Every repair is different, so there’s no cut and dry answer. However, we want you as a satisfied lifetime customer, so we price fairly and honestly. No surprises, no hidden fees. One of our licensed and insured electricians will start by thoroughly diagnosing the issue, then provide you with a detailed estimate and explain everything on it. Once we have your approval, we will work as safely and efficiently as possible.
How do I install a light fixture?
If you’re going the DIY route, start by removing your current fixture:
- Turn off all the power in the house and the light switch to the fixture.
- Double-check that all the power is off.
- Remove all the loose pieces – shades, bulbs, cover/lens, decorative pieces
- Unscrew the canopy nut if there is one, or the screws holding the fixture base.
- Remove the wire connections.
To install the new fixture:
- Unpack the fixture, read the directions.
- Put together the frame or base.
- Attach fixture strap if available to the outlet box.
- Attach wire connectors and fixture to box or strap.
- Install correct bulbs, new lens or glass shade.
- Turn on power to house. Turn on switch.
For a 1-step install, simply contact or call Amp’d Electrical at: 720-275-9441.
What size dimmer do I need?
Whether it’s for looks or to conserve energy, dimmers require a few calculations before picking them up at the hardware store. The key is to add up the total maximum wattage of the bulbs your dimmer will be controlling. That’s the size dimmer you’ll need. It’s better to buy a size over than under your wattage.
If you plan on placing multiple dimmer switches in a row, the metal plate on each dimmer has tabs that can be broken off in order for the switches to fit snugly together. However, once the tabs are removed, you’ll need to derate the dimmer’s wattage capacity. Break off 2 tabs on a 600 watt dimmer, and you now have a 400 watt dimmer. Be sure to plan accordingly!
How do I reset my breaker?
Here’s a quick step-by-step for you to follow:
- Find the electrical service panel – aka the service box, breaker box or panel box. Typically, it’s either in your basement or garage.
- Find tripped breaker, which has usually been switched to a not quite fully off position.
- No firmly push it to the “off” position. When it’s been reset, you’ll hear or feel it click.
- Finally, move it to the “on” position. Your power should be restored!
If it trips again, there may be an electrical issue that needs to be addressed before you can safely switch it on again. Call us at 720-275-9441 if your reset didn’t work, and we’ll troubleshoot the wiring for you.
If my breaker keeps tripping, why can't I fix it myself with a bigger breaker?
Frequent breaker tripping is a sign of overloaded circuits, which can cause electrical fires. This constant overload leads to degraded wires, allowing the hot conductor to come in contact with flammable wood framing, paper backing on sheet rock, as well as insulation.
The fix isn’t a simple, DIY swap to a bigger breaker. It requires the right sized wiring, fuses and circuit breakers – all of which are very important and determined by a number of factors:
- Conductor or wire size
- Insulation type on the conductor
- Number of conductors in a cable or conduit
- Ambient temperatures surrounding the conductor
- Equipment load on the circuit
On top of these make it or break it decisions, electrical installs are highly regulated and industry codes are updated every three years or so. Even if you used to help your uncle do electrical work, any codes you learned are now completely obsolete. Going ahead with doing your own electrical work could lead to more problems, fires, even issues passing inspection if you sell your house down the road.
Instead of winging it on your own, get in touch with Amp’d and a knowledgeable, licensed electrician will take care of everything for you.
My electric panel is making noises and smells bad. What’s going on?
Sizzling noises and strange odors are indicators that your home is on the verge of an electrical fire. Call us at Amp’d Electrical right away to address the issue: 720-275-9441.
Other warning signs that point to a potential problem are corrosion or rust anywhere on the panel or panel cover. If your panel or components are from one of the following brands, they may also need to be replaced immediately: Federal Pacific (FPE), Zinsco and Pushmatic.
What are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)?
Electrical arcing is dangerous, responsible for over 40,000 house fires every year and according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), primarily occur in bedrooms. Because of this, the latest electrical codes require single-family homes to install AFCIs – outlets, switches, plugs and light fixtures must be protected. AFCIs monitor the circuit for dangerous arcing conditions and like a circuit breaker, cut power in the circuit where arcing is occurring. If you need an electric wiring upgrade to add AFCIs to your home, Amp’d would be happy to help out.
Why is copper wiring preferred over aluminum wiring?
While heavier and more expensive than aluminum, copper hands down offers the greatest electrical conductivity, performance and durability with the least amount of maintenance.
Along with being less conductive, aluminum is susceptible to what’s known as cold creep. When electric loads run through aluminum wires, they expand. When the load decreases, the wire cools and contracts. With this constant expansion and contraction, aluminum wire loses its tightness and in time, can lead to sparking and arcing, eventually igniting a fire in your home.
Not sure what type of wiring you have in your home? Signs that you have aluminum wiring include: lights that flicker, burning plastic smells and switch or outlet plates that are warm to the touch.
Is it possible to overload a circuit?
At the heart of your home’s electrical system is your main electrical panel. Service from your provider comes in, and from the panel, wires run out to every room in your house, powering lights, outlets, fans, your AC and much more. These are called branch circuits. To control the amount of heat that electrical current generates in your wires, each circuit is designed to power a certain number of electronic devices and outlets. Heavy duty appliances such as your refrigerator will likely have its own dedicated circuit.
While circuits can be designed well, it’s not impossible for you to overload your circuit. If you plug in a multi-outlet extension cord and run a few different appliances off it at the same time, you might trip a breaker. Plug your massive holiday light display into the garage circuit that’s already powering a deep freezer and your bandsaw, and you’re likely to get a tripped breaker.
User error aside, older homes often simply don’t have the ability to keep up with the electrical demands of today’s technology. If you’re tripping breakers frequently and for no obvious reason, it’s likely time to upgrade your wiring. Let us provide a free estimate and help protect your home from circuit overload.
What kind of electrical consideration is involved in an outdoor kitchen?
Planning an outdoor kitchen and living space needs to account for the amount of electricity you need and if you have enough service to realize your vision. Start with your wish list:
- Infrared Grill
- Outdoor TV
- Task & Ambient Lighting
- Ceiling Fans
- Wireless Speakers
- Electric Fireplace
First, take the total wattage required to power your wish list items and divide them by the 120 volts in a typical home electrical circuit to get the amps needed. Next, take a look in your electrical panel to see how many available breakers you have to work with – each one should be around 20 amps and can carry 80% of its rating for 3 hours of continuous use, so let’s call it 16 amps. From here you can determine if you’re ready to power an outdoor kitchen. Example:
Your outdoor electronics = 6800 watts
Divided by 120 volts = 56.67 amps
Divided by 16 amps from a single breaker = 3.54
You will need to (4) 20 amp, 120 volt circuits to power your kitchen
Need more power? Need help? Amp’d is just a call away: 720-275-9441.