The Technicians of True Tech, here to service and repair your plumbing, furnace, air conditioning, & electrical issues in Oklahoma City OK
405-802-8783
2224 S Air Depot Oklahoma City, OK 73110

Electrical Answers | FAQs


 
Click one of the links below for helpful information
 
Lighting Problems Power Problems General

Professional Technician Tools



For the true electrical enthusiast check out the electrical conversion table.
 
If this information does not cover your specific situation you can ask a Master Electrician your question.
 

Get the Best Electrician for a Great Price

 

Hiring the right electrician can make a big difference in the price and quality of your job. Before you hire any electrician, we suggest that you ask them the eight questions listed above.

 

At True Tech Electric, we’ll say YES to every question, and we’ll also do our best to help you make an informed decision about any electrical work you may need. Please feel free to call us any time.

Don't Be Blue, Call TRUE Today!

405-802-8783


Circuit Breaker Tripping Off
 FPE Breakers

A circuit breaker is designed to trip off when it detects too much power running through the wire it's protecting. There are three main reasons circuit breakers trip off:

1.  There is a short circuit.

2.  There is an overloaded circuit.

3.  The circuit breaker is broken.
 
 

Short Circuits
Short circuits occur when two electrical wires accidentally touch each other. A short circuit will immediately cause one of your circuit breakers to trip off or one of your fuses to blow.

To fix a short circuit, ask yourself this question: "What was happening right before the short circuit?" If you had just plugged something into a receptacle (outlet) or turned on a light or an appliance, then this gives you a clue as to what just caused the short.

If you just plugged in an iron, for instance, you can simply unplug the iron and then re-set the circuit  breaker or replace the fuse. If everything is now OK, then your electrical system is fine — and it's time to get a new iron!

If, however, you can't find anything plugged in which is causing the problem, then it's time to call a good electrician to locate and repair your short circuit.
 
 
Overloaded Circuit
Overloaded circuits occur when too much power is running through an electrical wire. To protect the wire, the circuit breaker does its job by detecting the overload and tripping off. The solution to this problem is to remove some of the things that are connected to the overloaded wires and add another set of wires to bring power to them. For this you'll need a good electrician. 
 
 

Broken Circuit Breaker
Sometimes circuit breakers just wear out and need to be replaced. A knowledgeable home owner with electrical skills can do the job. Otherwise, call True Tech Electric.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

Back to Top


Refrigerator Power

If the power goes out to your refrigerator or freezer you need to fix it fast! Here are two tips to help you quickly restore power:

1.  If your refrigerator is plugged into a GFI receptacle, you can re-set the GFI and see if you now have power. If this works, that's great! Now that it's working again you should make arrangements to replace the GFI with a regular receptacle as soon as possible.

Refrigerators should never be plugged into a GFI receptacle because GFIs are very sensitive, and you don't want to be on vacation and lose power to your refrigerator just because the GFI accidentally shut off. So if your refrigerator is plugged into a GFI receptacle, you should replace the GFI with a regular receptacle.

2.  If you can't restore power to the receptacle that your refrigerator is plugged into, you should call an electrician who is good at troubleshooting to locate and fix the problem. But while you're waiting for the electrician to arrive, you can plug the refrigerator into a heavy-duty extension cord and plug it in to a receptacle that has power.

This will keep your food cold and safe until your electrician arrives.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.
 


Dimmers

You night notice that sometimes a dimmer seem warm when you touch it. The good news is, THIS IS NORMAL. Dimmers naturally get warm when they are in use, especially if there is more than one dimmer in the same location.

However, if a dimmer is REALLY warm or hot to the touch, this indicates a safety problem, and you should call an electrician who is knowledgeable about lighting issues.

Dimmer Warning - Two things to be careful about with dimmers:

1.  Never connect a regular dimmer to low-voltage lights, paddle fans, or any kind or motor. These devices require special dimmers.

2.  Never exceed the recommended wattage of the dimmer. Regular dimmers are rated for a maximum of 600 Watts. This is equal to ten 60-Watt light bulbs, or 6 one 100-Watt bulbs.

NOTE:  You can also buy higher-wattage dimmers for connecting more than 600 Watts to one dimmer.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.
 


