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Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?

circuit breakerIt’s Murphy’s Law. On the worst day of the year or during the biggest storm (at night of course) your circuit breaker is going to trip and you are going to lose power. You hopefully know where the circuit breaker box is and you reset the breaker. Life is good again in Charlotte.

But what if it keeps happening? Electricity is nothing to fool around with. If your circuit breaker keeps tripping. it is doing its job and trying to tell you something. You should listen to it.

Overloading the Circuit

When too many devices are trying to pull its power from the same circuit, your circuit breaker will tell you “enough is enough” and trip. Use that opportunity to see what you are running on that circuit, and if heavy devices are draining too much power and should be moved to a different circuit.

A Short Circuit

Another possibility is a short circuit has happened somewhere along the line. When a black wire touches another hot wire or neutral wire it creates more heat than the circuit can handle. That causes the circuit breaker to trip.

Ground Fault

This is when a black wire touches the ground wire or the side of a metal outlex box, which is connected to the ground wire. The circuit breaker will trip from the excess current.

Troubleshooting

Pinpointing the cause of a circuit breaker can be overwhelming. Sometimes it can be obvious when you know you have tried to run too many heavy items on the same circuit. Other times it can be exasperating trying to figure out where the short circuit or ground fault has occurred.

All of this sound just a little bit confusing? That’s what we’re for! We’re trained to be able to pinpoint the problem and offer you solutions to keep your circuit breaker quiet and happy.

The safety of your family and home should never be taken lightly. Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need quality landscape lighting service, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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Understanding Fuses and Circuit Breakers

Fuses and circuit breakers have the same job in our Charlotte homes. When too much power is going through a circuit, they both are able to stop the flow and hopefully, stop the damage that could be caused by too much electricity going through the circuit.

Both fuses and circuit breakers have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a few of the differences.

Fuses

The most common type of fuses is made up of glass or ceramic with a metal casing. Inside the fuses is a filament or metal wire. When electricity is flowing normally, it safely passes through the filament and into our homes.

If a power surge occurs, the filment melts and stops the flow of electricity. Once that happens the fuse must be replaced in order for the circuit to be complete again.

Fuses react faster, but has to be replaced in order to restore power to the circuit.

Circuit Breakers

When turned on, the breaker allows power to pass across. If the current reaches an unsafe level, the switch is automatically turned off either by a magnet or a bi-metal strip, and the circuit is broken.

Circuit Breakers are much easier for the average homeowner to use. Once the problem has been found and corrected, restoring the circuit is easy as flipping the switch.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need quality electrical service, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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What is the difference between 110V and 220V?

Electric PlugMost homes in the United States mainly have standard outlets that can handle 110V. For those appliances that need more power, 220V outlets are installed.

110V is typically the amount of current the wire can handle before it becomes unsafe, and the amount of voltage supplied to the outlet.

220V is, very simply put, 2 wires that combined produce twice the amount of voltage to the outlet.

Why Not Make Them All 220V?
Copper wire is expensive, so generally homes are built with mainly 110V outlets.
220V also present safety concerns. Many of us have been shocked by an electrical outlet at some point in our lives, a 220V outlet will feel like twice the shock, and twice the pain.

Why Do We need 220V outlets?
For rooms with appliances such as a washer, dryer, oven, furnace, etc, that require the extra voltage, 220V outlets are installed.

Douthit Electric can install 220V outlets whenever you plan on adding a new large appliance to a part of your home that is not currently equipped to deliver the required power.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need help with your next appliance installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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How to Choose a Ceiling Fan

Wiring Ceiling FanCeiling fans are a great accent to rooms and are an energy efficient way of creating air movement all year long in Charlotte. While many might think the only thing they need to consider is how it will look, there are many factors involved in making the right ceiling fan purchase.

Room Size

Your fan size will be determined by the square footage of the room you’re going to be installing it in. If you want to take advantage of all that your fan can offer you, its power needs to match the room size. Too small, and it will not effectively move the air, too large and you’re wasting energy and money.

