Is my breaker box malfunctioning?

Circuit breakers fail for a whole variety of reasons. Sometimes its due to overloaded circuits, short circuits or breakers that simply weren’t maintained and rested properly. But at the end of the day – it comes down to the fact that your circuit breaker box is there to protect you, your home and your family from electrical malfunctions and fires – so it’s vital that you know how and why your breaker box might be failing. 

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can identify whether or not your breaker box is faulty and some of the things you can do to address the issue. What’s important is that if there isn’t something that isn’t working, you need to contact an electrician immediately. Here’s what to look for. Let’s jump right in!

ID the circuit your breaker is supposed to be protecting

When you first notice a problem with a particular breaker – try to determine which circuit the breaker is protecting. Look at both the label next to the breaker and the diagram on the door of the box. These two things should match up. If they don’t – try resetting the breakers manually and make sure your box is labeled correctly. This is simply an exercise in both organization and safety and in the event something is wrong, you’ll want this to be squared away by the time an electrician arrives. 

Unplug your devices from the circuit. 

Once you’ve figured out which circuit is controlled by the tripped breaker, make sure the breaker is off and make sure any and all devices that are plugged into that breaker are unplugged as they’re at the risk of a power surge. 

Reset the breaker

Once all the appliances are unplugged, reset the breaker by switching it back to the ‘on’ position. If you don’t hear the big click, the breaker switch itself could be damaged or broken. If the breaker doesn’t trip again immediately, then you can bet that the original cause was likely an overloaded circuit. Move some plugs over and then reset the breaker again. If the breaker trips again – then the problem is probably a short circuit or faulty breaker. 

If you’re finding yourself doing this frequently – as in more than once or twice a month, then it’s time to call in a professional as you’ll need some sort of repair. This is a common issue that sneaks up on home owners frequently – largely due to our placing high demands on our breaker boxes due to the dependency we have on electronic devices. 

If you’re looking for assistance with your breaker box, then give us a call and we’re happy to provide you with a free consultation. Until then – good luck!


How to find an electrician

At some point in your life, you’ll have to hire an electrician to do something around your home. Hopefully it’s a small task or maybe it’s a large one – whichever it is, you’ll have to do some digging to find an electrician who can handle the job. 

But where do you start? What questions do you ask? How do you know the guy you’re looking to hire can do the job? That’s what we’re here to answer today. Here are some tips that can help make finding the right electrician a little bit easier. Let’s jump right in!

Ask around

Seems basic, right? Because it is. Look, a fundamental reality of business is that we do business with people we like. And chances are if you have good friends who have a guy, that more often than not you’ll like the guy they hired. And even better – you’ll have a frame of reference for what their experience was. Nothing is more powerful than a referral – and it can give you a great starting point. So pick up the phone, text some friends and ask!

Do you background work

Check out their website, read their reviews on google. Maybe they have a profile on BBB, who knows. Not every review is going to be sparkling and not everyone will be happy, but doing your online research and matching it up with what they present publicly on their website and other places can give you a much clearer picture of what they can and cannot do well. That’ll make finding the right fit that much easier.

Ask for some quotes

There’s never any harm in asking for multiple quotes to get a good idea of what the going rate for a particular job is in your area. The thing to keep in mind here, is that you will get what you pay for. Meaning just because a guy’s rate is low, doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be good. The same rings true the other way though. If you see someone 20-30% over where everyone else is at, that’s probably someone worth avoiding. Either way – it’ll give you the idea of what a fair price for the requested service is – and can give you a more objective measure to help make your decision. 

Make sure they’ve got the essentials

Be sure that any electrician you talk to has the proper certifications and insurances. The biggest two things are a license and insurance. Being licensed means you can count on their skills and training being up to date. You’re getting someone who’s met a certain, objective, collectively agreed upon standard. Insurance will make sure that they’re covered (and you) in the event that something happens in their home. If they don’t have insurance, don’t touch ‘em.

Finding the right person to do any job can be a real challenge. But if you follow these tips, it’ll help the right person come into a clearer focus. If you’re experiencing any issues in your home in the Largo, FL area, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Good luck!

Electrical safety tips for the holiday season

Well, it’s time for the holidays again and you know what that means! Fun, family, feasts, presents and well – lots and lots of lights! We know electrical safety might not be the most festive holiday topic to discuss, but it is an important one – and one we’re going to spend a little time discussing today. 

While we all love incredible light displays and sometimes revel in the accomplishment of doing something insane – it’s also important to keep your sanity at least in partial-check and keep an eye on safety. Here are some holiday electrical safety tips for you to follow as you create a holiday display that will bring your neighbors to heel. Let’s jump right in!

