|Name||License No||Phone No|
|Kolb Electric, Inc.||E CC25||202-552-6699|
|Wilcox Electric, LLC||ECC1236||301-703-3205|
|Mister Sparky of Metro DC||ECC1 154||301-591-8792|
|Winstar Home Services (formerly Patriot Electric)||ECC900 982||301-238-5395|
|Holt Electrical Contractors, Inc.||ECC1099||301-575-0857|
Electricity powers super computers and laptops, roller coasters and blenders. It’s at once grand and yet utterly domestic. As it is easy to forget the properties of electricity and actual power it can wield, some homeowners may be tempted to address residential electrical problems on their own. This can be an extremely dangerous endeavor, however, so it best that all electrical work be left to a licensed professional.
GFCI Outlets and Breakers
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a device that senses the amount of current flowing within a circuit. If the GFCI senses a short, it immediately trips the circuit, stopping the flow of electricity. GFCIs can be installed both at individual outlets and in the service panel. It is important to note that all new outlets installed in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, garages, and on the exterior of the home are required by the National Electric Code to have GFCI outlets. It is recommended that all GFCI outlets in your home are tested once a month. Refreshingly, this is an easy process. Plug a lamp or light or small appliance or accessory into the outlet and press the button labeled “test.” The light should go off, or the accessory or appliance should immediately lose power. If it doesn’t, you need to replace your GFCI. Next, press the button labeled “reset.” If your GFCI is functioning as it should, the item plugged into the outlet will regain power. To test the GFCIs installed in your circuit breaker, simply press the test button. The breaker handle should switch off (to the middle position). Remember to move the handle back to the on position in order to reset it.
One of the leading causes of electrical fires is arc faults. They occur when an electrical current jumps off course, typically due to a break in the wiring, and radiates intense heat. These arcs can be caused by damaged wires as a result of hammering nails into a wall, placing furniture on an extension cord or up against a plug, and other seemingly harmless moves. Devices called arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are designed to detect these arcs and stop the circuit to prevent overheating.
Newly installed circuits will include AFCIs, but many older ones do not. Fortunately, AFCIs are relatively inexpensive to install (roughly $50).