GFI

According to the National Electrical Code, in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages, or any area in which water may be present, instead of regular receptacles, GFI receptacles should be used. These are for your safety.

The idea of a GFI receptacle is that if there is the slightest electrical problem with anything plugged into it, the GFI will immediately shut off the power. This is a great safety feature, and once you unplug the electrical device that caused the problem, you can press the "Reset" button on the GFI to restore power.

When you lose power to a receptacle in a kitchen, bathroom, garage, and outdoor area, check to see if it's a GFI receptacle. If it is, press the "TEST" button, then press the "RESET" button.

Hint — Sometimes, you may have a receptacle that is located in a kitchen, bathroom, garage, or outdoor area which has no power which is not a GFI. However, even though it looks like a regular receptacle, it can still be "protected" by another GFI that has tripped off somewhere else. The only way to check for this, is to go into your  kitchen, bathroom, garage, and outdoor areas to make sure all the GFIs are working properly.

More Technical Stuff About GFIs

A GFI receptacle (also called a GFCI receptacle) is an electronic device that can measure small differences in power as little as 3ma (which is a very small amount). When it detects more power coming in from the “hot” side than going out from the neutral side, it will shut off. This is a good thing because that extra electricity has to go somewhere, and that might be to you or your family.

All GFI receptacles should be tested monthly. This is done by pressing the “TEST” button. If pressing the “TEST” button does not make the button labeled “RESET” pop out, then call an electrician. If the “RESET” button does  pop, the outlet is OK. Press the “RESET” button back in to reset the outlet.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

Back to Top


Smoke Detectors   

Smoke Detectors are great safety devices, but once in a while a smoke detector will start "chirping" or worse, give out a non-stop alarm for no reason. Here's a tip on what to do if this happens to you.

If it's a battery powered smoke detector, take out the battery.

If it's a 120 Volt powered smoke detector, turn off your circuit breakers one by one until the noise stops. Then turn on all the circuit breakers again except the one controlling the smoke detector.

You will then need to replace the 120 Volt smoke detector or, if it is a battery powered smoke detector, replace the battery.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

Back to Top


Garbage Disposal Power

If your garbage disposal stops working you should:

1.  Clear out anything inside the garbage disposal which might be jamming up the motor and stopping it from working.

2.  Briefly flip on the switch to the garbage disposal. Do you hear a humming noise? If you do, then there is power going to the disposal and the problem is that the disposal is broken or there is something stuck in it.

3.  If you turn on the switch to the garbage disposal and you do not hear any humming noise, locate the small button that is somewhere on the disposal and press it to "re-set" the disposal. Then try turning on the disposal again.

4.  Finally, try re-setting all the circuit breakers in your electrical panel to see if you can get power back. To learn how to do this go to How to Reset Circuit Breakers.

If none of this works, it's time to call True Tech Electric.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

Back to Top


Fuses

When a fuse detects too much power running through a wire, a tiny piece of metal inside the fuse will break, thereby stopping the power from continuing to run through the wire.

When the top of the fuse is made of glass, many people think that they can look at the metal piece inside and see if it is broken. THIS IS NOT ALWAYS TRUE.

The best way to handle a suspected blown fuse is to simply replace it. If the power comes back on, great! If it doesn't, then you should call an electrician who is good at troubleshooting.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

Back to Top


Telephone Power 
  
When power goes out in your home, remember, YOUR CORDLESS PHONE WILL NOT WORK IF THE PHONE'S BASE UNIT HAS NO POWER. However, if this happens you can still use any telephone that is plugged directly into the wall.

Back to Top


Whole House Surge Protector

The need for surge protection has increased dramatically. This is because many electronic devices can be damaged by surges. Electronic devices sensitive to power surges occur in: security systems, computers, printers, FAX machines, telephones, small appliances, microwave ovens, refrigerators, stereos, garage door openers, and low voltage lighting systems.

Anytime there is a power outage, there is the possibility of a power surge upon turning the power back on. Unfortunately, the cost of replacing electronic components can be monumental.

Finally there is a solution to the problem: "whole house" surge protection. Whole house surge protection is now available to the general public at a reasonable cost. Call our In-House Technician and he'll be glad to discuss whether installing a whole house surge protector would be a good option for you.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

Back to Top


Lead Based Paint

Before 1978, most paint used in houses contained lead. The older the house, the more lead. Any time a hole of any size is made in a wall or ceiling during construction, there is the very real potential for lead contamination.