36” = up to 75 sq. ft. room
36-42” = 75 to 144 sq. ft. room
44-50” = 144 to 225 sq. ft. room
50-54” = 225 to 400 sq. ft. room

Power

Want an efficient ceiling fan? Pay attention to the motor! DC fan motors are smaller and lighter than the typical AC motor. They will save you up to 70 percent of energy and generate more torque.

Energy Star-Rated ceiling fans are always a great option. They pass rigorous testing by the EPA and are definitely worth considering.

Control

Most ceiling fans offer the common basic pull chain, but there are other options that should be considered. We all love our remote control. Ceiling fan owners are no different. Remotes are ideal for high ceilings and places that are hard to reach … and they offer the most convenience.
Wall control is another option that can be a great solution for high traffic rooms with a single switch.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need ceiling fan installation, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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Using Lighting to Enhance Curb Appeal

Night lightingMost of us give special care to the look of our homes leading to our front door. But have you always wished you could share that beauty at night as well? We tend to entertain in the evenings, and we all like to hear from our friends and family how beautiful our home is … before they even step inside. Now is a great time to plan your outdoor landscaping lighting.

When you are deciding what type of lighting to use, consider what you would like to showcase. Our walkways are always an integral part of that, but using a combination of soft and focused lighting to enhance the beauty of our flowerbeds, trees, shrubs, or any ornamental design we have incorporated into our yard, should be highlighted as well.

Douthit Electric can help you choose what type of lighting should be used to produce different effects in your yard. Here is a list of a few common choices.

Outdoor Lighting Types

Path Lights – Probably the most common type that uses diffused lighting to frame an area such as a walkway. The path to your front door should be given special attention to welcome visiting guests and family alike.

Step Lights – This accent can be attached right onto steps, decks, or any other hardscape space.

Spotlights – Feature any part(s) of your landscape.

Flood Lights – A more powerful lighting typically used around driveways or areas that need extra lighting.

Well lighting – Lights that are inset into the ground and pointed upward to highlight things such as trees, walls or yard art.

Remember, lighting up your landscape to increase your curb appeal should be a fun project. We can walk you through the process, so that the design you create is the one you envisioned for your Charlotte home.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need quality landscape lighting service, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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New Year Checkup for your Charlotte Electrical System

It’s always a good time to do a basic electrical safety checkup of your Charlotte home. This week let’s take a look at the health of our indoor outlets.

  • Have you noticed any of your switches or outlets not working?
  • Do any of your switches or outlets seem to be discolored?
  • Do any of your switches or outlets get warm when in use?
  • Have you noticed any popping or cracking from any of your switches or outlets when you use them?
  • Do plugs still fit snugly into all outlets?

Take a look around your room. How many outlets do you see? We often don’t realize just how many outlets we have in our homes until one stops working. It only takes 1 faulty outlet to create a disaster. In most cases, a licensed electrician can quickly fix a faulty outlet and recommend any additional safeguards you might need.

Watch for our future posts on tips about the use of extension cords in our homes and the safety of our fuse box. Our simple list of things to look for can help keep your house away from electrical mishaps.

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. Check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!


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How to Make Your Outdoor Decorating Easier Next Year in Charlotte

OverloadOh no! It’s time to put all those beautiful decorations away! There are so many storage possibilities and gadgets to try to make the process go more smoothly now. Here is just one website you can check out: www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/12-smart-ways-to-store-holiday-decorations.

Common sense will also prevail to make the process go easier. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Before recycling all that packaging material that came with those presents, consider if any of it can be used to wrap fragile ornaments in.
  • If any strands of lights are not working, don’t put off until next year what should be decided today. Now is the time to either fix them or trash them. Do you have essential decorations that need to be replaced for next holiday season? Seasonal sales might have just what you are looking for at a much lower price.
  • Label boxes or consider clear bins for storage. You know what items are used first, store them last for easier access next year.

