Tag: electrical system

Everything You Should Know About Your Home Electrical System

everything you should know about your home electrical system

Every homeowner should know at least the basics about the electrical systems in their home. If something were to malfunction or cause problems, you should know what you might be dealing with and how you can fix it (or prevent it from happening in the future). To help you get started, the pros at Roman Electric have prepared a guide on everything you need to know about your home electrical system.

1. Understand the Importance of a GFCI

Most homes have ground fault circuit interrupters pre-installed. However, if you have an older home, you might have to install it yourself. GFCI outlets can prevent electrocution—essentially, if the GFCI senses electrical difference flowing into the current, it will immediately shut off the circuit. This is especially useful in places where appliances are exposed to water. A GFCI can protect human life so it is important that you them installed around your home. The National Electric code requires them installed in places like your bathroom, kitchen, basement and even outdoors.

2. Find Ways to Save Electricity

There are numerous simple steps you can take to save electricity and on your electric bill. Here are some ways you can easily save electricity in your home:

  • Reduce Energy Vampires

Energy vampires are devices or appliances that eat up electricity even when they are not being used. As long as they are plugged in, they are slowly increasing your electricity bill. Make sure that you unplug devices like your laptop charger, hair dryer, and coffee machine when they are not being used. If you’re going on vacation, consider unplugging other larger appliances as well.

  • Turn Off Unnecessary Lights

If you are not using a certain room in your home, make sure the lights and fan are on. During the day, make use of the sun!

  • Switch to LEDs

LED lights are significantly more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer.

3. Know the Main Parts of Your Electrical System

Here is some home-electrical vocabulary you should know:

  • Electric Meter

The utility company’s lines extend to your home and are connected to your electric meter. Here you can measure the amount of electricity your home is using.

  • Main Service Panel

Electricity comes into your house from the main service panel and is essentially distributed to your electrical home appliances on hot wires. The current is then returned back to the utility on neutral wire which completes the circuit.

  • Disconnect Switch

Located on the exterior of your home next to the meter, the disconnect switch can shut off power from outside your home.

  • Main Circuit Breaker

The main circuit controls the power going to the branch circuit breakers, which control the power being distributed to your home appliances. Turning it off shuts off power to the branch circuit breakers and your home. If you don’t have a disconnect switch, the main breaker can be used to shut off power to your home.

Have any more questions about your home electrical system? Contact the pros at Roman Electric at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service online.

Kitchen Electrical Safety Tips

kitchen electrical safety tips

The kitchen is the place in your home where you use a myriad of different appliances. That’s why it is important you are aware of all the ways you can practice electrical safety whether you are using your microwave, your electrical stove or your fridge! To help you out, the pros at Roman Electric have come up with an important list of kitchen electrical safety tips.

1. Use GFCI Outlets

GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupters, are meant to protect you and your family from electrical shock. If you are using an appliance plugged into a GFCI outlet and your appliance is exposed to a lot of water, the GFCI will sense this and shut off the circuit in less than a second. A GFCI outlet can literally save your life so be sure you plug in your appliances in GFCI outlets. If you don’t have any in your kitchen, contact an electrician you trust immediately and have it installed. If you do have GFCIs, be sure to test them every month—you can do this by pressing the “Test” button on the outlet.

2. Don’t Use Extension Cords or Power Strips Permanently

While extension cords are great if you’re plugging in appliances at a distance, make sure you don’t do this permanently. All your kitchen appliances must be plugged directly into grounded outlets, which can protect you from electrical fires and electrocution. Extension cords and power strips are meant for temporary use.

3. Unplug Appliances not in Use

Countertop appliances like coffeemakers, blenders and electric kettles must be unplugged immediately after use. Leaving them plugged in can increase your energy bill as a lot of these appliances are “energy vampires”. This means they use energy even if they are not being used if they are plugged in. In addition to that, if you have your appliance plugged into a non-GFCI outlet and it is exposed to water or falls in the sink, you might be risking electrocution.

4. One Appliance Per Outlet

Ideally, you should plug one appliance in an outlet. This might seem burdensome but plugging in more than one appliance can overload your outlet or circuit breaker. If you don’t have enough outlets, have them installed by a trusted electrician.

5. Don’t Leave Appliances Unattended

This is an important tip especially for those with little children. Once you have an appliance in use, keep your kids out of the kitchen as much as you can and stay close to the appliance. Kids can often tamper with appliances by putting objects or utensils in outlets and toasters or by touching a device that is still hot.