It's important that your electrical contractor be trained in Lead-Based Paint Protection. To work in any home built before 1978, all electrical contractors must be qualified as a "Trained Lead-Safe Worker". Most contractors are not aware of this law and are not legally qualified. Always ask your electrical contractor if he or she is qualified as a "Trained Lead-Safe Worker".

Back to Top


Energy Savings

Wasted energy translates into carbon dioxide production, air pollution, acid rain, and lots of money down the drain. The average American household, which spends more than $1,100 per year on energy bills, can often shave 50% off these bills by choosing appliances wisely.

For example, simply replacing a 20-year-old refrigerator with a new energy-efficient model will save you about $85 per year in electric bills and reduce your home's carbon dioxide contribution by about a ton per year (which reduces global warming).

While energy efficient appliances may be slightly more expensive, the extra up-front cost will be paid back through reduced energy bills long before the product wears out.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic development and environmental protection. Every year they publish The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings, an invaluable guide listing the most efficient energy use. Dimmers, ceiling fans and updated appliances are ways that you can save energy.
Back to Top

 


Power Problems

Receptacles Controlled by Switches

In some homes and offices, instead of lights on the ceiling, there are receptacles (outlets) on the wall that are controlled by a light switch near the entrance to the room. The idea is that floor or desk lamps are plugged into the receptacle, and the receptacle can be turned on or off with the light switch by the door.

So if a device that is plugged into a receptacle has no power, the first thing to do is simply turn on all the light switches in the room. Sometimes the device will immediately come on, which means that it's controlled by the switch on the wall.

Hint—A receptacle usually has two places to plug things into it. Sometimes one is permanently energized and the other is controlled by a switch by the door. This is known as a 'half-hot' receptacle.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

Back to Top


GFI Receptacles

In any location where there may be moisture (like kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and outdoors) special receptacles (outlets) are used for safety. These are called GFIs. The idea of a GFI receptacle is that with the slightest electrical problem, the GFI immediately shuts off the power. This is a great safety feature, and once you unplug the electrical device that caused the problem, you can press the "RESET" button on the GFI to restore power.

When you lose power to a receptacle in a kitchen, bathroom, garage, and outdoor area, check to see if it's a GFI receptacle. There's one pictured on this page. If it's a GFI, press the "TEST" button, then press the "RESET" button.

Hint—Sometimes, you may have a receptacle that is located in a kitchen, bathroom, garage, or outdoor area which has no power which is not a GFI. However, it may be "protected" by another GFI that has tripped off somewhere else. You can check for this situation by making sure that all the GFIs in your kitchen, bathroom, garage, and outdoor areas are working properly.

More Technical Stuff About GFIs

A GFI receptacle (also called a GFCI receptacle) is an electronic device that can measure small differences in power as little as 3ma (which is a very small amount). When it detects more power coming in from the “hot” side than going out from the neutral side, it will shut off. This is a good thing because that extra electricity has to go somewhere, and that might be to you or your family.

All GFI receptacles should be tested monthly. This is done by pressing the “TEST” button. If pressing the “TEST” button does not make the button labeled “RESET” pop out, then call an electrician. If the “RESET” button does pop, the outlet is OK. Press the “RESET” button back in to reset the outlet.

Back to Top


Circuit Breaker Tripped Off

How to Re-set a Circuit Breaker

The first thing to understand is that a circuit breaker can tripped off even when it still looks like it's set to the "ON" position. This is because when a circuit breaker shuts off it can sometimes trip off internally, without the On/Off handle actually flipping to the "OFF" position. Breakers trip for a reason so make sure you know why it tripped before reseting it and get the problem corrected first. So this is what you do when you have a loss of power that you suspect may be caused by a tripped circuit breaker.

1.  Shut down any computer equipment that may be effected by a loss of power.
2.  Go to your circuit breaker panel and firmly flip the first breaker OFF and then back ON again.
3.  Do the same thing with each circuit breaker until you have flipped all of the circuit breakers OFF and then back ON again.
4.  Now go check and see whatever didn't have power in now back on again.

