a lot of time and headache.  This is as close to the “easy” button as you can get.

When you have a general repair or an electrical emergency, you can trust ElectricMan to get the job done right. 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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4 Need to Know Lighting Installation Tips

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

A large amount of the calls we go out on are for lighting fixture replacement/changes.  A lot of the customers say “I usually do this myself,” but I don’t have time to take care of this right now.  Another common quote we hear is “We have been working on this all weekend, and can’t get it to work.”  Last but not least, a favorite quote of mine that I hear is “I am so tired of this outdated looking lighting that exists in my home.  Can you please bring it up to date?”  Usually this is where I chuckle and say “ElectricMan to the Rescue!” – Nick Schaeffer

If you’re planning to replace or make changes to your lighting fixtures the ElectricMan have some very helpful tips:

  1. Understand the way your home was initially wired. Usually the wiring is signified by “hot” being the black and “neutral” being the white colored wires. In older homes, this coloring is not on the wires and a top electrician should take it from there. If you are still game, even though these wires are not properly colored, you can figure out which wire is the “hot” with a transient voltage tick tester. This type of tester will tell you which wire the power is on. The other wire would then be the “neutral”. Be careful when doing this testing with the power on, you may be subject to a “shocking experience”. When in doubt, call a top elNick-Schaeffer-2ectrician!
  2. If you are installing a chandelier replacement, the wiring that comes on the fixture from the manufacturer is what we call “zip cord” and is not colored white and black.  The way they identify this type of wire is the “hot” is the smooth side and the “neutral” is the side with ridges.  So if you feel this wire with your fingers, you will notice one side is smooth and one side has ridges.  This will tell you how to hook these wires up independently.  If this is not properly hooked up per side, you could potentially get a “nasty shock” when you change out a light bulb.
  3. Pendant lighting seems to be all the rage right now.  This type of lighting can be used to decoratively light up kitchen islands and kitchen bar-type counters.  This is a creative way to separate your kitchen from your living room.  Typically, homes are not pre-wired for these lights, and wiring will have to be added before they can be installed.  I highly suggest when wiring for these lights, that a new switch leg be installed for independent control.  As always, installing new wiring to your existing electrical should be done by a top electrician.
  4. Recessed cans can clean up your ceiling and do away with unsightly light fixtures installed everywhere.  When installing a recessed can, the type of trim is essential to maximizing the amount of light that you can get in an area.  A baffled or recessed trim will turn a light into a spot, whereas a flush mount trim allows the light to start at the ceiling and move throughout the room.  This gives a much more even look upon the finished product.  Any electrician that has done a lot of installations should be able to guide you in the proper direction so that the style of lighting that you are looking for will be achieved.  Be careful attempting these by yourself, drywall will need to be cut for installation, and you never know where a wire or plumbing pipe may be hiding.

Chandelier replacement, pendant lighting and recessed cans are  cheap and affordable ways to completely change the look of your home.  If you are attempting this on your own, and run into a problem, a good-hearted electrician will be happy to discuss with you where you went wrong and what it is going to take to fix it.  Most electricians are happy to do free estimates, and help design a quality finished product.  Whether you have a general repair or an electrical emergency, you can trust ElectricMan to get the job done right. 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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ElectricMan to the Rescue | When You Might Need a 24-Hour Electrician

Sometimes, an electrical emergency can’t wait; sometimes, you need a 24-hour electrician to stop in as soon as possible. Here’s a look at some electrical emergencies that require immediate attention.

24-Hour-Electrician

Learn what common emergencies need to be fixed immediately by a 24-hour electrician.

Air Conditioning/Heating Stops Working
On sweltering Dallas summer afternoons or chilly winter nights, you just can’t wait for regular service hours to have your malfunctioning HVAC system examined. If the air conditioning or heating stops working, it could be an electrical problem, not an A/C or furnace problem.

Before you call a certified electrician, check to see if the breaker is tripped. If the breaker is tripped, go to the thermostat and turn off the heating and cooling unit. After you have turned off the thermostat, go back to the breaker and turn the breaker all the way off before resetting it to the ‘on’ position. If the breaker trips again, call a 24-hour electrician. If it doesn’t trip, turn the thermostat back on. If the breaker trips once the AC is on, you will need to contact an AC repairman.