Check your cords

One of the most common causes of electrical fires is using damaged electrical cords. That’s why it’s important that before you use any sort of light string that you check it for any fraying or visible internal wiring. Make sure your cords are good to go before you put them to use. Not only is this important to your safety, but a short circuit or power surge could actually harm the rest of your display, so be sure to put in the quick inspection ahead of time. 

Using the wrong lights

Just because you can use a set of lights indoors, does not always mean that it’s ok to use it outdoors. The same goes for the opposite scenario. Outdoor lights can also burn at high temperatures and can even cause your Christmas tree to catch fire. Always make sure you’re checking the light’s packaging to make sure you’re using the right kinds of lights. There should be an indicator as to what will work in what setting.

Overloaded outlets

When you use multiple decorations or devices – you run the risk of an overloaded outlet – which is a classic electrical safety ‘no-no.’ This can lead to fires, power outages and a myriad of other issues. Try to make sure your decorations are spread out and that they draw power from multiple power sources – and not just one. And if you’re going to use a power strip- only use ones that are new or in good repair. 

Don’t leave the lights on

Only flip on your lights when someone is home and awake to keep an eye on them. This is important for two reasons. For one, if you want to see the biggest electrical bill in the history of your life, leave the lights on all day and you’ll see what that looks like and trust us – it’s awful. Second, in the event something does happen – you’ll be there to address the issue before it gets out of control. 

Don’t cheap out

Don’t ever use counterfeit or unsafe products, no matter what. Any decorations you use should come with some sort of certification like an Underwriters association cert. Always be wary of foreign-made decorations that don’t fall into compliance. 

Hopefully, these tips will help you as you put together the craziest Christmas display in the history of all of them. Be mindful, be careful but most of all – enjoy the holidays. This year, we’ve earned it!


Reducing your electrical bill during the pandemic

With cases of COVID-19 creeping back up again, some folks are again electing to stay home and work instead of going to the office. In some ways, working from home is great. Not only do you have more time to yourself, but some studies are even showing people are more productive even though they’re not actually working as much. 

The flip side of this is all well documented. People feel lonely, separated and depending on your child’s school situation – you might be juggling both work and kids – which is a lot. One other, under the radar problem though – is that people have noticed large jumps in their utility bills – particularly their electrical bills. 

And let’s be honest – it makes sense. Your house is powering more devices for longer periods of time. So how do you counteract that? Is there a way you can take the edge off? Here are a few things that you can do to stay ahead of the curve and lower those utility bills in these trying times. Let’s jump right in!

Be conscious of what you leave on

Look, just about every person in the world is wasteful when it comes to something. Maybe it’s food, money or hot water; but if you’re someone who leaves lights on, we’re sure your monthly utility bill has been quite a wake up call! 

Look around you. How many devices are you running? Do you really need the TV running in the background? Does the Air Conditioner need to be bumping at full blast? Are your kids jumping off Zoom classes and playing video games? And what about when you’re not using any of these things? Are you leaving them on?

If so – turn ‘em off. Don’t use lights when you don’t need them. Use an energy saver setting on your AC. And power down your laptops when you’re not using them. 

Natural light is your friend

Especially if you live in a sunny place like we do here in Florida, just because you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t let the sun in. Open up those curtains and let the sun add both warmth and light into your home. The Vitamin D will do you some good and you’ll find yourself using less electricity during the day. 

Grill more, cook in the kitchen less

Not only can grilling be super healthy for you, but you’ll be using less of your kitchen, which means you’ll be spending a whole lot less on electricity at the end of the month. Kitchen’s account for almost half of our monthly power usage every month – from ovens and microwaves to toasters and George Foreman Grills. Using your grill will get you outside and help you be less dependent on your kitchen. 

Energy Savings Settings

Every device in your home now has energy saving settings of some sort and as such – you should take full advantage – particularly when it comes to your computers and devices. Even depending on when your appliances were made; they also come with these settings. Be sure to take advantage of them. Using these settings can reduce your costs 5-10% alone, which might not seem like a lot; but in a day and time where every penny counts; this is the way you’ll want to go about things and it’ll certainly help take the edge off. 

Hopefully these tips will help make looking at your electrical bill a little less painful at the end of the month. If you’ve got questions or are looking to make any upgrades in your home during the pandemic, we’re open for business! Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation.


4 issues electrical inspections will help identify

Every now and then it’s a good idea to get your home’s electrical system inspected. If for nothing more than the fact that technology is moving at breakneck speed these days and even things like lamps and televisions consume different amounts of electricity than they used to. 

