Q: I have a Federal Pacific or Zinsco breaker box in my house. What should I do?

A: Circuit breakers replaced fuses years ago and, like fuses, are designed to be the weakest link in the circuit. If a problem like a short circuit or current over load occurs the circuit “trips” open. Once the fault is corrected the breaker is closed and the circuit is safe again. Zinsco and Federal Pacific breakers don’t always open properly or don’t connect to the bus bar correctly. Gambling with the safety of your home and family is not a risk worth taking. Press Electric will not work on homes equipped with either of these products until they are replaced. The best solution is to replace the panel. Remember that any repair work should only be performed by a licensed electrician.

Q: What is knob and tube wiring, and is it safe to have in my house?

A: Knob and tube wiring is an antiquated wiring system that consists of cloth covered wire with soldered splices that run through wood members in a ceramic tube and make ninety degree turns on a ceramic knob. Get more information about the danger of this wiring on our Knob and Tube Wiring page.

Q: What is a service upgrade and how long does it take?

A: A service upgrade is the replacement of your existing electrical service (outside wiring, meter pan, circuit breakers and panel board) to increase your ability to add new circuits safely and bring your home up to the current electrical code. This can usually be accomplished in 4 to 8 hours. Press Electric specializes in service upgrades and has completed hundreds for satisfied customers. Call us today for a free panel board inspection. Learn more about Electrical Service Upgrades.

Q: Why is it that when I start up my microwave and run any other device simultaneously, I trip the circuit breaker?

A: The microwaves we use today are rated at about 1500 watts which means that they are using about 13 amps of current. The breakers in your house are rated at 15 or 20 amps. When you plug in that vacuum cleaner, toaster, or hair dryer it is too much load and the breaker trips. We recommend putting the microwave on a dedicated circuit. Please call us at Press Electric and we will assess your electrical problems and come up with a safe and practical solution.

Q: Why choose a licensed electrician?

A: If you’re considering calling the neighborhood handyman or your jack-of-all trades uncle for some electrical work … STOP! It’s extremely important that you choose a licensed and insured Electrician when it comes to your home’s electrical safety.

The reasons are simple: ONLY licensed electricians are knowledgeable of the many code and regulation updates that apply to all the wiring in your house. ONLY licensed electricians are required to take continuing education courses to ensure that they are trained in best practices for safety and efficiency. ONLY licensed electricians are bonded and insured to guarantee that any electrical fault resulting in an insurance claim will be covered by an insurer.

Q: Is aluminum wiring dangerous?

A: Aluminum wiring was installed in homes from the mid sixties through the early seventies. It was originally done to save money as copper was becoming too expensive. It was eventually discovered that due to its make up, aluminum wiring generated excessive heat where it terminates (connects to a switch or receptacle). This makes for an unsafe condition. Press Electric will come out and assess your home’s wiring. We can than take steps to insure that aluminum wiring will not put you or your loved ones at risk.

Q: What is an arc fault circuit interrupter, and do I need them in my home?

A: Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are only required when installing a new circuit in your home that feeds anything but a laundry room, unfinished garage, kitchen or outdoor load. Arc fault circuit interrupters detect problems in your home’s wiring stemming from loose connections, faulty equipment and bad wiring. Call Press Electric to come out and inspect your existing wiring. We will keep you safe and correct any out of code violations you may have.

Q: I am considering the purchasing of a Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV), how does this affect my home’s electrical system?

A: The installation of a new PEV charging system will normally have a minimal impact on your home’s current electrical system. Call us today for a free inspection of your panel board and its ability to take on the additional load. Learn More about PEV charging systems.