Electricians exist because of problems with your electrical system. But not every problem requires an electrician to come to your house for a service visit. Often, a simple phone call and a few questions can fix the problem! Troubleshooting common power problems like this not only lets you get on with your life, but it saves time and money! Not every electrician is willing to tell you this, of course. Too many electricians, even legitimate ones, are motivated only by the money they can get from piling on charges from a service call, instead of being interested in helping their customers. Customer service and caring for families’ situations are more important than money. Remember that gets you better friends, employees, and customers. I really do wish more electricians remembered that. Having said that, here are some of the most common problems I solve without scheduling a service appointment and have successfully helped repair over the phone:
My Air Conditioner’s Not Working!
This is always one of the most frustrating problems you can have with your electrical system, and it’s hard to think of anything worse than being stuck going an extended period of time without your air conditioner in the middle of the summer. Your air conditioner or heater is a very complicated system, so there are a number of things that could be causing the failure.
- One of the most common reasons an air conditioner stops working is because the circuit breaker it’s on was tripped by an incoming power surge; this can be fixed over the phone!
If the problem is more complex, a good-hearted electrician can still walk you through a number of steps to determine whether the problem requires an electrician or an AC technician to repair.
My Outside Outlets Aren't Working!
I get this call at least once every Christmas when people putting up their Christmas lights discover that they can’t get anything plugged into an outside outlet to work. Again, calling a Dallas electrician saves time and money in the long run. As I mentioned in one of the other articles available here, external outlets are fitted with a GFCI for safety reasons. (And if they aren’t, they should be!)
- If the GFCI has tripped, none of the external outlets will work until the GFCI is reset.
- The GFCI which controls external outlets is located inside, often on the wall of your garage. Many times a homeowner doesn’t even realize what it does or where it is, and proceeds to stack boxes or tools right in front of it!
- Resetting the GFCI can be done by anyone, and an electrician doesn’t need to be in your garage to help you locate the GFCI.
The Ceiling Fan I Installed Isn't Working!
Most ceiling fans have four connections (wires) that hook them into the wiring in your ceiling, which has 3 leads. So which wire gets hooked up to which lead? When you combine that with instructions that are usually insufficient, poorly translated, or just plain confusing, it’s not really a surprise that people have so much trouble with the installation. A good electrician should always be willing to explain over the phone what to connect where and in what order (and yes, order DOES matter in electrical installations).
The Lights On My Ceiling Fan Flicker!
This is almost always something that can be fixed without a home visit. As strange as this may sound, the problem isn’t generally with your wiring or electrical system; the problem is light bulbs.
- Many ceiling fans have been installed on lighting dimmers, which do NOT work with compact fluorescent bulbs; the reduced current causes them to flicker, not dim.
- Putting an incandescent bulb in the socket can fix the problem immediately!
- Also, ceiling fans should not be installed on lighting dimmers but on a three-speed fan dimmer or single pole switch. A separate switch should be supplied if you want to control the light from a dimmer.
For more information and other tips Electric Man to the rescue. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call!