Few of us like taking the time to pack away decorations correctly. Just remember that you will have so much more holiday cheer when you can reap the reward from your labor next holiday season.

Lastly, were you held back from decorating by the lack of electrical outlets available or outdoor lighting safety? Now is the time to consider doing some upgrades to increase the potential for lighting next year … and also your year-round lighting options. Everything from landscape lighting to flood lights to preparing for next year’s holiday spectacular … Douthit Electrical can help!

Douthit Electrical has been helping the residents of Charlotte and surrounding areas with their electrical upgrades since 1990. Check out our money saving coupons and then give us a call for prompt courteous service.


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Outdoor Holiday Lighting Choices for your Charlotte Home

What a beautiful time of year this can be! If you’re considering making your Charlotte home a holiday wonderland, have you decided which lighting is the right one for you?

There are so many types of lighting now to choose from.  Here’s just a few decisions you should make before going on that lighting shopping trip:

1. LED or incandescent? Incandescent lights are cheaper, but LED lights will last longer and are much more energy efficient.

2. Bulbs come in so many shapes and sizes. There is no right or wrong answer, but consider where you will be attaching your lights before you go shopping. Will you be attaching to the house, decorating the bushes, lighting up trees? You can have bulbs, net lights, rope lights, oversized ornaments, and the list goes on and on.

3. Do you have everything you need to install the lights correctly? Do you have a power source to turn all those lights on?

We can never stress the importance of GFCI Installation enough. Douthit Electrical can help you decide if you need an upgrade. Don’t let all that work go to waste. Ensure that your Charlotte home is safe and that your home is a joy to behold.

Call the experts at Douthit Electrical to make sure your home is ready for holiday lights! Make sure to check out our money-saving coupons when you call. We’d love to help keep your home lit for the holidays!


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Electrical Kitchen Appliance Safety for the Holidays in Charlotte

Holidays mean different things to different people, but for most of us it means time with family/friends and huge holiday dinners. The kitchen is where almost two thirds of home fires start. That’s why making sure to practice electrical kitchen appliance safety is so important.

GFCI outlets are at the top of the list when it comes to making sure all those kitchen appliances are hooked up safely. Find out why at our blog post, “Why GFCI Installation in Charlotte is So Important for Electrical Safety“.

Microwave/Blender/Food Processor should always be kept away from water sources. Also, if they don’t seem to work as well as they once did, they should be replaced. Take care to keep their cords away from anything hot.

Stoves will see a lot of use during the holidays. Make sure they are clean and in good working order for all that cooking. Keep an eye out for anything that could catch fire while your guests are “checking” on dinner.

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of fire in the home … usually caused by unattended cooking. While it is easy to get distracted with so many guests, take special care to not have a fire interrupt your holiday.

When it comes to electrical repair and replacement, call the experts at Douthit Electrical to help keep your Charlotte home and business safe! Make sure to check out our money-saving coupons when you call to make an appointment.


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Why You Should Always Plug Outdoor Tools and Lighting Into GFCI Outlets in Charlotte

GFCI Ground Fault Interrupter Circuit OutletThanksgiving is here and many of us have already started hanging up decorations to celebrate the holiday season. If you like to hang lights outside around your Charlotte area home you want to make sure that they are plugged into a GFCI outlet. If you do not have a GFCI outlets the electrical safety experts at Douthit Electrical can easily provide this important safety upgrade.

What Is a GFCI outlet?

A ground fault circuit interrupter are special outlets that stop the flow of electricity when they sense that a person is being shocked. They are normally installed in areas where electricity and water may come into contact. They are commonly used outside because of rain and snow and the potential for electrocution. If you use power tools you should also be using a GFCI outlet. A GFCI outlet will protect your power tools and appliances from electrical damage.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Keep your Charlotte, NC home safe from fire and your family safe from electrocution. Hang those holiday lights but make sure to plug them into a GFCI outlet. GFCI outlets are hassle free but should be installed by an expert. For fast and friendly service you can count on call Douthit Electrical today.

 


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