Have any more questions about kitchen electrical safety tips? Get in touch with the professionals at Roman Electric! Whether you need electrical services or heating, cooling and plumbing, our technicians will be there to help you out. Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service with us on our website. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Why Are My Lights Flickering?

how to fix flickering lights

While flickering lights are usually a bad sign in horror movies, they’re usually not as bad in the real world. However, flickering lights can most definitely be a nuisance and prolonged exposure can lead to strain on your eyes and even headaches. To prevent this from happening, the pros at Roman Electric are here to tell you a little more about why your lights are flickering and what you can do to fix them!

1. Loose Bulb

Before you panic and call an electrician, make sure the bulb has been tightened properly in the socket. Bulbs tend to loosen overtime, so this could most likely be the reason for the flickering. If you have incandescent bulbs, you might want to wear gloves before you touch them as they radiate heat. Turn off the lights and a wait a few minutes, then carefully tighten the bulb without using excess force.

2. Old Bulb

Sometimes bulbs flicker a lot before they completely wear out and stop working. If tightening the bulb does not work, you might want to replace the old bulb with a new one. If the flickering persists after this, you might be dealing with a different problem.

3. Type of Switch or Bulb

Sometimes the problem could be with the type of bulb or switch you have. Often, homeowners will replace the bulbs with new ones or different types without replacing the switch. So, you could potentially have a standard CFL or incandescent bulb hooked up to an older dimmer switch, which could be causing problems such as flickering. To fix this problem, you might want to change the switch—if you have experience dealing with electrical problems, you can do this on your own. However, there is no harm in calling an electrician either, as they can safely do the job for you.

4. Fluctuating Voltage

You might have noticed that sometimes, turning on a heavier appliance with high wattage can cause the lights to flicker or dim for a second. If this flickering is persistent long after you have turned on the appliance, you might be dealing with a voltage fluctuation problem. Your home’s electricity supply should be between 115 and 125 volts. By using a device called a voltmeter, you can check your home’s voltage supply—if the number is higher than 125 volts, you have figured out the reason for the flickering. To fix this, consider getting 130-volt bulbs and consult an electrician.

5. Loose Wiring

Check your fixtures, bulbs and outlets for any loose or worn-out wiring. If you notice any wires are loose or old, call an electrician immediately. Loose wiring can not only cause flickering lights but electric fires, which are far more dangerous to you and your family.

Fix Flickering Lights with Roman Electric!

We hope this guide on how you can fix flickering lights was helpful. If you want to learn more about how you can fix the lights, fixtures and wiring in your home, get in touch with the pros at Roman Electric! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule an appointment online!

Does Your Home Need Rewiring?

does your home need rewiring

According to a study by the National Fire Protection Association, local fire departments responded to an average of over 44,000 home fires involving electrical malfunction between 2012 and 2016. Electrical fires have resulted in civilian deaths, injuries and billions of dollars’ worth of damage. Issues with electrical panels or wiring around the home, can cause these types of fires. If your home is older, chances are you might have some worn-out, frayed wiring which can potentially be dangerous. If you’re not sure whether your home needs rewiring or not, don’t worry! The pros at Roman Electric will help you figure it out!

1. Does Your Circuit Breaker Trip Often?

The circuit breaker is a great component of your home’s electrical system. It is essentially a safety component, which can prevent potential electrical fires. Whenever electrical wiring has an excess of current flowing through it, the circuit breaker detects it and trips—which means it basically cuts the power. If your circuit breaker has a tendency to trip often though, you might be dealing with a greater problem. Your circuit breaker could be tripping because of the overheating of an electrical appliance, or a short circuit which is the result of improper wiring. Contact your local electricians to learn the source of this problem—it might be because your home needs rewiring!

2. Charred Outlets

If you notice several discolored or charred outlets around your home, you might be looking at the visible effects of a short circuit. Short circuit occurs when a hot wire touches another hot wire or another neutral wire. This creates more heat than the circuit can handle, causing it to shut off. As we mentioned above, short circuits and charred outlets can be the result of loose wiring, causing electrical arcing, which results in a quick spark.

3. Older Wiring

If your home is older, chances are you have old, frayed wiring. You might also have aluminum wiring if your home was built between 1965-1973. It is estimated that 2 million homes built in this time frame have aluminum wiring. This kind of wiring increases the likelihood of electrical fires and other safety concerns. Get in touch with your local electricians to discuss rewiring your home with a safer material!

Benefits of Rewiring Your Home

There are several benefits of rewiring your home:

  • Increased safety

You don’t have to worry about your circuit breaker tripping often or your outlets sparking suddenly. Rewiring your home and replacing any old, frayed wires decreases the chances of electrical fires.

