Tag Archives: troubleshooting

Electrical Troubleshooting: Is It the Wiring of the Light or the Wiring Of Your Home

Electrical Troubleshooting Kansas City

We don’t fully appreciate all of our modern conveniences. Take the fact that you can light up a room with the flick of a switch or the turn of the knob on a reading lamp. It’s only when that flick of the switch, or twist of the knob, fails to produce any light that you realize how fortunate you are to have electricity. Sometimes it’s not a power outage that’s causing the light to fail. It could be a larger problem within your home that will require a little detective work to discover how to fix the problem.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some troubleshooting tips to try when your lights won’t turn on:

Start With the Simple Stuff

Sometimes it’s the most obvious things that cause all the trouble. Start by examining  the light bulb. Maybe it’s burned out, so you just need to grab a replacement. If it’s a lamp, make sure it’s plugged into an outlet! While an occasional flickering light normally indicates an issue with the bulb, constant flickering throughout your home could likely mean that there’s an overload on the electrical system. This is an issue that will definitely require the attention of a professional. If you experience consistent flickering call the professional electricians at Fusion Electric at 913-648-9487, or contact us online for quick service and professional results!

Grab a Flashlight and Head to the Power Panel

It could be a “tripped” circuit breaker. Sometimes a power surge can cause a circuit breaker to trip (cut off power) to a particular area of your home and  simply flipping it back on can often solve the problem. The circuit breaker is the electrical system’s defense against voltage spikes and sudden fluctuations. While the occasional “tripped” breaker is nothing to be alarmed about, a consistent issue may indicate a serious problem with the breaker panel or somewhere else within the electrical system.

Test the Outlet

Get yourself an OHM-meter (a circuit tester) at the hardware store to stock in your toolbox for this and similar situations in the future. Test the outlet you’ve plugged your lamp into, to make sure it’s got power. If there’s no power, it’s possible you’ve got wiring troubles in the electrical wiring connected to that outlet. Time to call a licensed electrician! Electrical projects involving wiring are not a DIY project.

Check the Socket

Inside the socket of a lamp, or a ceiling fixture, there’s a copper or brass tab. If the tab gets bent or “mashed down”, the business end of the light bulb can’t make contact, and won’t light, even though there’s power flowing into the socket. Turn off the breaker that controls that light fixture, reach in with something made of wood or plastic, and bend the tab back up to a 15-20 degree angle. This problem is more common than you think.

Call a Pro

After you’ve tried “all of the above” and nothing works, it’s time to pick up the phone and call a professional — a licensed electrician. Electricity is too dangerous to mess with and you definitely don’t want to risk a serious shock or worse for the sake of an unlit lamp or ceiling fixture!

In Kansas City, call the professionals at Fusion Electric at 913-648-9487, or contact us online for quick service and professional results!

Possible Causes & Solutions for Electrical Trouble with your Holiday Lights

tangled-holiday-lights-electrical-issues-fusion-electric-kcYou strung your whole house with twinkling holiday lights and couldn’t wait to turn them on. However, once you turned them on, they quickly faded to darkness. What happened?

If you experienced electrical trouble with your holiday lights, we’ll tell you the possible issues and how Fusion Electric can fix them!

Check the Breakers

Sometimes, an electrical problem is as simple as a tripped circuit! It’s so elementary, but many times we don’t think to check the most obvious things first. If you reset the breaker and the problem occurs again, it might be a good idea to call the professionals to have a separate circuit added for extras like holiday lights.

Adding this feature will make turning your holiday lights on and off very convenient and easy because your electrician can add a specific switch dedicated to your holiday lights, or certain parts of your home, if you wish! Another solution may be to switch to LED holiday lights because they require less energy and may be less likely to trip a circuit.

Related Read: Are Electric Space Heaters Dangerous?

Decorate with Safety in Mind

circuit-box-electrical-issues-fusion-electric-kcThe important thing to keep in mind when using outdoor holiday lights to decorate is the fact that they’re outside. That means that the lights themselves, and the extension cords, are exposed to the elements — namely water, in the form of rain, sleet, and snow. Since it’s a well-known fact that water and electricity don’t mix well, make sure you’re taking the proper precautions, including:

  • Using GFCI protected outlets to prevent electrical shocks.
  • Equipping your GFCI protected outlets with a cover or bubble protector to keep moisture out.
  • Inspecting extension cords that are meant for outdoor use for cracks, splits or frayed wires.

Again, skipping these steps could be a real safety hazard both in terms of moisture problems, electrical shocks, and the risk of a short leading to a fire.

Related Read: Whole House What Protector?