Power Outage
If the power goes out in your home, the problem could be on your side or with the power provider. A good 24-hour electrician can discuss with you which one is the case. If your entire block loses power, it’s undoubtedly a problem with the provider. If power goes out only in your home, there’s a greater possibility that the problem is on your end. This is where a certified electrician can discuss which specific parts of your home are out and determine if you need an electrician or if you need to call your power provider.

Sparks and Flames
No matter the fire’s cause, your first call should be to the fire department. If an electrical malfunction caused the fire, your second call should be to a 24-hour electrician.

ElectricMan to the Rescue
You know you can count on ElectricMan as your certified electrician of choice. We’re always on call 24/7 to help solve electrical problems. For example, a few years back, during Super bowl week in Dallas, the American Red Cross’ power to their refrigeration system where they store their emergency blood supply went out. ElectricMan tackled the snow and ice storm and were able to fix the issue within 40 minutes of being on site; crisis diverted!

The Red Cross retweeted their appreciation to ElectricMan calling them their ‘heroes.’

If you’re experiencing an electrical emergency, please contact ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local 24-hour electrician with almost three decades of experience. For more information visit the ElectricMan website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also find us on YouTube and Pinterest.

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Dallas Electrician Explains What Your Home Inspection Should Cover

A home inspection covers a number of areas, not the least of which is the electrical system. ElectricMan, a trusted Dallas electrician, wants you to know how to spot a quality home inspection report. After all, while the façade may be beautiful, what’s behind the walls is what truly matters. Save yourself a heap of trouble by knowing what to look for on the electrical portion of a home inspection, according to this certified electrician.

An electrical system inspection includes looking for any aspects that make the home unsafe. A good report features the following most common items:

Dallas-Electrician

A Dallas electrician explains what to look for on a good home inspection report before you decide to buy.

  • Overcurrent protections present
  • Grounded receptacles present
  • Electrical box location and condition
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) present
  • Fuses and breakers sized correctly
  • Proper main grounding installed per code
  • Smoke detectors functional and placed correctly
  • Enough outlets in each room
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) present at outdoor, garage, kitchen and bathroom areas
  • All wiring installed properly
  • No wires resting on ductwork or pipes
  • Wiring insulation in good condition
  • Ceiling fans stable when operating
  • Exhaust fans operable
  • All outlet covers and switch plates securely attached
  • No broken light fixtures
  • Proper electrical connections for all appliances

With all of these points checked off the list, you know you have run across a home with a sound electrical system. It’s a great feeling knowing you’re moving into a home that won’t present trouble around every corner. That’s why it’s so important to have an inspection conducted by a qualified professional before you buy.

If you have any questions about the electrical system aspects of a potential new home’s inspection report, please contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local Dallas electrician with 27 years of experience; we have the knowhow required to answer your important questions. For more information visit the ElectricMan website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Electrical Projects a Local Electrician Can Do

Whether you have a scheduled lighting project or an emergency on your hands, there are plenty of situations when it’s appropriate to call in a local electrician. For your safety and sanity use a certified electrician that can provide quality work and can be counted on for years to come.

Installing Tamper-Resistant Outlets
For peace of mind and family safety, have tamper-resistant outlets installed. These have shutters over all openings that must be pressed at the same time to open, such as when inserting a plug. Having this type of devices installed where your children has access to them can prevent a shocking experience —without having to deal with annoying plastic inserts. To ensure correct installation, count on a local electrician for the job.

Local-Electrician

Learn what lighting projects around the house call for the skill and experience of a local electrician.

Repairing a Wire Damaged from Drilling a Hole in the Wall
Whether you’re hanging pictures, shelves or a TV mounting bracket—or any other reason you might be drilling into a wall—there’s always the possibility that you’ll hit and damage a wire. This is definitely a fix you want to leave in the capable hands of a certified electrician.

To prevent the problem from happening again, use a stud finder and aim for the center of the stud. Before drilling, use a small tipped screw driver to verify you are hitting the stud and not the side. Once you have verified, feel free to drill away.