  • Save Money

Believe or not, rewiring your home can save money in the long-run! Replacing faulty wiring with newer wiring can increase overall efficiency.

  • Increase Home Sale Value

By rewiring your home, you can increase your home sale value. Potential buyers could be put off by any issues with the wiring or electrical systems.

Rewire Your Home with Roman Electric

If you are looking for qualified and knowledgeable electricians to rewire your home, look no further than Roman Electric! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service online!



Do Your Circuits Need Upgrading?

upgrade your circuits

Do your circuits need upgrading? Does your home electrical system need a few updates? Find out from the pros at Roman Electric! It is best to upgrade your circuits sooner than later, as putting it off can cause more issues.

Why Should You Update Your Circuits?  

Before you figure out how you can tell if your circuits need to be upgraded, it is important to know why they should be upgraded. The most important reason is that updating your circuits is a safety issue. If you live in an older home, it is important to know that most old homes were designed to handle 30 to 60 amps with fewer circuits. A circuit is often operated by a single fuse or circuit breaker, which protects the wires originating from the electrical panel from catching on fire. However, some older circuit breakers might not trip or turn off, increasing the likelihood of overheating and electrical fires. Circuit breakers also won’t trip if there is a loose connection in the wire or circuit. To prevent any safety issues and electrical problems, there is no harm in checking to see if your electrical system needs to be updated.

Ways to Update Your Electrical System

You will need to hire a reliable electrician to upgrade your circuits or electrical systems. It can be potentially hazardous to update your electrical system on your own. Below are the most common ways your circuits, breaker box or electrical panel will be upgraded:

  • Upgrade your electrical panel in order to bring more power into your home.
  • Replace the circuit breaker box so it can handle more amps of electrical current.
  • Replace the circuits that are loose, frayed, damaged or not in use.
  • Add any additional circuits to power different rooms, devices or appliances.

How to Tell If Your Circuits Need Upgrading

Here are some ways you can tell if your circuits need upgrading:

  • Lights Dim or Flicker

If you turn on a major electrical appliance in your home such as the washing machine or air conditioner and your lights dim or flicker, you might need to upgrade your circuits. This can often happen because of loose, faulty or old wiring. Flickering once in a blue moon is fine, but if this happens consistently after you turn on a large appliance, you might need your electrical system inspected.

  • Circuit Breaker Trips

If your circuit breaker trips often, meaning it shuts off electrical power when it notices the circuit being overloaded, it might need to be replaced. Try resetting it on your own first—if it continues to trip after this, your home might need a larger supply of power on a single circuit. Get in touch with an electrician to discuss replacing your circuit breaker or adding any more circuits.

  • Excessive Use of Extension Cords

If you find yourself using many extension cords, in order to power additional appliances, you might need to update your circuits or electrical system. Using power strips to create additional outlets is a sign that you need more power for your home.

Upgrade Your Circuits with Roman Electric

If you want to learn more about how you can upgrade your circuits or electric system, get in touch with Roman Electric. Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule an appointment with us online!


What Type of Outlet Should I Buy?

types of outlets

Are you in the market for new types of outlets? If so, you should make yourself aware of all the options available to you. Not only are there different levels of quality, but there are also special features you can select for your outlets that suit your home and your family’s needs.

What Grade of Outlet Should I Buy?

‘Grade’ is essentially another word for ‘quality’ when it comes to outlets.  There are three grades you can choose from.

  • Homeowner Grade

Homeowner grade outlets are the cheapest option on the market. And although these outlets can handle most electrical demands, they only last five to ten years. Therefore, homeowner grade outlets are best placed in areas where there will not be a large electrical demand.

  • Commercial Grade

Commercial grade outlets differ from homeowner grade outlets in quality. They are an investment, costing as much as 50% more than homeowner grade outlets, but they last up to 100 years. These types of outlets are best placed where an appliance or computer will constantly be plugged in.

  • Hospital Grade

Hospital grade outlets are aptly named as they are only truly needed in hospitals. Hospital grade outlets are designed to power life-saving medical equipment indefinitely.

Types of Outlets

Beyond the different grades of outlets, there are plenty of special features you can choose from when selecting an outlet.

  • 15-Amp Duplex Receptacle

A 15-amp duplex receptacle is the most common outlet found in American homes. These outlets have a long slot and a shorter slot, and a half-round hole for grounding.

  • Combination Outlet

A combination outlet has two features in one outlet. The most common combination outlets have light switches and one receptacle.

