FAQ The Power Behind Our Work

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of electrical services does John Donaldson's Powerworks Electric offer?

We have a vast array of services available for residential and light commercial customers. Our residential services include kitchen lighting, home security & automation, tankless hot water heater installation, electric car charging stations, meter base & breaker panel replacement, whole house rewiring, safety assessment, exterior lighting, interior lighting, trace & repair troubleshooting, A/C & heating circuits, remodels & room additions, and home backup generators. Our light commercial services include high bay lighting, security lighting, parking lot lighting, generator installations, LED replacement & relamping, power over ethernet, remodel & retrofit, telecommunications, machine hook-ups, tenant finish, and neon & fluorescent repairs.

Are you licensed and insured?

Yes, we are licensed and insured. Additionally, all of our electricians are highly experienced and prepared for any residential and light commercial electrical need.

How many years of experience do you have?

Our company was established in 2007, but many of our staff have experience stretching back beyond that.

Can’t I do my own electrical repairs? Why do I need to hire an electrician?

Electrical work is not an ideal DIY project. If you make a mistake, you could damage your wiring, catch your home on fire, or shock yourself. Our electricians have undergone extensive training to be able to do electrical work safely for you and your home. Hiring an electrician will give you peace of mind that everything hidden behind your walls is completed up to code and safely.

What is a GFCI, and where should they be installed?

A ground-fault circuit interrupter is a circuit breaker that acts quickly to shut off electric power when it senses an imbalance or overload. They are important to help prevent electrical fires and serious electrical shocks. GFCI outlets are required anywhere that has a water source, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, basements, garages, mudrooms, crawlspaces, etc.

How do I know when an electrical outlet needs to be repaired or replaced?

If your outlets are warped, damaged, old, or malfunctioning, you should consider repairing or replacing them. Many homeowners will find problematic outlets in need of repair when they plug things into them and they either do not work or supply insufficient power. If you have a multimeter, you can test if your outlets are getting the proper voltage. Your outlet should be getting 110-120 volts.

My exterior fixture burns out frequently. Should I get it repaired?

Your exterior fixture may have loose connections in need of repair. Loose connections will cause lightbulbs to flicker or fail prematurely. Basically, the loose connections will cause an increase in electrical resistance and heat flowing through your bulb, which leads to early burnout. One of our electricians can help resolve the issue.

Why doesn't my light switch work for my lighting fixture?

Your light switch could have a loose connection, which means that it is not getting the voltage it needs. Otherwise, you could have a tripped breaker. A trip to your breaker box could help you see if that is the problem.

My smoke detector keeps making noise. What is going on?

Your smoke detector could be alerting you that its batteries are running low. Another possibility is that you did not reassemble the unit properly after changing the batteries. If neither of these scenarios apply, you may need to reset the alarm. Turn off the power to your smoke detector from your breaker box. Next, remove the smoke detector from the mount and detach the power cable. Remove the battery and then hold down the test button for at least 15 seconds. Reconnect your power and place the battery back in your smoke detector. If this did not resolve the beeping, give us a call for more troubleshooting solutions.

Why do my smoke detectors chirp?

When your smoke detector’s battery is running low, the unit will start chirping about once every a minute to let you know to replace the battery. Once you replace the battery, the chirping should go away.

How often should I get an electrical inspection?

This can vary based upon the age of your house and appliances, but generally every 3-5 years would be wise. You should be testing your own GFCI units at least twice a year though.

Why do my lights dim when I turn on the microwave in the kitchen?

Dimming lights are an indicator that you are overloading a circuit. Every circuit has a limit of how much power it can draw. You may need to relocate your microwave so it is on a different circuit.

What is Whole Home Surge Protection and is it necessary in my home?

A whole home surge protector prevents excessive electrical current from wreaking havoc on your home. When a downed line or stormy weather causes your home to be hit with excessive electrical current, all of your electrical devices and appliances can be damaged. A whole house surge protector safeguards your investment in all of your home devices which draw power.

How do I reset a tripped breaker?

Turn off all of the light switches and appliances in the affected room. Go to your breaker box and find the tripped breaker. Shut the tripped breaker all the way off then on again. Your power should return. If this did not fix your problem, give us a call!

My breaker keeps tripping, what do I do?

If you have already tried resetting the breaker unsuccessfully, give us a call. You may need a technician to look at the breaker box.

There is a humming noise coming from my panel. What does this mean?

If the noise is only a low buzzing, this sound could be from electrical current flowing to your breaker box. If the sound is a loud buzzing or sizzling sound, you need to call us right away. Your breaker box needs professional attention to ensure something dangerous does not occur. Loud buzzing can happen when a breaker should have tripped, but did not do so. If a breaker is not tripping properly, you have an electrical hazard on your hands. Sizzling sounds can be an indicator that your wiring is old, damaged, or loose. This scenario can also be an electrical hazard. Act quickly and give us a call!

Why is a breaker in my panel hot to touch?

If a breaker is hot, you could have loose connections that are generating heat. The breaker itself could be loose or it could be the wiring. Either way, our electricians can help remedy the problem.

How long will it take to complete a rewire and will I need to move out during the process?

Every home rewire takes a different amount of time based upon the age and size of the home as well as the magnitude of the project. Generally speaking, a rewire can take between 3-10 days. Although some people choose to stay in their homes, relegated to just one room that the electricians are not working in, this is not ideal for most people. If you are able to relocate during the job, your job will probably be completed more efficiently and you will certainly be more comfortable.

Do I need to have my gas meter upgraded before installing Generator?

In most cases, upgrading the gas meter will be necessary. We can consult with you to determine your specific circumstance though.

Where can the generator be located?

Ideally, your generator should be located somewhere in between your electric and gas meter.

Can I install the generator myself?

We highly recommend leaving a generator installation to the professionals. Not only are there safety concerns, but you also need to ensure that the generator installation adheres to local, state, and national electrical codes. A trained professional will be aware of these codes and keep you in compliance.