All posts in Electrical Problems

Get Your Electric System Ready for the Holidays

Electric system

With winter and the holiday season fast approaching, it is important that you start thinking about preparing your electric system for the holidays. While most people are more concerned with gifts, decorations, and finalizing those large family dinner menus at this time, to keep your holiday plans running smoothly you have to make sure you ensure your electric system is up to the task. The experts at Rose Brothers & Sons Inc., your best choice for electrical inspections in Kentucky, Cincinnati, and the surrounding areas, want to provide you with a few simple tips to get your electric system prepared for the holiday rush.

Surge Protection

Lights, decorations, mixers, and more; All of these things will be running in your home over the holidays and it is important that your circuit breakers are prepared for the increase of use. Power surges are usually caused by lightning strikes or overloads in the electrical grid, but it is not uncommon for things in your home to cause a surge as well. Electronics and other appliances turning on and off already puts your home at risk for a power surge but, with the added electricity usage a home requires for the holidays, what with plug-in decorations, Christmas lights, and extra cooking, the risk of dampening all your holiday festivities with a blown fuse or power surge increases even more. To prevent any surge malfunctions during the stressful holiday season, consider installing surge protection devices throughout your entire home to keep everything running smoothly and safely.

Upgrade Your Outlets

If your home is older and still features two-pronged outlets, it is time for an upgrade. These older style outlets will not offer the level of protection against shock and electrocution that the common three pronged outlets now provide. In addition to upgrading your outlets, you may be in need of more outlets around your home to cut back on the use of extension cords and power strips during the holiday season. While these items work relatively well, singular outlets can only withstand so much usage and if you overload your power strip you can cause power surges and power loss. Avoid all these problems and upgrade your outlets to keep your family safe and your holiday free of stress.

Schedule an Electric System Inspection

The best thing you can do to determine if your electric system needs and upgrade or work of some kind to make it through the holidays is to schedule an electrical inspection and avoid any problems that might occur. Here at Rose Brothers & Sons Inc. we provide our customers with a wide range of services from inspections to repairs. Let one of our electrical contractors inspect your electric system and help you determine what upgrades and improvements need to be done so your home continues running smoothly. If you plan on scheduling an inspection before the holidays, make sure you schedule early so any improvements or repairs can be completed before things get too busy in both your home and with our schedule.

If you have any more questions about scheduling an inspection or other concerns about your electric system before the holidays, contact Rose Brothers & Sons Inc. As an Angie’s List member, a business with an A+ rating from the BBB, and a combined 45 years of electrical experience on our staff, we can guarantee that we can meet all of your needs.

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Electric Noise or Humming: When to Call An Electrician

electric noiseThere are many different things in your home that can lead to electrical humming or buzzing noises. The appliances and devices in your home are responsible for most of these noises. But, some electrical noises or humming can be very dangerous. Some common areas that can cause electric noise or humming include:

 

  • Main Hums: The normal humming noises that are produced from appliances, electronics, or audio equipment are called main hums. This electric noise is caused by the vibration of the motors or fans in these devices and is not harmful.
  • Light Fixture Humming: When your light fixture is buzzing or humming, it is either a loose wire, or more likely, an issue with the light bulb. You should first try to replace the light bulb. Some light bulbs, such as fluorescent bulbs, have ballast that vibrates when it needs to be replaced. If the humming stops after you replace the bulb, you do not need to contact an electrician. However, if the humming continues, call an electrician for diagnosis and repair.
  • Dimmer Light Fixture Humming: If a dimmer light fixture is humming, it is almost always caused by the light bulb. Dimmer switches work by quickly cutting the light on and off so it appears that the light is dimmer. This quick on and off cycle causes the light bulbs to hum. Replacing the bulbs with a different type of bulb, such as a rough service bulb, can fix this electric noise. Look for light bulbs that indicate directly on the packaging that they can be used with dimmer switches.
  • Outlet or Switch Humming: There are a couple of things can cause humming or buzzing noise that is coming from your outlet or switch. First, it could be a loose wire. Next, there could be a problem with the outlet or switch. Finally, there could be improperly grounded wires or too much load on the wires. Any of these issues could be a potential fire hazard, so it is important to call an electrician for repair. Do not try to fix the wiring yourself!
  • Circuit Breaker Humming: Humming at your circuit breaker can be very dangerous. A few different issues, all of which require attention by an electrician, can cause the humming noise. First, the circuit could be overloaded, which prevents it from shutting off when required. Next, a wire could be damaged or loosely connected to the breaker or to the breaker panel. Finally, there could be a potential electrical arc forming. If your circuit breaker is humming or buzzing, shut off all circuits immediately and call an electrician.

