SDS Electric in Albuquerque, NM
 
When you want the best, call SDS!
 
 
PO Box 50818, Albuquerque, NM 87181
 
Call Us: 505-379-9660
 
 
 
 
 
 

Home Electrical Safety Tips

SDS Electric in Albuquerque, NM has provided you with the following set of FAQs. Should you have a question that is not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact us at (505) 379-9660. Our qualified electricians would be happy to assist you!
When should you contact the fire department versus calling the power company and/or SDS Electric for an emergency?
1) When you smell a strong odor coming from your electric panel or panels.

2) When you think that your life is in danger (Remember that the fire department is there to protect the public. It is better to call them then to wait until it is too late. In my many years of experience, I always tell my clients that it is better to be cautious than foolish) and it is a free call.

3) When your smoke detectors have been tripped. Remember that smoke detectors are designed to pick up chemicals and they are more sensitive than the human nose.

4) When your lights are blinking and dimming rapidly. This is caused by your main breaker burning out or the quality of power coming in to your home is being compromised. Either way, this could cause significant damage to your home and should be treated as an emergency.
What does GFCI mean?
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, it's an electrical device that protects by detecting potentially hazardous ground faults and quickly disconnecting power from the circuit. GFCI's should be installed in the kitchen, bathroom, garage and outside outlets.What should I do if a receptacle or light switch does not seem to be working?

If your outlet does not seem to work, insure that it's not on a switch. If the receptacle is not on a switch reset the GFCI or circuit breaker at the main panel. If a light is plugged into the outlet check to insure the bulb has not burned out. If none of these solve your issue then we recommend calling a licensed electrician to evaluate your situation. Give us a call at SDS Electric at 505-379-9660 or visit our Contact page to schedule an appointment.
 
How do I reset my breaker when it has tripped off?
First, disconnect or shut off any additional devices that may have caused the breaker to overload and trip. Breakers are mechanical devices and must be turned all the way off before turning back on. Turn the breaker back on. If this fails to reset the breaker, there may be a more serious problem, call SDS Electric or visit our Contact page right away to schedule an appointment.

I want to install a ceiling fan where there is currently a light fixture, can I do this?

Yes, in most cases but there are several things you should consider first. It is imperative that the fixture box is properly rated and supported for a ceiling fan. Also is the wiring that is currently run to the fixture box correct for the ceiling fan? Will you need to have an additional switch installed so that you can control the lights independently of the ceiling fan? We can help you with this installation and make sure that everything is rated correctly. If you have any questions or are unsure please call our office or visit our Contact page to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed technicians.

How do I know when an electrical outlet has become unsafe or should be replaced?

There are several indications that an electrical outlet has become unsafe or should be replaced. First if an electrical plug can no longer hold tightly in the outlet, second if part of the outlet is broken or chipped and finally if it's warm to the touch. If any of these conditions exist you should call or visit our Contact page to schedule an appointment to have the outlet evaluated.

One of my circuit breakers keeps tripping; can I have the next highest circuit installed?

No, The breaker size/rating is determined by the size of the wiring. If there is an overload and the breaker does not trip because it is oversized/overrated, then the wiring on that circuit can easily start a fire in your home. If you have a breaker that has tripped more than once, or would not reset, you should have the circuit evaluated by a trained electrician. Call or visit our Contact page to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

How do I calculate Circuit Load Capacity?

It's important to understand that any circuit should only be loaded to 80% of capacity. To better understand that concept we have broken down a 15 amp, 20 amp and 30 amp circuit.

15 amp circuit

The safe operating amperage for a 15 amp circuit would be no greater than 12 amps. Total wattage would be 1,800 watts so the safe wattage usage would be no greater than 1,440 watts.

20 amp circuit

The safe operating amperage for a 20 amp circuit would be no greater than 16 amps. Total wattage would be 2,400 watts so the safe wattage usage would be no greater than 1,920 watts.

30 amp circuit

The safe operating amperage for a 30 amp circuit would be no greater than 24 amps. Total wattage would be 3,600 watts so the safe wattage usage would be no greater than 2,880 watts.

To determine the wattage, you take the voltage times the amperage. Check the tags on all of your appliances for the required amperage rating. Add all of the lighting load by adding the total wattage of the light bulbs in your home. Look at the light bulbs and read the wattage that is printed on them.
Contact SDS Electric and treat yourself to quality workmanship.