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Electrical FAQ

The average cost to replace an electrical panel is $995 to $1,695 for panels of 100 – 200 amps with or without sub panels and disconnects. To do a complete electrical service upgrade to 200 amps (Highly recommended), expect to spend $1,500 to $3,500, pending costs of additional protective devices and type of service being overhead or underground. JMC Electric includes all labor, material, and local taxes in pricing. JMC Electric also works with and includes all scheduling and paperwork for City and Utility inspections and clearances.

What Every Homeowner Should Know, many households have outgrown their old electrical panel. In older homes the existing panel may be worn-out, damaged, or insufficient to handle today’s power needs. Electrical panel replacement should always be performed by a qualified electrician. JMC Electric offers a free onsite quote and will complete the service required as a turnkey service working with Cities and Utilities.

Pros recommend changing hard-wired smoke alarms after 10 years. If your alarms are overdue for replacement, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which recommends that you replace a detector when it’s 10 years old, JMC Electric offers a 10 year hard wired battery smoke detector install starting at $95.00 per. existing location at a minimum of 4 locations per. home.

A change in the electrical current to the wired smoke alarm will cause the smoke alarm sound to go off when there is not smoke in the air. A loose wire in the smoke detector can also cause it to go off as the electrical current is cut off and then restored to the alarm. A faulty smoke detector can cause all the smoke to chirp as well. JMC Electric recommends replacing your batteries once a year. If your alarms are overdue for replacement, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which recommends that you replace a detector when it’s 10 years old, JMC Electric offers a 10 year hard wired battery smoke detector install starting at $95.00 per. existing location at a minimum of 4 locations per. home.

The average cost to have a smoke detector hardwired into your home is around $150. Yes, electricians install smoke alarms that are hardwired or interconnected. If your alarms are overdue for replacement, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which recommends that you replace a detector when it’s 10 years old, JMC Electric offers a 10 year hard wired battery smoke detector install starting at $95.00 per. existing location at a minimum of 4 locations per. home.

A direct lightning strike will cause significant damage to electrical and nonelectrical items in the home. In many instances, this will start a fire, often in the wiring within the walls or the attic. Cities and utilities have different standards so contact JMC Electric to make sure your up to standards. JMC Electric recommends your grounding systems be check and additional grounding to be done if not up to current standards, as well as adding a whole home surge protector for voltage changes and issues to be stopped and trapped at the service equipment before damage is done inside the home. JMC Electric offers a Whole home surge protector with a 5 year/$75,000 equipment warranty for $399.95 installed.

If a tree falls on power lines, then the electric utility company that owns the lines is generally responsible for repairing them and restoring power. However, if the house, wiring, or metering equipment is damaged the homeowner is responsible to contact a licensed electrical contactor to complete the work. JMC Electric specializes in meter can and riser repairs and upgrades. JMC Electric offers a free onsite quote and will complete the service required as a turnkey service working with Cities, Utilities, and tree services.

Usually, an outlet won’t work properly because there is a wiring issue but there are other common reasons for only half of an electrical outlet working. An outlet that was set up with backstabbed wiring and has burned loose. A wire nut that wasn’t used properly installed. The outlet itself has been damaged and broken. A utility line some where from your main panel buss bar or all the way to your local feeding transformer has a week or broken connection. JMC Electric recommends if you have lost what seems to be “half your power” call your local utility company and have them check your service feeder to the home. If the utility company dose not find an issue on their end, contact JMC Electric to schedule a further testing of your equipment and inside branch circuit wiring for faults.

Causes of a partial power outage include: A tripped circuit breaker. A blown fuse. A broken connector or wire at one of the service leads to the home. JMC Electric recommends if you have lost what seems to be “half your power” call your local utility company and have them check your service feeder to the home. If the utility company does not find an issue on their end, contact JMC Electric to schedule a service call for further testing of your equipment and inside branch circuit wiring for faults.

An outlet always has power to it as long as the breaker is turned on, so yes it can start a fire when there is nothing plugged into it. A light fixture that is turned off, on the other hand, would be very unlikely to cause a fire.

The first thing to do is to unplug everything that is plugged into all the outlets that do not have power. Then reset the designated (and hopefully labeled) breaker in the breaker box by turning it off and then on again. Sometimes a breaker will look like it is not tripped but in reality, it is. JMC Electric recommends scheduling a service call for further testing of your equipment and inside branch circuit wiring for faults.

A service upgrade is an equipment upgrade so you, the customer, can power up or use more electrical appliance at the same time.  Sometimes a Service Upgrade is done for the sole purpose of replacing an old fuse box or an older power panel or even just to condense multiple smaller panels into one main panel.  Regardless of the reason, a service upgrade usually entails getting a permit from the city and coordinating with the local electric utility company.

The electrician will install a new meter box and riser pipe on the outside of the home or business (usually in the same location); inside the building, they will install and consolidate all the circuits into one main panel (also usually in the original location).  All the circuits will be re-installed in the new panel and a new breaker, that is properly rated for the circuit, will be installed.  The panel will be bonded and a grounding electrode system will be installed, to make sure the system potential always has an earth reference.  The final stage is to have the work inspected by the city.  Once the inspection has passed the city inspector will call the utility company and give them the OK to permanently reconnect their lines.

A surge suppressor is a device that tries to limit the maximum voltage to a safe threshold.  Some do this by routing excess voltage back to the grounding conductor (green or bare wire), others try to open the ungrounded conductor (typically the black or colored wire) or “trip”.  Surge suppressors can be installed in shunt (parallel) or in series, depending on the model and manufacturer; they may also guarantee up to some amount that they will protect downstream devices.

AFCI is an acronym for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter.  This device acts as a safety device by “watching” the amperage signature passing thru it and evaluating it to known arc signatures.  Because most electrical fires are caused by the heat due to arcing, these devices can be a critical part of home safety.  As of 2012, the National Electric Code requires that all circuits in living areas of a home or residence be protected by AFCI.

GFCI is an acronym for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter; it sometimes is referred to a GFI.  This device acts as a safety device by sensing when current flowing thru it has found an unintended path, such as water or something metallic or a person.  Typically, a GFCI is factory set to open the ungrounded conductor or “trip” at around 15ma.  GFCI protection is required by the National Electric Code in all bathrooms, garages, outlets above the counter in kitchens, exterior outlets, and unfinished basements, etc.

At the present time most states like Kansas and Missouri allow you to do whatever you want in your own home. But doing electrical work in Kansas City yourself is a gamble. How much are you willing to risk to save money? There is a reason why it takes so much training to become an electrician. Do not make a mistake by taking electricity lightly, even the smallest job is a safety hazard. Why take a chance? Let JMC Electric to do the work!

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