Electric Noise or Humming: When to Call An Electrician

If you are experiencing electrical noise or humming from your light fixtures, outlets, switches, or circuit breaker, contact Rose Brothers & Sons Electric. Our team of qualified Northern Kentucky electricians can diagnose and correct any faulty electrical issues that may be causing the humming noise. Do not hesitate to contact our office today!

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Flickering Lights: When To Call An Electrician

Flickering lightsFlickering lights are one of the more annoying things that you can deal with in your home. Instead of bright light illuminating a room, a flickering bulb halfheartedly lights up a space and can drive anyone crazy. Although super hard to ignore, flickering lights usually are no big deal besides being a nuisance. Sometimes, however, it can be a sign of a bigger issue. This article will break down some causes of flickering lights and whether you should be worried about them or not.  If you’re not sure what the problem is, call your Northern Kentucky Electrician, Rose Brothers and Sons Electric.

Fluorescent and LED Lights

Some bulbs are more prone to flickering than others. Sometimes fluorescent lights will flicker for a few minutes when you just turn them on as they warm up, and some LED lights flicker when not properly connected to a driver or a dimmer switch. These are not serious issues so do not be too worried, but you may still want to replace the lights if the flickering gets too annoying.

Loose Bulb or Faulty Switch

Loose bulbs and faulty switches are two other reasons that your lights are flickering that do not warrant serious action to fix. For loose bulbs, turn off your light and once it has cooled down try screwing the bulb back in tighter. If the switch is acting up, try toggling it on and off or letting it sit for a while. If you turn it back on and neither of these quick fixes turn out to be the solution, then your problem lies elsewhere.

Voltage Fluctuation

If your lights flicker when you turn on an appliance with high wattage, you could have a problem with your voltage fluctuating too much. Other signs are lights that seem to dim or frequently burn out. Electricity typically flows into homes at 120 volts and fluctuates between 115 and 125. You can check the voltage flowing through your home with a device called a voltmeter if you have one. If the average is outside of the 115 to 125 range, call an electrician and get some help.

Loose Electrical Wiring Causes Flickering Lights

Loose wiring is the most common cause of flickering lights and also a major cause of house fires. Shut off the light at the circuit breaker before removing the fixture, then double check the wiring. If it looks loose or insecure, you need to call an electrician. Or if even after this you still have not found the reason, call an electrician to figure out what the issue really is.

Now that you know what to look for when it comes to flickering lights, call Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, the best place for electrical repairs in Northern Kentucky.

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The Difference Between a Short Circuit or Ground Fault?

short circuit or ground faultWhat’s the difference between a short circuit or ground fault and do I need to know? You may have heard the terms short circuit or ground fault used and wonder what they mean to you and your electrical system. If you have a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, you may have a faulty breaker, a short circuit or  ground fault or a problem with one of your appliances.

Why Does My Circuit Breaker Trip?

If you have a fuse box or circuit breaker box, it is put in place to protect you and your home from too much electricity. Circuit breakers or fuses are designed to work with a certain amount of electricity or AMPS. When that amount is exceeded because too much electricity is required, the fuse will blow or the breaker will trip to off. For example when you have a 20-amp fuse and your appliance starts using 30-amps you will exceed the amount of electricity and your circuit breaker will trip or your fuse will burn out.

Short Circuit or Ground Fault

What Is A Short Circuit?