That being said – if you ever do experience things like flickering lights, breaker trips, notice any burning smells or smoke or arcing noises then yes- you need to get someone into your home immediately to check it out. Why’s that? Because these are all signs that something could be wrong with your electrical system or that it might be deficient. 

A thorough inspection by a licensed electrician can uncover a whole range of potentially dangerous things in your home – but in particular; there are some big ones out there that might be emerging problems that haven’t revealed themselves yet. 

That’s the reason for today’s blog. Here are some of the hidden issues that regular electrical inspections can help identify. Let’s jump right in. 

Faulty wiring

Faulty wiring is a blanket term used to describe a number of issues pertaining to the wiring in your home. It could be that t

he wiring is frayed, improperly sized, could be the wrong type of wiring or there could simply just be loose connections. Either way – poor wiring could cause a house fire, so you’ll want to make sure your electrician can rule that out or if there is an issue – that it can be addressed. 

Faulty electrical panel

Your panel box distributes electricity throughout your home. Fuses and breakers exist for a reason – your safety and protection. An electrical inspection can identify a multitude of potential issues, including but not limited to incorrect wiring, an out of date panel or perhaps even a model that has been recalled. 

Incorrectly sized breakers and fuses

Fuses and breakers trip when a circuit gets overloaded. If one of these things is too small for your system, they’ll trip frequently. On the other hand if you have a breaker or fuse that carries too much of a load, it won’t properly protect against overloads and short circuits.

Improper grounding

Any worthwhile electrical system needs to have a good grounding system in order to keep voltages steady and protect homes against potential surges. You’ll see these frequently in a number of structures including garages, houses, and commercial buildings. Over time, these ground wires can get severed or fray and connections can become loose – presenting a potential hazard to the structures they’re attached to. 

If you have concerns about the integrity of your system; you should get it inspected. If you’re in the Largo, FL area and need an inspection done, give our professionals a call today. Good luck!


Saving energy in commercial office buildings

Especially in times like these – if you’re a business owner – every cent counts. Even in normal economic conditions, keeping expenses low is a key to maintaining your businesses’ profitability. One of the biggest areas of wasteful spending and needless expense is energy usage.

Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about how your business can trim those excessive energy bills at the office so that you can use that money in places where it’s better used. Let’s jump right in!

Take advantage of power management settings on equipment

Most every device or piece of office equipment has some sort of energy saving setting or mode that you can use. Don’t take these things for granted. You shouldn’t have to stroll past a computer and see a screen saver; you should be seeing a black screen sleep mode. And as for things like copy machines – you can save as much as 30% just by using energy saver settings. 

Maintenance and more maintenance

Whether it’s office equipment or your HVAC systems – all of these things use energy and will cost you money to run. When they’re not working properly – not only will they cost you more month to month to operate, but they’ll cost you more money to fix as well. Make sure that whatever you have in your place of business – that you have some sort of monthly/annual maintenance plan with your service provider. 

Yes, it might seem like more money out the door at first, but compared to the costs associated with malfunctioning assets and repairs, it’s a drop in the bucket. Don’t let these things slide by the wayside. 

Get an energy audit

Especially if you’re working with a lot of technology, we highly recommend that you get an electrician to perform an energy audit. Sometimes you’d be really surprised to see the places where money is flying out the door; things you wouldn’t have thought of, considered or even thought to address using the naked eye. 

Audits are important, too; because they not only help you find hidden problem spots, but they also provide you with a road map as to what you need to do in order to have your energy usage exactly where you want it to be. You’ll know what equipment isn’t working right, what is, what is old and might need replacing and what could use some tweaking. It’s tough to find where you’re going with a blindfold on – and not getting an audit is a bit like that. Know where you need to go. 

Don’t take automation for granted

While we’d love to tell you that power management defaults are a big cost saver, sometimes they don’t work correctly and it’ll take a little light diligence on your part to make sure that they’re functioning as intended. Sometimes employees get lazy and tweak settings or turn up a thermostat – or something silly happens. No one’s asking you to be dedicating substantial time to this daily, but just try to make it part of your passing, daily observations when you’re walking through your office. 

Updates are worth it

Updating things like server rooms, thermostats and computers can seem expensive up front and in some cases, they are. That being said, the cost savings you can experience over the long haul is substantial and significant. If you have some systems that are a little long in the tooth, don’t bemoan your situation and complain that you have to spend money. Consider it an opportunity to invest in your business; an investment that’ll save you money over the long haul. 

Hopefully these tips will help you save some money and maintain a more active role in your businesses’ energy management. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to give us a call today and set up a free consultation. Good luck!


