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Information and Tips

15 amp circuits are rated for a maximum of 1800 watts. Most irons available in today's market range from 1000 to 1400 watts, or more. Whenever you are using over 50% of any circuit, dimming of lights may occur - this is common. As a rule, the maximum continuous wattage is at 80% of the circuit's rating.

Categories:
Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, Troubleshooting

Used mainly in kitchen, nook, dining, and bathrooms, 20 amp circuits are rated for a maximum of 2400 watts. Most vacuum cleaners use 12 to 18 amps, or 1440 to 2160 watts, depending on the style of the vacuum cleaner. This will cause lights to dim. When using the power head attachment, any binding up will trip most breakers. If you did not purchase a dedicated circuit for your vacuum cleaner, we recommend you use the bathroom, dining room, nook, or kitchen outlets.

Categories:
Appliances and Devices, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, Interior Electrical

When using these types of outlets, we recommend the following two-step procedure: Line up the cord cap and then with one quick motion push all the way in. These types of outlets are initially very tight and require equal pressure when plugging something into it.

Categories:
Industry Updates, Interior Electrical, Outlets and Switches, Safety

Outlet and lighting circuits in bedrooms and surrounding rooms may be controlled by an arc fault circuit breaker. Arc fault breakers should be checked for proper function by following these steps:

  • Push the test button on the breaker
  • Reset it by flipping the circuit breaker to the full off position and then back on.

Arc fault circuit breakers are designed to trip when an arc is sensed, eliminating potentially unsafe conditions.

Unfortunately, occassionally, normal arcs from motor loads, such as vacuum cleaners, or the plugging or unplugging of appliances, may cause the arc fault circuit breaker to trip. If this happens you may want to locate outlets not controlled by arc fault circuit breakers for these appliances.

Categories:
Appliances and Devices, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, Interior Electrical, Outlets and Switches, Troubleshooting

When testing an arc fault circuit breaker, unplug anything that is on the circuit. Press and hold the test button. If it trips within two seconds there may be a problem with the circuit. Contact New Electric for service. If the circuit breaker holds for five seconds or longer, the circuit is clear. Remember we warranty the circuit only. We do not cover items plugged into the circuit. Before you contact us for service please unplug all items and test again to verify that the problem is with the circuit.

Categories:
Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, How-To / Instructions, Interior Electrical, Outlets and Switches, Troubleshooting

When replacing light bulbs, turn off the switch first, and be sure to replace with a bulb rated within the fixture's acceptable wattage rating. Make certain the bulbs are screwed in completely and securely. If replacing a bulb that appears to not work, try the bulb in place of a working bulb to make sure it is good. New bulbs can be bad due to manufacturing distribution and the shelf life of a bulb.

Categories:
How-To / Instructions, Interior Electrical, Lighting, Troubleshooting

Although they claim to have a longer life span, they can and will burn out -- some sooner than others. If this happens, always try to replace with the same model or name brand. All CFL's put out a different light.  CFL bulbs are not dimmable.

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Categories:
Industry Updates, Interior Electrical, Lighting

A standard coffee maker will not cause any problems. However some of the newer single cup coffee makers (Keurig) draw 1850 watts (15.5 amps). This can easily create a problem in the kitchen if using more than one appliance. All kitchens have two separate 20 amp circuits. See below for recommendations:

  • Solution 1: Try to plug a high current drawing coffee pot into one of the two circuits that is not using any other appliances.
  • Solution 2: Purchase a 20 AMP dedicated circuit for an appliance carport to power all your high end appliances.
Categories:
Appliances and Devices, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Interior Electrical, Product Updates, Troubleshooting

Newer computers are now drawing up to 1000 watts (8.5 amps). A copier or printer with scanner can draw 1200 watts (10 amps). Even a small laser printer may draw 650 watts (5.5 amps). Any combination of the above can cause a breaker to trip. See below for recommendations:

  • Solution 1: Limit how many items you are using at any time.
  • Solution 2: If you are planning on having a home office, consider purchasing at least one 20 amp circuit.
Categories:
Appliances and Devices, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Interior Electrical, Product Updates, Troubleshooting

Dimming lights may be noted when an appliance or large load is utilized on a lighting circuit. Common loads of this nature are vacuum cleaners, irons, blow dryers, copy machines, and printers. This dimming may be noticed until the load has been turned off.