Upgrading a Ceiling Fan
Many homeowners aren’t familiar with the specific requirements involved in hanging a ceiling fan. First you must have a ceiling fan rated brace and box. You need to also make sure the weighted blades are properly installed to the motor. The motor has specific wiring leads that must be connect to the proper power leads. If there is any question, it’s best to leave this project to a local electrician who has the experience from thousands of installs. The last thing you want, after spending hours on the project, is to have the fan wobble or come crashing to the floor, all electricians will agree, fans looks better on the ceiling.

Re-Doing the Kitchen Lights
Some popular kitchen light upgrades include adding recessed lighting and pendant lights controlled by dimmer switches. Under-cabinet lighting and above cabinet lighting is also an excellent way to indirectly light your kitchen. Your interior lighting project is guaranteed to go smoothly when you trust your home to a licensed local electrician. The upgraded lights add a whole new dimension to your kitchen for everyone to enjoy.

To work with a licensed qualified professional for your next electrical project, please contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local electrician with 27 years of experience. For more information visit the ElectricMan website, and don’t forget to also ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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PLANO TX ELECTRICIAN WARNS: ELECTRICIAN SCAMS AND PHONY ELECTRICIANS

Looking for a Plano TX electrician who is talented AND cost-effective can be a bit of a challenge. However, budget-conscious homeowners in North Texas run the risk of falling prey to phony electricians who take advantage of them by doing shoddy and dangerous work with the pretense of cheaper rates. Not only do these homeowners end up duped and with a mess on their hands, but they must call and pay another Plano TX electrician to come fix the work that the first company did, spending much more than they would have otherwise spent.

The Risks of Falling for Scams

Your home’s electrical work is too important to risk getting scammed by a bad electrician. Whether you’re looking for a Plano electrician to take care of an emergency job, or you’re simply looking for someone to inspect your current electrical setup, the cost of ending up with a bad contractor is worth the time spent looking for a good one.

The tips below can help you prevent scams and find an honest and qualified electrician in Plano, TX for your electrical repairs and installations.

 

  • Get three estimates. This is probably the most important thing you can do before hiring an electrician in Plano TX or anywhere for that matter. Getting three estimates will help you determine what the median price is for the work you need done, and it will help you spot and avoid electrician scams and phony electricians. For example, if one of the estimates is substantially lower than the other two, there is a good chance that there is something wrong with that contractor and you should stay away from hiring them.
  • Take your time finding the right person, even if the job is an emergency. Just because you have a rush job on your hands doesn’t mean you should hire someone in a rush. That is how mistakes happen and people fall into the phony electrician trap. Look around for a Plano TX electrician that you feel confident will do the job well. Otherwise, you risk the rush job turning into a long-term job.
  • Check the electrician’s license. Texas law requires that all electricians carry their state license with them and show it to a customer upon request. A good electrician will have no problem showing you their license upon arrival, so don’t be shy about asking to see it the moment they arrive at your home.Phony-electricians
  • Watch the electrician at work. Don’t be afraid to look on as the electrician works. Also, don’t be afraid to ask him to show you specifically what he has done when the job is complete. It’s your right to ensure that you’re getting what you paid for. Too many times people have hired electricians and taken their word that the work was completed, only to find out that nothing was done and they were duped out of money.

Electric Man: Honest and Reliable Electricians Plano TX

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to scams and phony electricians. Find a Plano electrician who will listen to your concerns, do the work that you asked for thoroughly, honestly and reliably, and who won’t take advantage of your needs. Electric Man has been providing Plano Tx electrician services to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area for over 27 years. Our services range from simple fixture installations and routine maintenance to major power emergencies. To learn more about Electric Man, call us today at 972-792-7270, visit us online or connect with our social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you have any other questions for Electric Man, leave in the comments section of our blog, and we’ll get right back to you!

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PLANO TX ELECTRICIAN | DISCUSSES APPLIANCE ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Appliances can make for exciting and valuable additions to your home; however, they use a lot of electricity and can ultimately take a toll on your electrical system. As a Plano TX electrician, I have seen it time and again—homeowners buy new appliances Plano-TX-electricianthat, even when they have an “Energy Star” label, use a significant amount of electricity. These homeowners are unaware, however, that the more important problem lies in the installation of these devices, taking for granted the safety precautions that were addressed (or not) during the installation process.

