Nashville's friendly neighborhood electrician!

Q&A

Q: Why do my lights sometimes flicker?
A: If your lights flicker or dim occasionally or when an appliance, air conditioner or heater turns on, you might have a potentially serious and unsafe situation. While there are a few things that can cause the flickering, it is often caused by loose wires in your panel or in the outside meter base. These loose wires can cause heat which can lead to fire if not corrected. What seems like a small annoyance can actually be a very serious hazard. Don’t leave it to chance – have an electrician assess the situation now.

Q: How do I know what kind of panel I have?
A: There is usually a label or stamp inside the panel door with the manufacturer and model number of the panel. If there is no label, an electrician may have to examine the panel to determine this information. If the manufacturer is Federal Pacific, contact us for more information.

Q: What is a panel tune-up and why do I need one?
A: Over time, the various components in your panel may become loose, worn or broken. This can lead to a fire hazard! When our electrician performs a panel tune-up he will tighten connections and make adjustments to your panel to ensure that it’s as good as new, and he’ll let you know if additional service is needed to keep your home safe. We recommend that you have this done every few years.

Q: What is a GFI?
A: GFI (or GFCI) stands for Ground Fault (Circuit) Interrupter. They are available as either an outlet with “test” and “reset” buttons, or a breaker with a “test” button. They are installed in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, outside and any place where there is a risk of water entering the outlet. They safeguard against shock by shutting off if they get wet. They are required in newer buildings, but an older building may have to have them installed to meet today’s safety standards. Sometimes a GFI simply needs to be reset if it shuts off but if it reoccurs a qualified electrician should run a diagnostic on the circuit to be certain there is not a larger and possibly dangerous problem.