When an air conditioning unit turns on you may also experience a momentary dimming of lights until the unit has fully started.

Categories:
Air Conditioning, Appliances and Devices, Electrical System Components, Lighting, Troubleshooting

The eye of the photocell must be maintained by cleaning with a mild nonabrasive solution or vinegar and water. Photocells are mounted close to the fixture, out of direct sunlight.

Categories:
Electrical System Components, Lighting

During the Holiday seasons, many homeowners install various types of decorations that do require electrical receptacles to operate (Eve lighting and yard decorations, for example). Be sure to verify the wattages of the lamps and the voltage that the decorations will require, as this may cause the Master GFCI Device (which is generally located in the garage) to trip from time to time, necessitating a reset. It is recommended to supply a dedicated circuit for Holiday Receptacles to maintain the voltage requirements.

Categories:
Electrical System Components, Exterior Electrical, GFI-GFCI, Lighting

If your garage door is not working, locate the GFI device in your garage and press the reset button. This happens due to using a new motor. Until the motor breaks in this may happen more than once.

Categories:
Appliances and Devices, GFI-GFCI, Industry Updates, Troubleshooting
  1. Turn all lower breakers to the off position.
  2. Turn the main breaker, located at the top of the panel, to the on position.
  3. Turn all remaining breakers to the on position.
  4. If a breaker switch does not stay in the on position, turn the breaker switch to the off position and try resetting it to the on position. If the breaker still does not remain in the on position, turn the breaker switch to the off position and determine if the appliance you are using has overloaded the circuit.
Categories:
Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, How-To / Instructions, Troubleshooting

To reset a breaker, move the breaker's switch to the full off position and then back to on.  If the breaker continues to release and will not stay on the on positon, turn the breaker switch to the off position and determine if the appliance you are using has overloaded the circuit. If the problem persists, unplug all items on the circuit, turn off all switches, and try resetting. If the breaker resets, plug the items back in and turn on switches one at a time to determine the source of the problem.

Categories:
Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, How-To / Instructions, Troubleshooting

Homeowners should test / reset all GFCI outlets on a bi-annual basis by pushing the Test button and then the Reset button on all GFCI outlets. If you find that the GFCI outlet has tripped and will not reset, verify that the breaker to the circuit is not tripped. Typically, exterior outlets and garage outlets are controlled by the master GFCI, which is located in the garage. Bathroom outlets are controlled by a master GFCI in a bathroom. Kitchen counter outlets are controlled by one of two master GFCI's, located in the kitchen.

Categories:
Bathroom, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, Exterior Electrical, GFI-GFCI, How-To / Instructions, Interior Electrical, Kitchen

All kitchen counters have two 20 amp GFI protected circuits. When using two or more counter appliances your circuit breaker may trip. Try balancing your appliances out with the two circuits that are provided.

Categories:
Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, GFI-GFCI, Interior Electrical, Kitchen

For clarification purposes, the kitchen refrigerator outlet is not recommended to be GFI protected. However, it is very typically on the same circuit (fed from the same circuit breaker) as part of the kitchen countertop GFI protected outlets. Even though they share the same circuit breaker as the outlet that the refrigerator is plugged into, the refrigerator is wired to the line side of the GFI, so that it will not cause tripping due to the motor load. The easiest way to check this is to trip both the GFI's and the refrigerator should still be on. If the refrigerator turns off, please contact us for service.

Categories:
Appliances and Devices, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, GFI-GFCI, Kitchen

Check the current blue print that is available if the light fixture location does not have a standard measurement for dining, nook, or foyer lights. If it is not on the current blue print, check the model location. Remember, we wire to standard locations, not to the future homeowner's furniture. Wall mount lights are wired to the next available stud, unless noted on the blue print.

Categories:
Electrical System Components, Lighting

All surface mount fixtures are supplied and installed by others. Please contact your builder for service.

Categories:
Electrical System Components, Lighting

Code requires all jacuzzi type tubs to be GFI protected. The device to control this option is located either in the master closet or the master commode. It is a no-face (no plug-in type) GFI device.

Categories:
Bathroom, Electrical Codes, Electrical System Components, GFI-GFCI, Interior Electrical

All motion switches are factory set. Please see your information booklet for adjustments.

