5 Common Electrical Questions Answered

July 26, 2021

Electrical problems in your home can happen over time. Understanding the various terms in the industry is important, and it’s a good idea to have your home electrical system regularly inspected by a fully licensed, professional electrician like those at GVEC. The older your home, the more important regular inspections become. If you’re having problems with your home electrical system, an inspection can be especially important for diagnosing the problem and getting it fixed. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions related to electricity in the home. 1. Why Are My Lights Flickering? Lights can flicker due to a variety of reasons, such as an outdated electrical system. You may also have a loose wire or an insufficient power supply that’s causing the issue. Getting your system inspected by an electrician is always a good idea. 2. What Is the Difference Between a Breaker and a Fuse? A breaker and a fuse are devices that can break the flow of electricity. However, the main difference is that a fuse will blow out and need to be replaced each time whereas a circuit breaker is simply a switch that can be flipped. Breakers can wear out over time...

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4 Reasons Why Your Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping

July 12, 2021

In a properly functioning home electrical system, circuit breakers will seldom trip. If you’ve noticed that the breakers in your South Central Texas home trip on a regular basis, this is cause for concern. Read on to learn about four of the possible reasons why your home’s breakers keep tripping. 1. Overloaded Circuit The most common reason for tripped breakers is an overloaded circuit. This means you have too many items plugged into a circuit or the item plugged into the circuit is demanding more power than the circuit can provide. For example, if you’re using a computer, monitor and printer plugged into an outlet in your living room, then you plug in and turn on the vacuum, the circuit may trip. 2. Short Circuits When a hot or live wire touches the neutral wire, this is a short circuit. It’s dangerous because it creates a lot of heat. That heat may start a fire. The circuit draws electricity, which trips the breaker. If an outlet feels hot right after a breaker trips, it may be due to a short circuit. 3. Ground Fault Surge A ground fault surge occurs when the hot wire touches the grounding wire. It causes...

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Why Upgrading to Electric Heating Makes Perfect Sense for Your Home

June 23, 2021

Understanding the best way to heat your home is important if you’re looking to save money while also hoping to stay comfortable in the cold winter months. Choosing to upgrade to electric heating is a great option for many homeowners due to its wide range of benefits. Reaching out to an AC/heating company that also provides professional electrician services in your area is always a smart idea to learn more about the many benefits of using electric heating for your house. Here are a few of the main advantages of upgrading to electric heating: 1. Electric Heating is Cost-Effective Upgrading to electric heating is an excellent investment that’s often more affordable than gas and oil heating. The costs of electric heating have remained stable for many years, and you won’t have to worry about any surprise expenses each month. You can also independently wire electric heaters from room to room, which gives you the flexibility to heat certain areas of your home to help keep costs to a minimum. 2. Electric Heating is Safe and Reliable Another advantage of electric heating is that it’s much safer and more reliable than other options. You will never have to worry about combustible...

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What Should I Do if a Home Circuit Breaker Won’t Reset?

June 9, 2021

Having a circuit breaker periodically trip is not an uncommon household problem, and homeowners in most circumstances can solve the issue on their own. They know where their circuit boxes are located and understand how to turn the given circuit back on. But what do you do if the circuit breaker won’t reset? This sort of problem can be due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes the situation can be easily corrected, but it might also require the services of a qualified local electrician for professional assistance. Here are some of the main causes a circuit breaker won’t reset. Circuit Overload An overloaded circuit is probably the most common reason for a tripped breaker. Fortunately, circuit overloads are much easier to fix compared to other problems. Usually, a circuit overload is due to external issues such as putting too many appliances on the same circuit. The simplest way to fix an overloaded circuit is to unplug the items that are drawing too much power and allow your circuit to cool down. Reducing the number of appliances on the circuit is essential to avoiding this problem in the future. Short Circuits Another common issue is a short circuit. This happens when...

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What’s The Difference Between a Circuit Breaker and a Fuse Box?

May 26, 2021

Most people eventually encounter an overloaded electrical circuit. Fortunately, fuse boxes and circuit breaker boxes protect our homes from electrical overload. It may not be obvious what the distinction is between them because they both perform the same function. Fuses and circuit breakers stop the flow of electricity during circuit overload, but they do it differently. How a Circuit Breaker Works Circuit breakers are essentially complex on/off switches. They use a metal strip paired with an electromagnet. If the current passing through the breaker increases too much, the magnetic force will push the metal strip away, interrupting the current. Circuit breakers have the advantage of being easy to switch back on to re-establish the electrical flow. However, it isn’t easy to replace a circuit breaker. That requires an electrician. They are also more expensive. Can I Replace a Circuit Breaker Myself? Although replacing a breaker as a DIY project is possible, it’s not a job that most homeowners should probably undertake. We instead recommend hiring a licensed, professional electrician like those available through GVEC’s Electrician services. We specialize in these kinds of replacement installations, and we’ll make sure the job is done correctly, professionally, quickly and safely for a price...

