page addresses common questions handled by our support staff, along
with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here
Have your Electrical System checked at
least once every 5 years
Your electrical system
should be maintained and basic precautions should be observed to
protect your home, personal property and the lives of your family.
The Consumer Product
Safety Commission estimates that about 45,000 fires can be attributed
to potential problems with your Home Electrical System. These fires
result in approximately 440 deaths, over 1400 injuries and over 430
million dollars in property loss each year.
The cheapest insurance a
property owner could get is to make sure the Home Smoke Detector system
is in proper working order, batteries replaced, detectors cleaned or
replaced when needed. You should also have your electrical system
checked every few years. You should develop a routine for checking your
heating, cooling and electrical system every few years, just like
people an electrical system may break down, become over burdened and
not operate properly or not be of sufficient capacity to handle the
If you hear a sizzling noise or feel heat near or around any
electrical outlet or apparatus or have lights flickering or see an arc
or sparks from any electrical source, call an electrician immediately.
If you smell anything that you feel smells like smoke, plastic burning
then also call your local fire department immediately. If you know
which fuse or breaker controls the circuit effected turn the breaker
off or remove the fuse, It is better to have an electrician do a
emergency call when experiencing any of the above issues than to
potentially have a fire.
Where do I find if my home has been properly inspected?
There should be a sticker posted on your electrical panel outlining
when and what inspections have been done to your home, In Montgomery
County Md. you may also call the Office of Permitting Services to get
the list of permits and inspections done for any home in Montgomery
County MD. Some homes were inspected prior to the county maintaining
records, call 240-777-6230 to find out what your permit status is on
your home or visit at
Also when buying a home
ask seller for any maintenance records he may have on your electrical
Why should I upgrade my electrical panel?
There are many reasons to upgrade your electrical system, sometimes
you simply do not have enough electrical capacity to support a modern
day home with appliances like microwaves, hot tubs, Jacuzzi, toaster
ovens, Air Conditions and other high power consuming appliances. Please
visit our blog to learn more about Heavy Ups, AKA service or panel
responsible for the service cable running down the outside of my
house to the electric meter?
In Montgomery County, most homes use the Potomac Electric Power
Company (PEPCO) and they require the homeowner to be responsible for
the service cable to be in good condition. If you see damage to the
outer cable insulation or covering have it checked immediately, Water
can travel down these cables into your panel and water is a major
reason for an electric panel or circuit breaker failure. Whenever you
do a heavy up and increase the load to your home you must always
replace the service entrance cable running down your home to the
When should I replace batteries in Smoke and Carbon Dioxide
You should make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in
working order each year, it should be part of your spring cleaning.
Check twice a year and replace batteries each spring whether the
detector works or not and vacuum dust around detectors, remember smoke
detectors are ionization detectors and may be affected by tar residue
from cigarettes, hairspray, grease from cooking. It maybe necessary to
replace detectors that shows signs of excessive exposures to these
I use extension cords for lamps and other household electrical
We do not recommend the use of extension cords, however sometimes
extension cords are used by homeowners. Extension cords should only be
used on a temporary basis; if you need an outlet have one of our
electricians install one for you. Always make sure your cords are the
newer cords which are polarized, make sure that you use a properly
sized cord for the apparatus (lamp, clock etc) never use a cord smaller
than a # 16 gauge, and never over-load a extension cord. More can be
replace a ceiling light with a ceiling fan in a bedroom or living
room in our home?
Yes, however the support
box may have to be replaced with approved fan safe box. Ceiling fans
are heavy and rotate the National Electric Code requires that ceiling
fans be adequately supported by UL approved ceiling fan boxes. We
always recommend you use a qualified electrician to do any
modifications in your home. Remember your insurance company requires
that all work be done by licensed and qualified people otherwise they
may not be required to cover any losses.