Categories:
Electrical System Components, Interior Electrical

Always look at the label inside the recessed can for the maximum bulb wattage to prevent it from overheating.

Wall mount recess (kick light) cans, usually on stairways, have a maximum wattage for bulb replacement of 25 watts.

Recess cans over showers or tubs have a maximum wattage of 40 watts.

Categories:
Bathroom, Electrical System Components, Lighting

Please consider utilizing separate dedicated circuits for each of the following items:

  • Freezers
  • Golf cart chargers
  • Holiday lights
  • Exercise equipment
  • Shop tools
  • Floor heaters (depending on the size and quantity being used)
  • Home office equipment
  • Certain coffee pots or high end counter appliances
  • Vacuum cleaners (Dyson)

This is a list of the more common types of items that typically draw higher current loads. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list of items that may perform better on a dedicated circuit. Always read the manufacturer's instructions and warning labels.

Categories:
Appliances and Devices, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components

Be aware that when using refrigerators in garages, utility rooms, and laundry rooms, the receptacle you are plugging into may not have the proper continuous amperage required to maintain a constant load that a refrigerator or freezer requires. This might cause circuits to trip, such as the GFCI Device or the circuit breaker at the panel. Please consult the manufacturer's instructions prior to making this decision. We recommend purchasing a separate 20 amp circuit for this type of appliance.

Categories:
Circuit Breakers and Panels, Electrical System Components, GFI-GFCI, Interior Electrical, Troubleshooting

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have a battery backup, as well as a 120 volt wired connection. If the unit begins to "chirp", it is an indication that the battery is low. Batteries need to be replaced occassionally. Open the battery compartment and replace the 9 volt battery.

Cleaning is also recommended due to dust particles in the air. Do not use chemicals. Instead, use a vacuum to suck out the dust particles, or use compressed air to blow out the particles.

Smoke detectors may sound a false alarm due to a sudden change of humidity, such as shower steam or night air. If a false alarm occurs, push the button to silence the alarm once. Do this only after you have assessed the situation and determined it to be a false alarm and not a life threatening situation. Smoke detectors are interconnected, so when one is set off, they all sound. To locate the alarm that was activated, check the smoke detectors for differently lit LED indicators.

Categories:
Electrical System Components, Interior Electrical, Safety, Troubleshooting

The tendency to trip a breaker depends on the brand and the type of space heater being used. They start at 1500 watts (12.5 amps). The heaters that are designed to look like a fireplace can draw up to 1850 watts (15.5 amps). See below for recommendations:

  • Solution 1: Use with no other devices on.
  • Solution 2: Purchase a dedicated circuit with a minimum of 15 amps.
Categories:
Appliances and Devices, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Interior Electrical, Product Updates

Always check the start and plan-mini if available for placement and locations for all electrical options purchased with your home before contacting us for service.

Categories:
Electrical System Components, Troubleshooting

Lights controlled by switches in two or more locatons are called three way or four way switches. The do not have a set "on" or "off" position, but work in conjunction with the other switch(es). Care should be taken not to assume the device is de-energized because the switch appears to be in the off position.

Many rooms are prewired for ceiling fans. Some of these include two switches. If you do not have a fan installed, these switches may appear to do nothing. Other prewires may also appear to have non-functioning switches, such as floodlight prewires and coach light prewires. Always make sure switches and/or that the circuit is off and de-energized before installing fixtures on these prewires.

Half-switched outlets are common in bedrooms and other living areas. If you locate a receptacle on which only one of the two outlets work, locate the switches in the general area, and then turn each switch until the switch that controls the other half of the outlet is located.

Categories:
Electrical System Components, Interior Electrical, Lighting, Outlets and Switches, Troubleshooting

Most vacuum cleaners start out at 12 amps and go up from there.  For example, Dyson vacuum cleaners, at start up, can draw up to 25 amps.  This can and will trip a breaker. See below for recommendations:

  • Solution 1:  Use an outlet from the bathroom or dining room.
  • Solution 2: Purchase a separate 20 amp circuit with at least two outlets on it for convenience.
Categories:
Appliances and Devices, Circuit Breakers and Panels, Interior Electrical, Product Updates