A Short circuit is when a wire gets exposed or is open to touch another wire. When the wires are connected wrong or insulation wears away so that wires touch, you can end up with a hot wire touching a neutral wire and this can result in a short circuit. Often you’ll see a spark or smell smoke. Sometimes you cannot detect where the problem is. Your electrician can help determine the cause of the short circuit and rewire any areas that have trouble. A short circuit will draw more electricity and cause a short. Sometimes the hot wires melt the insulation on the wires and could potentially cause a house fire.

What Is A Ground Fault?

A ground fault occurs when the hot wire is exposed and touches either the ground wire or it touches metal in the junction box or in the appliance. For example if your air conditioner compressor has a ground fault it means a wire in the compressor broke and is touching the sides of the unit. This will also cause a surge in power that will trip the breaker or blow the fuse.  Another term for ground fault is a short to ground connection.

What Should You Do If Your Circuit Breaker Keeps Tripping

If you notice a problem with your circuit breaker, you need to have it checked out. The circuit breaker is there to keep you safe and notify you if there’s a problem. Sometimes the only problem is a loose wire at the circuit breaker box. Other times, you have either a short circuit or ground fault causing the breaker to trip or the fuse to blow. Your electrician at Rose Brothers & Sons Electric can help you determine where the problem is and make the necessary repairs. Rose Brothers serves the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area and we are ready to help you with all your electrical repairs.

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How To Feed Your Family During A Power Outage

how to feed your family during a power outageWe’ll give you some ideas how to feed your family during a power outage.  Hopefully you have a few things on hand before your power goes out. If not, you may need to find a shelter, a relative or an open restaurant depending on the reason the power is out.  If you need electrical repairs, Rose Brothers & Sons Electric can get your electricity up and running before you starve.  Our emergency electricians are available when you need us.

Planning For A Storm

If you know a winter storm or other natural disaster is about to take place, you can plan ahead of time to feed your family.  Look through your refrigerator and freezer and use the items that will perish the soonest.  Some items may be lost if you lose power to your freezer or refrigerator.  You can fill plastic bags and jugs with water and freeze them to make ice too.  this will help your frozen or refrigerated items last longer. Remember during a power outage to keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. Make sure you have enough canned goods to last a week or two.  Store paper goods like plates, forks, spoons and napkins.  This will be a great help if your water is compromised.  Make sure you have ideas and recipes on how to feed your family during a power outage. You can make good meals with a few canned ingredients.

Don’t Forget Propane or Cooking Fuel

Although you won’t want to cook outside during a storm, camping gear like a coleman stove or propane for your gas grill can go a long way toward helping you feed your family if the power is out for awhile.  Having a warm meal and the camping atmosphere will add excitement to the ordeal and be something your family will remember for years.

How To Feed Your Family During A Power Outage

Safety is a huge concern during power outages.  You need to make sure the food you prepare and feed your family isn’t spoiled.  Foodsafey.gov offers some general guidelines for food safety in an emergency. You also need to be aware of reasons the power may be out and how other areas of your home may be affected.  Is the water safe?  Is there a downed power line near by?  If you need electrical service repairs, Rose Brothers & Sons Electric is available for all your electrical repairs in the Northern Kentucky area.

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How To Stay Warm During Power Outages

how to stay warm during power outagesWe’ll show you how to stay warm during power outages. Hopefully you will never experience a significant power outage. If your power goes out in winter or during a winter storm, staying warm can be difficult.  Many times ice and winter storms will cause power outages.  If you cannot use your electrical system for heat, you may find yourself looking for alternative ways to stay warm.  The most important thing to remember is that alternative fuels need to be used safely.  The University of Georgia website offers some good advice on heating safety.

Tips For Staying Warm Without Electricity

Make sure your HVAC equipment is working properly and well maintained before a winter storm occurs.  Many times homeowners put off regular maintenance.  When the weather gets really cold your heater or furnace has to work extra hard.  If a problem is going to occur, this is when it usually happens. Winter storms can easily down power lines causing power outages. If you need electrical repairs during an emergency, we are available 24/7 to get you’re electricity up and running.  If you know you will be without electricity for days, consider purchasing or renting a power generator.

