Understanding electrical and how it works can be a complicated process. There’s a lot of different information you should know, and it’s not feasible to expect you to know it all. Fortunately, that’s where this guide can come in handy for you. Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked electrical questions to help you better understand how electrical works.

faq - frequently asked electrical questions

Here are some set of electrical questions:

What is a short circuit?

A short circuit is an electrical circuit that does not allow electricity to flow properly because it is often being diverted to a place where it isn’t supposed to. This usually will result in lower power coming from the circuit.

What is a GFCI outlet?

A GFCI outlet is short for a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet and it is basically a safety mechanism that shuts off the outlet when the power starts to go somewhere it isn’t supposed to go. This is the main device that stops people from being electrocuted and prevents damage in your house.

Why do my bulbs blow constantly?

There are actually a lot of reasons why your light bulbs can blow easily, and it’s usually an easy problem to fix, although more advanced problems will require you to contact an electrician. The first cause could be the fact that you are buying cheap light bulbs. If the light bulbs aren’t good quality, they aren’t going to last as long.

Secondly, this problem could be a result of the way the fixture was installed and how the light bulbs are screwed in. To light up, the light bulb makes contact with a brass tab at the bottom of the light socket. Over time, the tab will bend down if the light bulbs are screwed in too tightly and will cause the contact between the brass tab and the light bulb to go bad and eventually blow the light bulb. If this seems to be the problem for you, check to make sure the tab is bent at a 20-degree angle. If it is not, turn off all power to the light fixture and fix the tab to bend it at the proper angle.

Why can’t I reset my circuit breaker?

When your circuit breaker trips, the switch moves towards the off position. However, it may not move all the way to the off position. Make sure the switch is moved to the off position (You’ll hear it click) and then return it to the on position. If you do so without it tripping again, you’ve successfully reset it! If that doesn’t work, try unplugging some devices plugged into that circuit and try again.

Why do my lights flicker?

Typically, your lights can flicker for a wide range of reasons. Occasionally it can be your fault because of the type of light bulb you’re using, but it can also be the utility company’s fault as well. Typically, LED lights are the ones that flicker the most and they’re also among the most popular because of the energy saving technology. If the flickering is a persistent problem, try replacing it with a regular light bulb to see if that helps. If not, the problem could be a result of the utility company.

What exactly are tamper resistant plugs?

Tamper resistant plugs were introduced in 2008. Now, any plug that needs to be changed in a home is supposed to be changed to a tamper resistant plug. They look exactly like a regular plug except they have plastic guards in the openings that prevent you from being able to stick something in one of the opening. You have to plug something into both openings in order for it to work. This is meant to stop kids who may try to stick something metal into the socket and injure themselves.

I’ve noticed there’s 2-prong plugs and 3-prong plugs. What’s the purpose of the third prong on those plugs?

The third prong on those types of plugs is designed to prevent deadly electrical shocks. This is caused by the item you’re using. Essentially, the third prong acts as a ground. If a wire in the item you are using happens to come loose, the third prong can divert the energy. It will redirect it back into the home’s electrical system, rather than to the person using the item. Without the third prong, there’s a better chance of experiencing some sort of electrical shock when using the item.

Final Word About Your Electrical Questions

Have you read through this article and found answers to some of the most commonly asked electrical questions? Great because you’ll have no problem gaining a better understanding of electrical work. When it comes time to solve the next electrical problem you come across, you just may already have the answer! If you don’t, feel free to drop us a line with your question. Our team at Wire Craft Electric is happy to help.