Frequently Asked Questions

Will Spurlock is here to help! Find answers below to common electrical questions. Don’t see your question? Give us a call or contact us online.

Does a space heater need a dedicated circuit?

Portable space heaters use a lot of power and can overload circuits, cause breakers to trip, and even start an electrical fire. If your breakers trip when your heater is in use, then we recommend installing a dedicated circuit. Learn more about dedicated circuits.

How can I save energy during the winter?

The winter months can really drive up your electrical bill. Here are three tips to help you save energy (and money!) during the winter:

  1. Choose LED lighting for the holidays. LED string lights use less energy, and you can buy them at most home stores.
  2. Use ceiling fans to keep hot air circulating in your home. To push hot air down, set your fans to spin clockwise on a low setting.
  3. Eliminate wasted energy by keeping your thermostat set between 55 and 68 degrees. Use sunlight to warm your home naturally, or consider using a space heater when you’re in a specific room. With the latter, consider having a dedicated outlet installed to avoid tripped breakers.

Looking to save money all year round? Consider getting an electrical inspection.

How can I tell if a receptacle box is grounded?

There’s a tool for that! In most circumstances, a plug-in receptacle tester can tell if you if the receptacle is wired and grounded correctly; you can find them at most home improvement stores for around $10.

How do I turn off power to my home?

Your main cutoff for your home will be in one of two locations typically: either in the main panel above all the smaller breakers, or in a main disconnect on the exterior of the home where your power company meter base is mounted on the house. Main breakers will require much greater force to turn on or off compared to normal breakers.

How do I reset a tripped breaker?

If you believe an appliance caused the blown fuse, unplug or turn the appliance off. Next, look for your subpanel, a gray or black metal box typically located behind a door in a utility room, closet, or garage. Open the panel door and identify which switch is in the opposite/off position (either partially or all the way). If you are unable to identify which breaker has flipped, flip all your breakers to the off position by pressing firmly. Then flip the breaker back on! A properly reset breaker will snap back into place.

If the breaker is resisting the on position or flips again after resetting, leave the breaker in the off position and contact an electrician.

How do I reset a tripped GFCI receptacle?

A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) is added to a receptacle, such as a plug or an outlet, to prevent electric shock, especially in areas with water. If you’re experiencing an outage in one area of your home such as a kitchen or bathroom, you may need to reset your GFCI outlet.

Your GFCI may be found in an adjacent room that controls all receptacles or as part of an individual outlet. A GFCI outlet will have two buttons labeled “Test” and “Reset” and are sometimes colored. Press the “Reset” button and see if power is restored. If resetting the GFCI receptacle does not resolve your issue, contact an electrician.

Speak With a Professional Electrician

If your electrical issue is more complex than a Google search, don’t hesitate to contact a professional electrician! Will Spurlock is a team of experienced electricians and has been serving Atlanta and Northeast Georgia for 30+ years. We’re committed to providing cost-effective, high-quality commercial and residential electrical services, including inspections, repairs, and installations.