These are a few of our more frequently asked questions. Our website is a terrific way to get an initial feel for us, but it doesn't replace a conversation! We would love to hear from you! If you are in the middle of something and need help, or if you are just in the dreaming stages, we are here to help. ~TM & KM
Can I do my own electrical work?
I would encourage homeowners to consider the safety of their family and protection of their home first and foremost when asking this question. Now there are certain scopes of work that you most certainly can do yourself, however if you are slightly uncertain of your skill level then it’s absolutely the right decision to call an electrician. Most electrical work requires a permit followed by an electrical inspection. The homeowner may obtain the permit themselves if they feel they are capable of performing the work, however only the actual homeowner is allowed to do the work under this permit. You cannot hire a journeyman or apprentice electrician to perform this work, it must be performed by either the homeowner, or an electrical contractor. Feel free to call if you have any questions regarding this as it may get a bit confusing and remember we do free estimates!
When is the right time to call my electrician?
Anytime, no seriously, anytime you have a question or concern about electricity is the right time to call. It could be when you have something as hazardous as smoke coming from an outlet, or as simple as a breaker that you’ve had to reset a few times. Lights flickering, too many cords, resetting of GFCI’s, these are all very common examples of calls we get all the time.
Does my home have enough power?
Good question and one we hear often. The minimum required by Puget Sound Energy to a single family dwelling is 200amp. If you have a 100amp, 125amp, or any size under 200amps you should consider in the near future of upgrading your electrical service to 200amps. With all the new technology, electronics, and appliances these days we are consistently visiting houses that are under equipped to handle the current electrical load running in their homes. We recommend haven an even load distributed through your home. The electrical panels we install come with lots of extra circuit breaker spaces to accommodate any future electrical installations that will require additional circuits. Installing a new 200amp electrical service is not a job for anyone besides a qualified electrician.
Do I need GFCI protection?
Absolutely, ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are there for you and your family’s protection against electrocution. The smallest detection of electricity leaking to ground will trip the GFCI into the off position and shut the circuit or outlet down preventing any harm to your family. The areas in your home that require GFCI protection are as follows: kitchen countertops, bathrooms, unfinished basements, garages, washers, exterior outlets, hot tubs, and any area where an outlet comes within six feet of a sink. We also recommend additional areas where electricity and water could come into contact. Methods of GFCI protection are commonly provided by either a GFCI outlet or a breaker in the fuse box that supplies GFCI protection down the entire circuit.
Arc Fault Breakers, what are they?
Standard breakers are meant to trip when an arc (spark) or short circuit is present. However the thresholds of these limits are quite high and someone could get hurt. Arc Fault breakers will trip and shut off the electricity to the entire circuit at a very small fraction of detected arc compared to standard breakers. This is another step in the evolution of electrical safety and probably the greatest in quite a while dating all the way back to the implication of GFCI protection. Initially we were required to arc fault protect bedrooms. Years later it was all lighting circuits. Now days it’s all 120 volt 15 and 20 amp circuits besides bathrooms, attics, crawl spaces, exteriors, and garages. In the near future we soon expect to see arc fault protection required on all circuits.
I'm curious, how much will the work cost?
Some customers are just interested in what an hourly rate is. Most customers over the years have learned through trial and error that some companies have a low hourly rate but didn’t realize they would take twice as long to complete the job as other companies. We prefer to rely on our experienced electrical estimators to access the scope of the job and provide an accurate quote based on the customers electrical needs. We would like to come out and meet you in person and hear your needs and let you know exactly what the cost will be. Please call us to set up your free personalized on site estimate.
How can you help me with surge protection?
Your electronics are valuable, let us help you protect them. We offer surge protection for single appliances/electronics. Our best value comes at the whole house surge protector. We can protect each wire, appliance, and electronic from spikes in the power grid or voltage fluctuation from your emergency backup generator. Feel at ease with a top of the line surge protector safeguarding all your electronics that you rely on.