Electrician Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I hang a ceiling fan in any ceiling box?

The National Electrical Code requires that a ceiling fan can only be mounted to a ceiling box that is made specifically for ceiling fans. The State of Wisconsin goes further and states that all ceiling boxes be rated for ceiling fans. Even if the house is old, the code requires this special box.

Half the lights are out in the house and my electric range does not work?

This is usually caused by one of the following conditions: the wires supplying your home with electricity are broken, the main circuit breaker tripped or if you have fuses, one of the main fuses might be blown.
If you have circuit breakers, you will want to turn off the main breaker and then turn the main breaker back on. If you have fuses, you will want to replace the two main fuses.
If this issue started during a wind storm, you should call WE Energies and have them check their lines.
 

How large of an electrical service do I need?

The electrical code has a specific method for calculating the size of an electrical service. For most homes under 1,500 square feet, if you have an electric range and an electric dryer a 100A service should be fine.
If you have or plan on having a hot tub, you will need to have a 150A or 200A service.
If you live in a larger all electric house, you should consider a larger service. To be certain that your present and future electrical needs are satisfied, we can come to your house free of charge to give you a proposal for a new service.
 

Is it true that some older circuit breakers are dangerous?

Yes, it is true that some of the early circuit breakers fail to trip when overloaded and can cause fires. If you have Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) circuit breakers, please follow this link for additional information: http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm

Some lights in my house are dim and some are very bright. When I turn on some appliances, the lights change in brightness. What is the problem?

This is a very serious condition that is caused by a loose or broken wire in your service or service panel. It is important that this gets repaired as soon as possible. It is best to call WE Energies and have them check the service first, preventing any charges. If they do not find any issues, call an electrician.

The lights flicker in my house when my refrigerator, air conditioner and/or furnace starts. Should I be concerned?

This condition my reduce the life of these appliances. This flickering may be caused by a few different conditions. The most common condition is a circuit being overloaded. To fix this, it is necessary to isolate these appliances to dedicated circuits.
Another condition is that the electrical service is too small for your house. To rectify this, it would be necessary to increase the size of the electrical service.
One other condition that may also cause this is an undersized WE Energies wire from the utility pole to the house or a loose connection. Calling WE Energies and having them come out is a good first step in solving this problem because they will come out and check your service without any charges.
 

The lights flicker randomly in my house. What causes this?

Lights flickering in a house is usually caused by a loose connection. Once the loose connection is found, it can be repaired quickly. Finding the loose connection, however, may take some time to find.

When do I need an electrical permit?

The basic rule is that when repairing electrical work you do not need a permit. But when you are adding or replacing certain items, an electrical permit is required.
In some communities, you can get a reduced priced permit that allows you to perform a limited amount of electrical work.
We believe that it is very important to apply for an electrical permit if it is required by your community. By having the work inspected, you can be certain that the work was done properly. In addition, if there is ever a fire in your house and your insurance company finds out that electrical work was done without a permit, you may find that the insurance company may reject the claim.