How To Stay Warm During Power Outages

Only heat one room – Try to stay in only one room. Choose a room on the South side of the house.  Make sure you allow natural sunlight in as often as possible.   You can close off the room so that only a small area needs to be heated.  Hang blankets or shower curtains in the windows to keep cool air out.  Rugs and blankets can be used on floors that seem cool.

Dress Warmly – your body will keep warm if you dress warmly.  Keep yourself clothed and use blankets to keep your body heat in.  Wear a hat so that warm air doesn’t escape out of your body.

Eat Before You Go To Bed – If you eat before you go to bed, your body will be digesting. This will allow you to stay warmer.

Put Up A Tent – If you are keeping your family in one room, tents can add some heat.  You can pretend you’re camping out.  This closes off the area you need to heat even more.  It also allows you to share body heat.

If you have questions about how to stay warm during power outages, call Rose Brothers & Sons Electric. We are your trusted Northern Kentucky Electricians.

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Losing Power To Your Refrigerator

losing power to your refrigeratorLosing power to your refrigerator can result in ruining food. This can get costly, especially if you have a lot of things in your freezer.  If you have lost power to your refrigerator, there are a few things you can check.

GFCI Receptacles

Many of the outlets in your kitchen are required to be GFCI receptacles.  These outlet prevent shock and are great in areas where water may cause a problem.  They shouldn’t be used for refrigerators though.  The GFCI receptacle often trips and is very sensitive.  It will turn off if it detects a slight possible problem.  That is what it’s designed to do.  This is a real problem if you have your refrigerator plugged into a receptacle of this type.  You could spoil all of your food if your refrigerator went off and you didn’t notice it.  If your losing power to your refrigerator and you have it plugged into a GFCI outlet, push the button to reset the outlet.  Have your electrician replace the outlet with a regular receptacle as soon as possible.

Circuit Breaker Blowing

If you have a circuit breaker that is blowing, you may have too many things attached to the breaker.  You may also have faulty wires or a faulty circuit breaker.  You also may have a problem with your refrigerator.  Your professional electrician will be able to tell you if the problem is in your wiring or if it is in the refrigerator itself.

Losing Power to Your Refrigerator

If you cannot restore the power to your refrigerator, you can use an extension cord to plug your refrigerator into until your electrician arrives.  If you are unable to find power, you can use your cooler to keep things cold.  Call your electrician for emergency repairs so that you get power to your refrigerated items quickly.  Your electrician in Northern Kentucky at Rose Brothers and Sons Electric is available 24/7 to help with all your electrical repairs.

 

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How To Keep Puppies From Damaging Electrical Wires

how to keep puppies from damaging electrical wiresAnyone with a new puppy will appreciate learning how to keep puppies from damaging electrical wires.  Puppies chew a variety of things when they are young.  If you’re like most people, your puppy has ruined shoes and torn up important papers.  Hopefully, you have kept them from electrical wires and cords that could possibly injure them.  Here are a few helpful  tips to keep your pet from chewing power cords:

Distract Your Puppy

If you can keep your puppy distracted from the power cords you will be well on your way to keeping your pet safe.  Don’t leave your pet unattended where power cords are.  You should provide plenty of things for your pet to chew on while they are in the chewing stage.  Electrical cords and power supplies should be kept away from your puppy.  You can hide the cords or place something else in the way of the cords.  This will keep you puppy safe until they learn what they can chew and what they can’t

Use A Puppy Deterrent

You can purchase a good puppy deterrent or make one.  Things like hot sauce, Cheyenne Pepper and other items can be mixed in a concoction to keep your puppies from chewing the electrical cords in your house.  If you can put something that will taste awful or hot on the cord and reinforce it with a sharp “No” your puppy will soon learn cords and power supplies are a bad thing to chew.  How to keep puppies from damaging electrical wires is as much about consistency and obedience as anything else.

Cover The Cords

Not every cord you use can be hidden under furniture or blocked from view.  Those cords that are out in the open can be covered with an insulation that will keep your puppy safe until you can get to him or her.  Items like PVC pipe, pieces of rubber hose or bubble wrap will work well.  When you see your puppy chewing through the insulation remember to scold your puppy and let them know this isn’t ok.  Reward any good behavior.

