HOW TO RESOLVE ROUTINE INTERRUPTIONS
TO HOUSEHOLD ELECTRICAL SERVICE
On a very regular basis, VPM receives maintenance requests from our tenant residents reporting that suddenly there is no electricity available in one particular bathroom, or in the kitchen, or maybe in the garage, or an outside electrical outlet. Below is a short explanation of what's going on (or not going on) and how to quickly remedy these inconvenient situations.
We are probably aware that all homes have an electrical main circuit breaker box. As it's name implies, this box contains circuit breakers (fuses) that will automatically turn off a particular electrical circuit should something go wrong like an electrical overload, or a malfunctioning appliance, or other electrical item which may be plugged into that particular electrical circuit.
The resolution to this problem is to simply reset the particular "tripped" breaker. The tripped breaker will be the one that has moved from the center position (of the breaker box) to the outer (off) position. Simply reset the breaker by returning the switch back to the center (on) position.
If the circuit breaker continues to trip, you may then need to locate and unplug the electrical item on that particular circuit that is causing the problem (Handheld hair dryers are notoriously famous for causing these types of problems).
The above mentioned circuit breakers are designed to turn off (trip) when large amounts of electrical power (amps) go astray. The obvious reason for this is to shut down that particular circuit before it could cause an electrical fire.
The above is all well and good because we surly don't want to be involved in an electrical house fire; however there is another, more important safety issue to consider.
Because the GFCIs are so sensitive to stray electrical currents, they often cause a particular electrical circuit to shut down without cause. Additionally, because one GFCI has the ability to protect several electrical outlets in a circuit, the particular GFCI which may have tripped (shut down) may actually be in another room, or even in another part of the house.
Typically there are between two and four GFCIs installed in various locations within the dwelling. It is a good idea to know the location of all GFCI before it may become necessary to reset one. To reset the individual GFCI, simply press the “RESET" button in the center of the particular GFCI wall receptacle that has tripped.
As mentioned above, If the GFCI continues to trip, you may then need to locate and unplug the electrical item on that particular circuit that is causing the problem.
In either of the two above situations, if resetting the circuit breaker and/or GFCI does not restore electricity to the affected part of the dwelling, then contact VPM for further assistance.
As mentioned above, it takes a pretty good "jolt" of electrical amps to start a house fire, but it only takes a small fraction of electricity (a few thousands of an amp) to harm a human being, or a household pet. The answer to this potential danger is the ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
Think of GFCIs as miniature circuit breakers which are usually built right into designated electrical wall receptacles (plugs) to protect us in certain higher risk areas of the home.
Thanks to the GFCI’s ability to instantly shut down a circuit when it detects a very small amount of misguided electrical current, many thousands of lives have been saved since the installation of these safety items are now mandated by all electrical codes in the United States.
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