  • GFCI Outlets

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are typically placed in areas where moisture is present, like kitchens and bathrooms. GFCI outlets can trip independently if a short is detected. As a result, this capability can protect your family from electric shock.

  • AFCI Outlets

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlets are advantageous because they can interrupt power when arcing happens. Arcing happens when an electric current travels on air – a serious fire hazard. AFCI outlets can prevent your outlet from becoming the ignition site of a fire.

  • Tamper-Resistant Receptacle

Tamper-resistant receptacles are now required by electric code for use in renovation and new construction. Tamper-resistant receptacles protect children from electric shock by blocking the insertion of small objects.

  • Weather-Resistant Receptacle

Weather-resistant receptacles are also required by the electric code to be placed in wet locations like patios, pool areas, and other outdoor locations. These outlets have plastic covers making them resistant to corrosion.

  • Rotating Outlet

Rotating outlets can be positioned to accommodate bulky plugs for appliances like cell phone chargers, hairdryers, and nightlights.

  • USB Outlets

USB outlets typically have two receptacles and two USB outlets. They are extremely convenient for charging cell phones, headphones, and more.

  • Smart Outlets

Smart outlets are a new innovation that enable you to integrate different devices into your smart home network.


Need more tips on what outlet you should buy? Call today!

If you need advice on your electricity, or tips on how to install or repair an outlet, call the professionals at Roman Electric!

Performing an Easy Electrical Checkup for Winter

Now that the winter season has arrived, you’re going to be spending a lot more time indoors. Getting away from the cold weather outside is vital to enjoying these chilly months, and that makes proper electrical safety even more important. You don’t want to let the risk of an electrical problem ruin the holiday season!

All the time spent indoors means you’ll be using a lot of the electrical components in your home more than usual. To help you adjust to the change, the experts at Roman Electric have put together a list of ways you can make sure your electrical system is ready to go!

Double-Check Your Plugs

The key to doing anything electrical-related lies with your plugs. Most essential electrical equipment plugs into the wall, which is why it’s critical to ensure they are all working as intended. Inspect your outlets to see if any plugs are loose and not properly connected in the outlet – if they are, then consider replacing the outlet itself.

While you’re at it, check to see if you have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets installed where they should be. These versions are placed near areas where short circuits are more likely to occur – like near water. If you don’t have any – or if they aren’t working – call an electrician!

Move Cords Out of the Way

Extension cords are terrific tools that allow you to use appliances when they might not otherwise be able to receive power. However, the cords themselves need care as well. Take care to run them through parts of your home where they don’t pose a tripping hazard. If they’re under blankets, carpet or in front of walkways, someone could seriously hurt themselves.

Are Your Cords Correct?

Speaking of extension cords, did you know that there are differences between different types? Some cords are intended for outdoor use, while others are designed to work best on indoor appliances. Double-check to make sure your extension cords are hooked up to the things they’re supposed to be connected to. Wrong connections pose a fire hazard, since the wattage support won’t be right.

Replace Problematic Lights

Is that one light in the basement still buzzing? What about that pesky bathroom light that can’t seem to stay on? Now’s the time to fix them. Lights that aren’t working properly can turn into larger, more serious problems the longer they’re left untreated.

If you’re not totally sure whether the faulty light is safe or not, just give an electrician – like the folks at Roman Electric – a call to put your concerns to rest.

No matter what your electrical problem is, we’re here to help. Our technicians are some of the most reliable around, and you never have to worry about receiving a shoddy performance. We make sure we do things right the first time.

For the honest service you can trust in Milwaukee, give us a call at 414-369-3798!

5 Causes of Power Surges

It’s important that Milwaukee homeowners are educated on power surges. Power surges happen when there is a massive spike in your electrical system’s current. They only last about a fraction of a second, but can cause lifelong damages to any outlets or plugged-in appliances. This is due to the power surge overloading the circuits connected to your electrical system. If an appliance can’t handle the overload, it can be damaged or even completely ruined.

Now that you understand the basics of a power surge, it’s time to learn about its common causes. Knowing the causes can help you avoid them as you maintain your electrical system. Roman Electric has created a guide below explaining 5 causes of power surges.

1. Electrical Overload

As its name suggests, electrical overloads are when you attempt to draw too much power from a single circuit. This can happen when you overuse extension cords, plug in too many appliances, or use an appliance above the circuit’s amperage levels. Electrical overloads can lead to power surges as the overwhelmed circuit may receive a massive spike in current due to the excessive power being drawn.