Why is my wall buzzing?

So you’re sitting at home one night and you hear a low buzzing sound in your wall. Why is it there? Why is it so annoying? Could it be, you ask yourself- dangerous? The answer is that this isn’t a normal situation. Vibrating or buzzing sounds could be a sign of any number of potentially hazardous electrical issues – ranging from wiring, switches to outlets – all of which require immediate attention. 

Here’s what you do first

First thing’s first is to try to identify where the sound is coming from. If you’re not really sure where to begin, we’ve got a few quick tips listed here to help you figure it out. Some of the reasons you might be hearing buzzing include:

  • Poor connections inside a switch or outlet
  • Screws that fasten wires to outlets may be loose
  • Your gas or electric meter is on the other side of the wall and might need servicing
  • Air vents could be buzzing due to excess air pressure
  • Turn off your ceiling fan to make sure the buzzing isn’t coming from there
  • Fluorescent bulbs do have a low hum. If they’re in your room, shut them off to see if the buzzing stops.
  • Look for signs of bees or wasps

Electrical outlet buzzing

OK – so here’s the one you’ve gotta keep your ears peeled for. If buzzing noise is coming out of an outlet in the wall – you’re likely hearing the electrical current running to the outlet. But – here’s the snag – you don’t want to hear that sound. Wall outlets don’t make that sound unless something is wrong.

If there’s a buzz, there’s a high possibility that there’s a loose connection and faulty wiring. Loose connections do occur from time to time just from being jostled around. This is more common in older outlets and light switches. If you live in an older home and you hear that noise, it’s time to get the outlet replaced. 

Another possibility is that the outlet was simply not wired correctly. Reverse polarity from bad wiring causes the buzz. This is 100% the culprit if you plug in an appliance and the buzzing gets louder. This is a situation that shouldn’t be taken lightly, though. Reversed polarity is something that requires the immediate attention for a licensed electrician. 

Still no luck?

If you still can’t figure out what’s causing the buzzing noise, give us a call. Our licensed electricians can help quickly inspect and diagnose the problem. Particularly if the problem is electrical – we can get to it and fix it fast. Until then – good luck!


Why your electrical outlet isn’t working

We’ve all been there at some point. You go to plug in your phone charger or hair dryer and nothing happens. You know it’s not the device itself, so you wonder if it’s your electrical outlet. While we’d love it if you called us every time, we do realize that we’re not necessarily needed for every, single thing that goes wrong. And as such, there are, in fact – several safe, troubleshooting steps you can take to see if you can solve the problem yourself first.

Safety is always the most important thing to consider when it comes to electricity and as such, here are some things that you can do that will help bring the actual problem itself into a clearer focus without exposing yourself to harm.

But before we begin

We do want to take the chance to review a few worthwhile safety tips to make sure you avoid getting to this point to begin with.

-First- don’t overload electrical outlets with multiple power strips or adaptors


-Don’t place objects other than plugs that are the right size into an outlet


-And finally – make sure outlets have plates covering them and that all the wiring is inside

Do those things, and you’ll dramatically lower the likelihood of your outlet going belly-up. Also one more, handy thing to buy and keep in your toolbox – an electrical outlet tester. Sometimes they’re called socket tester– and they can basically tell you right off the bat whether your outlet is working or not. While there are some safety issues that can arise, these socket testers can help identify potential wiring errors so you get a better idea of what kind of problems you’ve got on your hands.

Now onto troubleshooting

Here are some of the things you can try to do to see if your outlet is malfunctioning.


  • Plug devices into other outlets. Sometimes, it really isn’t the outlet and instead it’s the device itself. Plug it into something else to make sure first.


  • Check surrounding outlets within that immediate room. If they’re faulty- there could be a bigger problem.


  • If you have a GFCI outlet, try pressing the reset button. If that works, then great! If it continually trips, then it’s 100% time to call an electrician.


  • Next, once you’ve identified a dysfunctional outlet, go ahead and unplug anything in that outlet and just to be safe – unplug things like desktop computers and the like. It’s a good idea just to be safe!


  • Check your circuit breaker box or look for a blown fuse. These are attached to the main electrical panel- which is located where electricity enters the house. You can identify a tripped breaker simply by seeing that a certain handle is not like the others. Fuses will look a little bit like blown light bulb, with a cloudy, burn looking residue on the inside.


  • If you do find a tripped breaker, you can reset it by pushing the handle to ‘off’ until you hear a click. Then push it back to on.


  • If the breaker trips again – don’t do anything else. Call an electrician immediately as you have a problem with your wiring or a potentially dangerous situation with a ground fault condition or short circuit. Stop using the outlet and get an electrician in your home immediately.

