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The Most Common Home Electrical Questions Answered


Our Northeast Florida homeowners are definitely the curious type! We love hearing and answering all the electrical questions they have, but a few stand out from the rest. Here are some of the most common electrical questions we get, along with our answers.

Why is My Utility Bill so High? 

You can often lower your utility bill by simply changing some daily habits:

  • Turn off or unplug appliances that aren't being used.
  • Replace older appliances with energy-efficient ones.
  • Adjust or program your thermostat to come on when you're at home and turn off or down when the house is empty.

You might also want to consider installing alternative sources of energy such as solar panels or using smart lighting which can considerably reduce your energy costs.

Why Do Light Bulbs Burn Out So Frequently? 

Of course, light bulbs don't burn forever, but if you're replacing them more frequently than you should be, the cause could be the fixture itself or a problem in the circuit. An electrician can check if the supply voltage to your home is too great or if there's a short circuit to blame. Other causes for a short bulb lifespan include excessive fixture vibration, a depressed socket tab, using the wrong type of bulb for the fixture, or a loose connection.

Why Do My Lights Flicker? 

Loose wiring is the most common cause of flickering lights, but it could also be a faulty switch or the wrong bulb. More serious electrical issues that cause lights to flicker are:

  • A sensory overload on a circuit.
  • Voltage fluctuations.
  • If lights are flickering throughout the house, the likely culprits are the meter box or main service cable connection.

Though it could be caused by something that can be easily fixed, never ignore a problem with flickering lights as it might be a sign of a bigger electrical problem.

Why Does My Circuit Breaker Trip? 

Circuit breakers control and protect your home's electrical system. They "trip" when too much electricity flows through them or when they can't handle the excess current load. The electrical flow is then cut off to keep the circuits from causing more damage. If your circuit breakers continually trip, there are three reasons why it could be happening:

  1. Circuit overloads happen when you're trying to draw more electricity from a circuit than it can handle. The solution is to redistribute your electrical devices to multiple circuits.
  2. Short circuits occur when a "hot" wire comes into contact with a neutral one in one of your home's electrical outlets. They can be caused by faulty wiring or a loose connection. Signs include a burning smell and discoloration around the outlet.
  3. Ground fault surges, like short circuits, occur when a hot wire comes into contact with a ground wire that's made of copper or the side of a metal outlet box. When this happens, it's time to call in a professional to investigate the problem.

Learn More

We hope we answered one or more of your home electrical questions. If you'd like to learn more, or to schedule a home electrical inspection, talk to one of our qualified electricians today. You can contact David Gray Electrical Services online or call us at (904) 605-8190.