The old “set it and forget it” mentality that a lot of people seem to have when it comes to their new appliances is that, whether or not a Plano TX electrician is called to help install the appliance, the importance of appliance installation safety is ignored and the awareness of potential dangers and mistakes in installation is minimized. As a result, things that at the time of installation seemed trivial in the long run can cause significant problems.

Ideally, with the help of a Plano electrician, you should have no problems installing your new electrical equipment. Here are some tips that might help you prevent safety concerns with the installation of your brand new appliances:

  1. Check the electrical requirements of any new appliances, especially if they will be replacing older equipment. It’s important to ensure that the installation was done properly and that the transition from the old appliance to the new one is smooth.
  2. Call your electrician in Plano TX to help you remove old, hardwired appliances. This is extremely important! In many older homes, appliances were hardwired to the electrical system. Removing them incorrectly can result in serious damage to the wiring.
  3. Turn the power off before installing new appliances. Some think that this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people forget about this very simple rule. Not turning off the power can result in damage to the appliance, as well as shock and possible injury to you.
  4. Be sure to place the new appliances where they can be easily moved for cleaning. Flammable lint and dust often collect in the back of appliances, causing a fire hazard if they can’t be moved to be cleaned routinely.
  5. Hire a Plano electrician to check that the new appliance installation was done safely and correctly, especially if it was done in an older home.

Chances are, you don’t need to call your Plano TX electrician to help you with every new appliance installation. However, if you have any doubts or questions about how to install your appliance safely, don’t hesitate to call us at Electric Man so we can make sure that your installation goes off without a hitch.

Give us a call today at 972-792-7270 and connect with us through our website, www.electricmaninc.com. Also, feel free to ask your questions in the comments section of our blog and we will get back to you soon.

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Plano Electrician Saves You Time

and Money by Troubleshooting Common Power Problems over the Phone

If you are looking for a Plano electrician, you undoubtedly want one who cares about saving you time and money. Many electricians, even good ones, are motivated by money, so it is rare to find one that will share with you this trade secret: not all problems require a visit from an electrician. Fortunately, right here in Plano, TX, there is an electrician willing to troubleshoot common problems over the phone. This is a great benefit to customers, who can handle some issues without waiting around for a service call or shelling out tons of cash. The electrician Plano homeowners can call for advice is Electric Man, and here are a few scenarios that have been resolved over the phone:

  • A non-functional air conditioner can be a big problem! Fortunately, it is also problem that can sometimes be solved over the phone. Because the air conditioning system is complex, it could be any number of things, but one of the most common issues is a circuit breaker that has been tripped by a power surge. A kindly electrician can help you solve this over the phone, or walk you through determining if it is a different problem.
  • GFCI-Plano-electricianThe outside outlets have stopped working.  This is an issue around the holidays, when people plug in their Christmas lights and discover that the outdoor power is out. By calling an electrician, Plano, Tx homeowners can save themselves time and money, because the problem is usually the GFCI.  A GFCI is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, and external outlets are fitted with it for safety reasons. Anyone can reset the GFCI, and an electrician does not need to be there; he can talk you through it over the phone.
  • Ceiling fans can have issues. Especially if you installed it yourself, unclear directions may have confused you. Because most ceiling fans have four wires that hook into three leads in your ceiling, it can be tricky, figuring out which wire hooks up to which lead. An electrician can explain how to connect the wires, and in which order. Even if you did not install the ceiling fan yourself, you may have trouble with the lights flickering. This is not usually an electrical problem, but a problem with the light bulbs. Though compact fluorescents save energy, they are not usually a good fit with ceiling fans, which are typically installed on lighting dimmers. A good electrician can tell you when something as simple as a bulb change can solve your problem.

Electrical systems all fit certain specifications, but electricians are not all the same. For a Plano electrician who knows the ropes and cares about your needs, consider Electric Man, Inc. To learn more, connect with us on all our social sites, or call us (972)792-7270.

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