If your power has been restored... You're done!  If your power is still out, it's time to call True Tech Electric.
Note: About 25% of all electrical power problems can be solved using the above technique. Good Luck!

More Technical Stuff About Circuit Breakers

Inside most circuit breakers there are two types of protection: One is thermal.  The other is magnetic. The thermal strip measures heat buildup caused by overloading. When it reaches a certain temperature, it will shut off the breaker. The magnetic coil measures sudden increases in current (such as a short).  At a predetermined limit it will shut the breaker off. Older breakers sometimes only have one of these features. To have maximum protection, a breaker with both types of protection is recommended.

There are usually three spots on the outside of a breaker that show wear. The on/off switch is located at the top, and if it is broken off or loose, we recommend the breaker be replaced. Next is the load lug. If it is burnt or abnormally loose, we recommend the breaker be replaced. Last, and most common, is the stab. The breaker stab is what makes contact with the busing in the panel (the buss carries the power throughout the panel). The stab connects to the buss through friction and spring tension. The spring tension, over time, may break down and if so arcing or burning may result. If the stab has become burnt, discolored, or is abnormally loose we recommend the breaker be replaced. Also if the stab is burnt or discolored it is also a good idea to have the buss in the panel checked.

NOTE: It is possible for a breaker to appear “OK” based upon its outward appearance and by the fact that it continues to carry continuity, but still be questionable, bad, or intermittent etc. The opposite may be true as well, a breaker with a poor outward appearance may be perfectly safe and structurally sound. Therefore a decision to replace or not to replace a breaker should not be based solely on appearance, continuity, age etc. All factors should be considered in determining the proper course of action to take.

Back to Top


Short Circuits
Short Circuits occur when two electrical wires accidentally touch each other. A short circuit will immediately cause one of your circuit breakers to trip off or one of your fuses to blow.

To fix a short circuit, ask yourself this question: "What was happening right before the short circuit?" If you had just plugged something into a receptacle (outlet) or turned on a light or an appliance, then this gives you a clue as to what just caused the short.

If you just plugged in an iron, for instance, you can simply unplug the iron and then re-set the circuit  breaker or replace the fuse. If everything is now OK, then your electrical system is fine—and it's  time to get a new iron!

If, however, you can't find anything plugged in which is causing the problem, then it's time to call a good electrician to locate and repair your short circuit.

Back to Top

 

No Power At All 
When nothing works in the entire building this means:

A.  The electrical power from the utility company is not getting to your  electrical panel. Call the utility company.

B.  The electrical power from the utility company is not getting to ANY BODY'S  electrical panel. Wait for the utility company to restore power.

C.  Your main circuit breaker is broken or turned off. Try to re-set the circuit breaker.

D.  All your circuit breakers are flipped off. Re-set all breakers.

E.  Something else. Time to call True Tech Electric.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.
 


Lighting Problems

Lights Not Turning On
Lights don't turn on for six basic reasons:

1.  The bulb is bad. This is more common than one might think. Try replacing a questionable light bulb with a new one. If that doesn't work, before giving up, try using a bulb from another light fixture that you KNOW is working.

2.  The switch to the light is bad. The switch will need to be replaced.

3.  The light fixture is broken. Usually it is easier and less expensive to simply replace the light fixture. However, many light fixtures can be repaired if this is desired by the owner.

4.  No power. Please go to the No Power section.

5.  Time clock for the light is broken or not set for the correct time. Re-set the time on the clock or replace the broken time clock.

6.  If the light fixture is activated by a photo-cell, the photo-cell is either out of adjustment or broken. Adjust or replace photo-cell.

7.  Fluorescent, Mercury-Vapor, or High-Pressure-Sodium Lights. These kinds of light fixtures all use an electrical ballast to energize their special light bulbs. If the light is humming loudly or has an "electrical odor" or if the light just doesn't turn on, the ballast may need to be replaced.

Back to Top


Lights Not Turning Off
Here are reasons lights don't turn off:

1.  The switch to the light fixture is broken. Replace the switch.

2.  The time clock for the light is broken or out of adjustment. Set the time clock to the right time. If it won't stay adjusted, replace it.