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Five Tips For Preventing Home Electrical Fires

May 19, 2021

Many of the 34,000-plus home electrical fires that happen across the U.S. each year could likely be prevented with correct safety measures in place. Thankfully, you don’t have to be an electrician to take steps to help safeguard your home against electrical fires. Learning how to care for electrical outlets and devices can help reduce the chances of electrical fire tragedies. 1. Avoid Overloading Electrical Outlets Extension cords are not a permanent solution. All the outlet circuits have a designated electric capacity, and overloading them with extension cords is a common cause of electrical fires. If you have several devices that need to be plugged in simultaneously, consider installing new outlets. Ensure the surge protectors you use have an internal circuit breaker to cut off power in case of electrical failure. 2. Get Rid of Older Appliances Using old appliances until they are out of service may seem like a good move, but it can be costly. Older, malfunctioning appliances not only use more electricity than newer models but are far more prone to electrical fires. When an appliance shows signs of wear, consider disposing of it and getting a newer, safer, more efficient model. 3. Use GFCI Outlets Near...

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GVEC’s Home Charger Installation Rebate

May 17, 2021

It’s no understatement to say that electric vehicle (EV) technology represents the transportation mode of the future. Don’t believe us? Consider These Facts About the EV Market Industry experts predict that most, if not all, new EVs will carry a lower sticker price than comparable vehicles powered with an internal combustion engine (ICE) by 2024. Electric vehicles won’t just be cheaper to buy, though, but also less expensive to own and maintain. This, according to experts, will drive EV sales to a point that they make up over half of all vehicles sold by 2040. Besides Price and Maintenance, What’s the Big Deal about Electric Vehicles? Besides the price advantage EVs will gain in coming years and their overall lower maintenance requirements, these vehicles have three other significant advantages over their ICE-powered counterparts: Electric Vehicles Make Less Noise Gasoline engines are large, complicated and noisy. They also require numerous auxiliary components to supplement and support their operation, creating additional noise and maintenance needs. EVs, on the other hand, are powered by extremely quiet, comparatively small electric motors that require far fewer auxiliary components. In fact, EVs are so quiet that the federal government has passed a rule requiring them to...

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Seven Signs Your Electrical System Needs To Be Replaced

April 19, 2021

Your La Vernia, TX, home’s electrical system is critical to your comfort and safety. After a few decades, certain parts of an electrical system can wear out, degrade or fail. A malfunctioning electrical system puts your safety at risk. Pay attention to these seven signs that it’s time to replace your electrical system. 1. Low Capacity If your electric panel was installed more than 25 years ago, it might not have enough capacity for today’s lifestyle. Most households include one or more large TVs, a router, a large refrigerator, computers, and smartphones that need charging or more power than older, smaller units from years ago. 2. Burning Smell A burning smell from a fixture or outlet is a warning sign. Your home’s wiring may be decaying and in need of replacement. 3. Tripped Breakers Breakers should only trip on a rare occasion. If you find yourself resetting a breaker every couple of days, your electrical system may need to be replaced. 4. Insufficient Outlets If your home doesn’t have enough outlets, you might rely on strips or extension cords. These devices could overload your home’s wiring. They’re also a tripping and fire hazard. 5. Hot Outlet or Panel Touch an...

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What is Recessed Lighting? Why Might I Want to Use It in My Home?

April 5, 2021

When your home needs better lighting, recessed lights are a smart selection. You can install them as a retrofit or when you’re remodeling, putting on an addition, or building a new home. Before you decide on this type of lighting, here are a few things to keep in mind. What Is Recessed Lighting? Recessed light is a lighting fixture installed into a hollow area of a ceiling. When the light is turned on, it brightens in a downward and straight direction. This is similar to how a spotlight brightens a specific object. These lights typically have cylindrical housing, which is why they are sometimes called canned lights. These lights are energy-efficient, but once the fixture is installed into a ceiling, it will most likely remain there permanently. Reasons to Use Recessed Lights Recessed lights take up less space. You don’t need a lot of area to install them. They can also light up the walls, which can make a small room look bigger. They do this with a built-in directional reflector in the fixture. If you want to highlight a particular wall, such as one with detailed woodwork or a fireplace, you can aim the recessed lights at it. Regarded...

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Why Tamper Resistant Outlets Are a better Option for Child Proofing Electrical Outlets

March 22, 2021

Experts estimate that around 2,400 children a year get an electric shock or burn by sticking something metallic in an outlet. Most rooms in the average home have electrical outlets, and many have outlets in every room. Young, curious children face electrical hazards virtually anywhere in the home. You should consider making each outlet tamper-resistant. What Is a Tamper Resistant Outlet? A tamper-resistant outlet has spring-loaded shutter plates that block the socket openings. You insert a plug into the outlet by using pressure. You have to apply pressure to both openings at the same time. This protects kids from pushing a paperclip, other metallic objects, or anything else into the socket. Homes built after 2008 are required to have tamper-resistant outlets. Older outlets can be upgraded. Are They Better Than Other Child Proofing Products? There are other ways to childproof outlets, but they’re not as convenient. For example, receptacle caps are an option, but they have to be removed whenever you want to use the outlet. Caps can provide an effective barrier to curious young hands, but they can also be difficult for adults to remove; plus, they present a potential choking hazard. You can also get sliding receptacle covers....

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