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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are electrical surges?

Where do they come from?

What can they do?

What can you do?

How do surge protectors work?

What surge protector is right for me?

Why are some outlets/lights working in a room and some are not?

A light fixture in my house is flickering, what should I do?

I have reset the breaker but my power is still out, what do I do?

What is an arc fault?

Why is an arc fault dangerous?

What can I do to prevent arc faults?

Do fuses and circuit breakers serve the same purpose as AFCI's?

Are AFCIs required by the National Electrical Code?

 


What are electrical surges?

 

Surges and transients are momentary spikes in electrical voltage. These surges can enter a home through the incoming electrical line, telephone line, and even the cable TV or internet line.

 

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Where do they come from?

 

At one extreme, a surge can be generated by a nearby lightning strike. At the other, transients can come from the motors in your electrical appliances when they turn on and off during everyday operation.

 

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What can they do?

 

While a lightning strike can cause immediate and severe damage, low level surges will, over time, degrade electronic components and shorten the life of computers, home entertainment systems, telecommunications devices and even major appliances.

 

Note: While surge protectors will protect against surges generated when lightning strikes nearby, no surge arrester can guard against a direct hit. The energy is too great.

 

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What can you do?

 

You can protect the investment in all of your electronic devices with a family of surge protectors. While surge strips protect one electronic device, there are many products that can protect all the connections in a home - and this is what Kircher Electric recommends. When whole-home devices are used in combination with surge strips, your electrical devices receive maximum protection.

 

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How do surge protectors work?

 

Once in place and connected to your load center, telephone service or cable service, surge protectors redirect surges to ground and dissipate the energy. The surge protection selected must be UL rated on response time and surge rating.

 

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What surge protector is right for me?

 

Each type of surge protector focuses on a particular type of wiring, such as, electrical, telephone or coaxial cable. There are two AC power surge protectors, allowing you protection regardless of the brand of load center in your home. Ask us what type of protection is right for you and your home.

 

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Why are some outlets/lights working in a room and some are not?


There are ma
ny things that can cause this to happen. Possible causes of this are the outlets/lights that work are on a separate circuit than those that do not work. It is also possible that an outlet is bad. Some outlets and light switches wear out and simple replacement fixes the problem. You will want to check your electrical panel's breakers to ensure there are no tripped breakers. If all the breakers are reset and on and you still cannot get power to the outlet and/or light, call Kircher Electric to help you further diagnose the problem.

 

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A light fixture in my house is flickering, what should I do?


A flickering light could be the symptom of several problems. This should be checked. It could be a loose connection in the circuit. It could also be a problem outside your house especially if all the lights in the house seem to be flickering. In any case like this it's best to not use the lights and call Kircher Electric to check it out.


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I have reset the breaker but my power is still out, what do I do?

 
In order to reset a breaker in your electrical panel, you must move (push) the breaker firmly to the off position (this resets it) and then push it back to the on position. Most people fail to push the breaker firmly past the off (tripped) position and assume it is reset. If you perform the correct reset procedure and still have no power, call Kircher Electric. Breakers can wear out over time if they are tripped too often


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What is an arc fault?


An arc fault is an unintentional electrical discharge. This is a problem that even the most safety-conscious homeowner can't always avoid. That's because arc faults are usually caused by undetected problems, like damaged extension cords and improperly installed wall receptacles.


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Why is an arc fault dangerous?

 
An arc fault may ignite combustible materials and cause a fire - a threat to any home and its occupants


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What can I do to prevent arc faults?

 
You can't prevent arc faults from occurring. However, there is a device that can stop them--by interrupting the electrical current before any damage is done. It's called the General Electric Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI), and it electronically detects any arc fault and stops the flow of electricity in a fraction of a second. No electricity, no heat, no fire. And, by tripping on a specific circuit, the GE AFCI helps you identify the source of the problem right at the load center.


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Do fuses and circuit breakers serve the same purpose as AFCIs?

 
No. Fuses and circuit breakers cannot detect low-level arcs. Only AFCIs are specifically designed for that purpose.


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Are AFCIs required by the National Electrical Code?

 
Yes. As of January 2002, arc fault circuit interrupters are required by the National Electrical Code on all new bedroom circuits. But, you can protect you existing home too! By installing GE AFCIs now, you can get peace of mind from their added fire protection.

 

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