Electrical FAQs

We have listed below some answers to common questions we receive about electrical work in South Florida

Can a ceiling fan be installed anywhere?

A ceiling fan must be installed using an outlet box capable of handling the weight/motion of the fan. Fan rated boxes are generally designed to hold up to 70lbs where a typical fixture box is designed for light fixtures up to 30lbs. Most existing boxes, not currently rated for fan support can be replaced with a box support to fit your needs. It is best to call an electrician to check box ratings and install a ceiling fan.

The kids are always leaving on lights – What can I do?

A simple solution is to install motion activated switches. These devices are self-timed and can be adjusted for length of operation. The devices can replace wall switches or can be installed in the ceiling. Ask any our electricians about a problem area and they can discuss solutions with you.

How can I protect the expensive electronics in my home?

Power surges can be a tricky thing. However, we do recommend that all of our clients have us install a “whole house” surge protection system. These devices are easily installed with minor interruptions to service. The devices we install come with simple to understand monitoring lights to make sure it is operating. Give us a call so we can select the right unit for your system and help to ensure protection to your system today.

Can I do my own electrical work?

You can do your own electrical work if you are competent to do so. Simple tasks such as wiring a plug are within the grasp of many people, but more complex tasks such as modifying an electrical installation may not be. Check with your local building department to enquire about home owner electrical permits. Total Power Electric is a fully licensed and insured electrical contractor.

How often should I test my electrical equipment?

Electrical equipment should be visually checked to spot early signs of damage or deterioration. Equipment should be more thoroughly tested by a competent person often enough that there is little chance that the equipment will become dangerous between tests. Equipment that is used in a harsh environment should be tested more frequently than equipment that is less likely to become damaged or unsafe.

We still have the round fuses instead of circuit breakers. Is this a safety issue?

It is not a safety issue unless the fuse box is damaged or deteriorating. Fuses are actually more sensitive than circuit breakers; therefore they are safer than circuit breakers. The problem with fuses is twofold.

  1. After a fuse protects your home from an overloaded circuit, you have to throw it away. Therefore you may go through many fuses.
  2. The majority of insurance companies now require that fuse boxes be replaced with circuit breakers.

Are our 2-prong electrical outlets still OK to use in our home?

Most appliances and electrical devices today come with 3-prong plugs. The third prong is for grounding purposes. For safety reasons, it is advisable to have everything in your home properly grounded; therefore, you should change them.

What is a GFI?

A GFI is an abbreviation for a Ground Fault Interrupter. It is a specially designed outlet normally used in wet locations to protect an individual from electrical shock. A GFI measures the resistance on the “positive” and “negative” loads connected to it. If there is more resistance in either of the 2 loads, the GFI trips. The electrical code requires that GFI’s be installed in all kitchens, baths, and laundry areas.

What should children know about electrical safety when they play outside?

  • Assume overhead lines are power lines and stay away from them.
  • Do not climb trees, or fly kites near power lines.
  • Never attempt to remove something that may be caught on an overhead line.
  • Never touch anyone who is in contact with a power line, call 911.
  • Get inside at the first sign of lightning. Do not seek shelter under a tree.