3.  If the light fixture is activated by a photo-cell, the photo-cell is either out of adjustment or broken. Adjust or replace photo-cell.

Back to Top


Lights Blinking On and Off
There are two main reasons for lights blinking on and off:

1.  A photo cell-is out of adjustment. Adjust photo-cell.

2.  Some light fixtures that are recessed into the ceiling have a built-in thermal protector that automatically shuts off the light when the light fixture gets too hot. Use a lower wattage bulb for a lower temperature.

Back to Top


Flickering Fluorescent Lights
There are three reasons fluorescent lights sometimes flicker:

1.  For a few moments when they first turn on, the bulbs will flicker until they warm up. You will notice this more on colder days. Just wait a few moments for the bulbs to warm up.

2.  The fluorescent bulbs are old. Replace them.

3.  The fluorescent ballast is old. Replace it.
 
If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

Back to Top


Bulbs Burning Out Too Quickly

Here are several reasons this can happen:

1.  The wattage of the bulb is too high. This is very common. Most light fixtures with glass covers have a maximum rating of 60 watts per bulb. It is very common for people to put in 75 watt or even 100 watt bulbs into these fixtures. The result is bulbs burning out much too quickly. Use the correct wattage bulbs in all your light fixtures.

2.  Poor-quality lights bulbs. Use only major-brand light bulbs.
 
3.  Voltage to your home may be too high. If your voltage is over 120 volts you may want to try using 130 volt light bulbs. They may burn dimmer but should last longer with the elevated voltage.
 
4.  Mysterious light fixture problem. It's mysterious because the light fixture LOOKS perfectly fine, and even electricians can't find anything wrong with it. Nevertheless, after checking #1 and #2 above, if the bulbs keep burning out... Replace the light fixture.
 
5. Use a dimmer on the problem bulbs. If you use a preset dimmer at 80% light output then you should see an increase in bulb life of over 2 times the rated life and you will use less energy.
 

Back to Top


Humming Lights
Humming lights can be caused by:

1.  Bad ballast or bad transformer. Replace the ballast or transformer.

2.  A conflict between the low voltage dimmer and the low voltage light fixture it controls. This is a tough one, but sometimes experimenting with several dimmers will eventually lead you to one that does not make the low voltage light transformer hum.

Back to Top


Lights Dimming
Lights will sometimes dim for a few seconds and then come back to complete brightness again. This can happen when a light is connected to the same wires that provide power to something that takes a lot of power, like a refrigerator, a microwave oven, or an air conditioner.

If this information doesn't help, schedule a professional technician to test and evaluate your system today.
For more help on your specific problem ask a Master Electrician your question.

 
 
 
 
 
 
This site caters to individuals looking for electric and electrical contracting services in Oklahoma City and Edmond Oklahoma.  True Tech Electric specializes in Oklahoma City, Electricians, Electric, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Electrical Contractors, Oklahoma City Electrical Contractors, Oklahoma Electric Contractors, North Oklahoma City, South Oklahoma City, West Oklahoma City, East Oklahoma City, True-Tech electric, Tru Tec electric, Electrical Contractors, Oklahoma City Electrician, Oklahoma City Electricians, truetechelectric.com, True Blue Electric, True Tech, Oklahoma-Electrician, True Tech Electric is an electrical contractor servicing all electrical equipment and installations. True Tech is located in Oklahoma City OK and services Edmond OK, Norman OK, Moore OK, Midwest City OK, Del City OK, Mustang OK, Yukon OK, Choctaw OK, Nicoma Park OK, Harrah OK, Nichols Hills OK, Spencer OK, Bethany OK, Forest Park OK, McLoud OK, Newalla OK, Nicoma Park OK, The Village OK, Valley Brook OK and Warr Acres OK. True Tech Electric Is Based In Oklahoma City Electrician in Oklahoma City OK Electrical Contractor. Electrician in Oklahoma City, Electricians In Oklahoma City Oklahoma
 
The Technicians of True Tech, here to service and repair your plumbing, furnace, air conditioning, & electrical issues in Oklahoma City OK

2224 S Air Depot
Oklahoma City, OK 73110
405-802-8783
State Licenses:
Electrical 44583
Mechanical 4935
Plumbing 59305

True Tech Home Services, Electric Contractors, Midwest City OK