Be Extra Safe & Add Surge Protection

Most of us think of surges as being caused by lightning, but the truth is, 80% of surges are short, intense bursts, caused by us and all of our electrical demands!

A whole-house surge protector is another great safety measure for homes with lots of electronics in use during the holiday season. In fact, this protection is valuable throughout the year for families with many computers, cell phones, and other smart devices. Homes today are in more need of surge protection than ever before with all of the everyday devices these days that are equipped with circuit boards (washers, dryers, appliances, computers, etc.).

Related Read: Will Unplugging These Common Household Appliances Reduce Your Electric Bill?

Need help with an electrical issue? Contact Fusion Electric online or give us a call at (913) 563-7975. We’d be happy to answer your questions!

 

5 Warning Signs that Your Home’s Electrical System Is Outdated

Electrical-service-outdated-fusion-electric-kc-kansas-city

Do you ever wonder if your electrical system needs updating? Probably not, but it’s summertime and your air conditioner requires a lot of power which puts an extra strain on your electrical system. How do you figure out if you need electrical updates? Here are 5 signs your electrical service is outdated, meaning that you may need an upgrade!

1. Home Built Before 1980

Older homes hold so much charm and beauty, but if your home’s birthday is prior to 1980, it’s probably time for an upgrade to copper wiring. Homes built before then typically used aluminum wiring or wiring with a rubberized fabric wrapped around it. This can lead to wires coming loose or fraying, which means shorts and potentially, fires.

2. You See Your Circuit Breaker Box More Than Your Friends

Constantly running to the circuit breaker box to reset the circuits when drying your hair or when you start an appliance? Chances are, you are overloading your system and are in need of an electrician to assess your circuits and wiring.

Related Read: 4 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Electrical DIY

3. House Appears Haunted

Are lights going dim on their own? Do they flicker when you plug in and start the vacuum cleaner? This probably isn’t the work of resident ghosts in the home, but another good indicator that the circuits and wiring need upgrading.

4. Cords, Cords Everywhere!

Are extension cords a staple in your home decor? The need for multiple extension cords suggests not enough outlets in the home or not the right kind of outlets, both of which mean that it’s a good time to contact an electrician to assess your home’s system.

5. Angry Outlets

Outlets that are hot to the touch, make popping or buzzing sounds, or have black marks on the outlet covers are all signs of a serious problem with your electrical system. Outlets should blend in with your home. Any outlet that displays noticeable activity is not a happy outlet, and should be treated as very dangerous. Call an electrician immediately.

Related Read: Outlet Not Working? 3 Possible Reasons Why

 

If any of these things sound familiar, please contact Fusion Electric today! We serve the entire Kansas City area and want to ensure you have a safe and efficient home!

Outlet Not Working? 3 Possible Reasons Why

Outlet not WorkingNon-working electrical outlets are a common problem homeowners run across, yet getting to the root of the problem can be troublesome. At Fusion Electric, we’ve found that many times the reason behind the problem is small and easily fixable. Before you call a trusted electrician, see if one of these three issues are the culprit.

A Power Surge Blew a Fuse to Your Circuit Breaker

Power surges are actually quite common, and much of the time can be harmless. But they can cause a little frenzy among your home’s electronics. A lot of times these power surges can disrupt the flow of electricity, causing your home’s circuit breaker to trip, shutting off power supply to some, or all of your home’s electrical outlets. You can check to see if this is the reason why your outlet isn’t working by checking other nearby outlets. If they too aren’t working, go check out your circuit breaker and flip the switch.

It’s a GFCI Outlet That’s Tripped

GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupters, are usually installed outside, near a water source, or where shock hazards are great. They are a safeguard against deadly electrical shocks. These act as a minicircuit breaker of sorts, shutting off power to the outlet when it senses an electrical imbalance. Try pressing the “reset” button on the outlet to restore power. If the “reset” button trips again every time that you press it, there may be a dangerous current leak somewhere on the circuit. In this case, it’s best to call an electrician for help.

Related Read: Troubleshooting Tips When Your Lights Won’t Turn On

You Have a Bad Connection

If none of the above have worked, try turning off your circuit breaker and removing the outlet from the box and looking for loose connections. Look for things like loose terminal screws, loose stab-in connections, and loose wires at wire connectors. You may find one or more of these when you remove your outlet and look in the electrical box. You may find a charred outlet or melted wire insulation that are a result of heat generated by the loose connection. Unfortunately these signs aren’t always there when a connection is loose, so we recommend double-checking the connections by gently bending each wire to see if it moves under the screw. If you find a loose connection, we recommend replacing the outlet with a new one to play it safe.


If you’re unsure of your electrical fluency, call the electricians you can trust in your home at Fusion Electric at 913-563-7975.