How To Keep Puppies From Damaging Electrical Wires

We hope these ideas will help you keep your puppy from damaging electrical wires and cords in your home.  Most importantly we hope your pet will stay safe and not get into anything electrical.  It can get pretty expensive re-wiring lamps and fixing small appliances.  Power supplies for computers and other electronics can get expensive to replace too.  If you need electrical repairs no matter how small, call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric and we will be happy to help.

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Why Do Sparks Come Out Of My Outlet?

why do sparks come out of my outlet?We often get calls from people wondering, “Why do sparks come out of my outlet?”.  This is a common question many homeowners face.  If you haven’t seen a spark coming from your outlet recently, you probably will soon enough.  Why? Because an arc at the outlet is a common occurrence.   Don’t get the idea that because it can happen often that it isn’t signally a problem though.  Here’s why:

Why Your Outlet Sparks

Current goes through your house very quickly.  Appliances and items you plug into your outlet draws the current out.  If you unplug your appliance while it is still on, you can cause a spark.  This can happen on appliances like your iron that don’t have an on/off switch but are turned on by turning the temperature knob up from zero.  You can avoid this kind of spark by making sure the appliance is turned off before unplugging or plugging it in.  When appliances are unplugged before turning them off, it causes the wires to get hot. This in turn can melt the insulation and cause a short circuit.

When Your Outlet Sparks Too Often

If you notice your outlet sparking often or sparking no matter what is plugged in, you should call your local electrician to examine the outlet. Don’t leave the question, “Why do sparks come out of my outlet?”, unanswered.  If your outlet is older or if the insulation has melted, you could have a short circuit.  This is a “hot” wire that could burn your house down.  A professional electrician can make sure your outlet is safe and fix a short circuit.  Like everything else in your home, your wiring can get old and worn out.  Fixing the wiring when you notice a problem will protect you, your family and your belongings.

Why Do Sparks Come Out of My Outlet?

There are a few possible answers when you ask why sparks come out of an outlet.  Any time you have a question about your electricity and especially when it involves a spark, you should call your electrician to have them check if something is wrong.  Don’t spend time worrying about a problem when the fix is a phone call away.  If you have trouble with a short circuit at your outlet or you notice sparks, call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric.  We will be happy to help.

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Electric Repairs You Shouldn’t Put Off

electric repairs you shouldn't put offThere are a variety of electric repairs you shouldn’t put off. Many homeowners put off home maintenance because other than being costly, it can be time consuming. You may notice a small leak under your sink and think it’s not that big a deal. Likewise you may see your lights flickering and just think it’s the wiring in your crazy house. But what if you ignore the problem too long and it becomes a safety issue. Or like the leaking sink, it can actually cause more problems later on or be the indication of a larger problem brewing under the surface. Here are a few electric repairs you shouldn’t put off:

Water Heater Repair

If you notice your water heater is corroding or there is water leaking, you should call your electrician for water heater repair. If the safety valve is leaking, pressure could be building up that may explode if the situation isn’t corrected. Many times sediment builds up in the tank causing it to corrode and leak. These problems are often ignored until a bigger problem surfaces.

Bad Wiring

If you ignore the signs of electrical problems in your home, it might be causing you more problems than you thought it would. The real issue is that it might also create a dangerous situation and a fire hazard. Older homes are at risk for electrical issues. Bare wires can short-circuit your electrical system. You also might need an electrical upgrade so that your electrical system can handle the demands of modern appliances and fixtures. The cost of completely re-wiring your home may be expensive but it will be worth it in the end. Knowing your family is safe is priceless.

Electric Repairs You Shouldn’t Put Off

Of all the home maintenance and repairs you might think can wait, electric repairs should be handled as quickly as possible. Throw away small electrical appliances if the cord is ruined or damaged. Follow all electrical safety precautions and if you know you have an electrical problem like bad wiring, call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric today.

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