If you’re in the Clearwater area and you’re looking for a trusted electrician to help you with your faulty outlet, give us a call and we’ll be happy to come take a look!

Summer electrical hazards to be aware of

The weather’s getting warmer and dare we say – we might be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the COVID-9 pandemic. Summer is a time when everyone wants to get outside, so it’s important that both you and they are aware of some of the electrical safety hazards that are out and about.

Here are some outdoor electrical hazards and safety rules you should abide by to make sure everyone’s out, about and enjoying themselves this summer – but safely. Let’s jump right in!

Stay away from power lines and substations – or anything ‘on the grid’ for that matter

Seems obvious but you’d be surprised how many people don’t adhere to advice like this. Whether it’s a downed pole, power box, substation or anything related to the power grid – don’t go near it. If a pet wanders close, don’t go get them yourselves. Call 911 and report it immediately if you need help.

Be aware of flying objects

Sounds funny, but make sure if you’re playing outside, that any lawn sports equipment, kites and the like are kept away from power lines. They can become tangled and can do a lot of damage. In fact – when we’re talking about airborne toys, model aircraft and the like – you’re probably best off taking them to a wide -pen space like a park, instead.

Beware of electronics near water

Electricity runs quickly through water. Always be on guard when it comes to using electronics or electric devices near any kind of water – specifically pools. If you see a toy or appliance sitting in water – or if you yourself are wet and you’re near an electric appliance – DO NOT TOUCH IT or GO NEAR IT. Not until you’re dry. If someone’s electrical device or some sort of appliance that’s plugged in falls into water or a pool, leave it and call 911 to have someone come fish it out safely for you.

Go over electrical safety with your family

The summer has some risks associated with it and as such, it’s always a good idea to teach your kids what to do in and around electrical items. Know where circuit breakers are in case of emergencies. Make sure they know how to behave around electrical issues and most important – in the event an accident does happen – that they know how to respond and that there’s a plan in place. No one needs to be brow-beaten with this stuff, but it’s worth the 5 minute dinner table conversation.

Hopefully these tips make navigating this summer a little easier for you guys. If you have any questions or any updates or upgrades you’d like to make, give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation.

When a business should get their electrical system inspected

Making sure you get your electrical system inspected routinely is important. Not only is it an investment in the safety of your employees and office space – but it can also improve the energy efficiency of your office and help you save substantial money on your electrical bills.

While regular maintenance does work – there are some signs that you should look out for that could indicate that you need more than just routine maintenance. Here are some of the things you should be on the look out so that a minor issue doesn’t become a major problem for your business. Let’s jump right in!

Flickering office lights

Always be on the lookout for flickering office lights. Now it’s entirely normal for lights to flicker every now and then – but when it’s a regular occurrence it’s not only annoying, but it could be the sign of a deeper problem. Your circuit wires could be outdated or no longer in line with the latest standards. Perhaps too many devices are plugged into the wall. Or even worse – there could be a severely overloaded circuit.

Especially if you notice that the flickering is going on in more than one room – it’s important you call a licensed electrician immediately.

Warm electrical outlets

If you’re noticing that outlets are warm to the touch – then you’re overdue for an electrician to come out and give your electrical system a once-over. Outlets DO warm up a bit as a part of the process of converting AC into DC power. But when it gets hot to the touch, you could have more current than what the circuit is capable of handling. It could also be mismatched or damaged wiring.

What ever it is – warm electrical outlets could be a sign of a blossoming electrical fire. Don’t take the risk.

If you’re in an older building…

Older buildings are great to look at, great to work in and have tons of character. That being said – with the demand devices place on electricity – it’s getting harder and harder for them to maintain the necessary levels to power them safely.

If you’re in an older building, be sure to have it inspected before you sign any lease – or have it looked at yourself if you’re the owner. There are a lot of underlying issues that could catch you by surprise – even aside from the wiring. There could be flammable insulation around the wiring, the way it’s laid out could be dangerous, etc.

Be sure you get your office checked just in case.


Anytime there are sparks – and we mean anytime – immediately call an electrician. Shut off the breaker to that particular location in the building, call a pro and have them come look. Sparks can happen for a whole range of reasons and particularly if you’re in a workplace where there’s a lot of flammable things around.

Remember – it only takes one spark to set off a fire and if you’re in the wrong kind of building – that could be a serious threat – particularly to the health and safety of your people.

Keep an eye out for these things and if you see any of them, have a pro come and inspect your system. Over the long run, you’ll cut off a lot of potential problems before they become and actual crisis. Good luck!