2. Faulty Wiring

Wiring is essential for distributing electricity. And if it is damaged or the casing is exposed, a power surge is more likely to happen. Wiring that is damaged or exposed offers little electrical resistance, meaning any conductive material can spike the wire’s current to dangerous levels. Since it can be difficult to tell your wiring’s condition without getting behind your drywall, we have detailed a few signs that can indicate the situation.

  • Outlets Have Visible Burns Marks or Burning Smell
  • Vibration or Buzzing Sound Coming From Outlets
  • Circuit Breakers Tripping Frequently

If any of these signs apply to you, contact Roman Electric for further consultation.

3. Lightning

With your electrical system designed to channel electricity, a lightning strike can easily compromise it. When lightning does strike your electrical system, it has no choice but to accept the overwhelmingly excessive current. This creates a massive spike, therefore creating a power surge. This is why it’s recommended during severe storms to unplug any unused devices and appliances if you don’t have surge protection.

4. Power Outage/Blackout

During a storm or power grid failure, a power outage is an expected occurrence. But just because it’s expected doesn’t mean it’s not damaging. Once power is restored after an outage, the sudden jump in current can create a power surge, damaging any previously unpowered appliances.

How are you supposed to prevent power surges when there are so many different reasons they occur? Fortunately, you can equip your Milwaukee home with whole-home surge protection. As its name suggests, whole-home surge protection defends your entire home against power surges. This means whether the cause is an electrical overload, faulty wiring, lightning, or a power outage, whole-home surge protection will still act against power surges. Contact Roman Electric at 414-369-3798 for our surge protection services.

Related Links:

Power Outages – Ready

Homeowners: Respond to Power Outages – U.S. Department of Energy

12 Energy Saving Tips to Go Green (St. Patrick’s Day)

Want to avoid getting pinched while also saving money on the utility bill this St. Patrick’s Day? Go green with your electrical system! With Milwaukee weather still experiencing freezing temperatures, enough of our energy usage already goes into heating, so why not use some methods to cut down on energy and go green? From the electrical experts at Roman Electric, here are 12 energy saving tips for your home!

Manage Your Lighting Usage – Turn off lights in empty rooms, and before you go to bed. Additionally, opt for using lamps or candles to light rooms when possible. Clean your lights regularly to avoid dirt obstruction, as well as dusting off fixtures when possible.

Utilize Dishwasher Instead of Handwashing –  Believe it or not, handwashing dishes wastes more water than running the dishwasher, often as much as six times more gallons used. Maximize energy efficiency by washing your dishes in large loads in the dishwasher, but be careful not to overfill it, as this can prevent dishes from becoming clean.

Wash Clothes in Cold Water – According to Energy Star, 90% of energy from washing machines comes from warming water. Use cold water to wash your clothes instead, and wash in full amounts to get the most out of each cycle. Cold water can also clean more fragile clothing, meaning you can better combine loads without the worry of damage or loss of color.

Plan Your Cooking Accordingly – Defrost meat by placing it in the fridge instead of using the microwave and lay out all your ingredients when cooking to avoid constantly opening the fridge. Utilize pressure cookers, electric cookers, and microwaves instead of the oven for suitable foods to avoid wasting energy.

Line-Dry Clothes When Possible –  Instead of using the dryer for every load, hang dry suitable clothing to conserve energy and possibly avoid wrinkles or shrinkage.

Choose Showers Over a Bath – Showers use about 2 gallons of water per minute, while filling a bathtub could require higher than 100 gallons depending on the tub. Always choose a shower over a bath as much as possible and limit your showers to below 10 minutes to further save water.

Set Your Ceiling Fans to Reverse – Instead of relying on your heating for warmth, switch your ceiling fans to reverse rotation to keep the comfort in your home. Reversing ceiling fans causes them to draw out cold air instead of distributing it and can be turned on without any preparation.

Replace Your HVAC Filters Regularly – Every 2-3 months, replace your HVAC filters to avoid build-ups or clogs of dust preventing proper air circulation. The need for replacement may come sooner for homes with larger families or pets.

Seal Doors and Windows – Avoid conditioned air leaving your home by placing weather stripping around your doors and windows. Insulated window curtains and door stoppers are also available to further prevent air leakage.

Unplug Unused Appliances – Leaving appliances left in a socket will cause what’s known as “phantom power”, which is when turned-off appliances still draw power. Unplug all appliances after use or utilize a power strip to hold appliances and easily turn off power.

Invest in Energy Star Appliances – Energy Star certified appliances are guaranteed to cut down on energy usage compared to traditional variants. They are available for almost any electrical item in your home and can easily maximize energy efficiency.

Install a Programmable Thermostat – Your HVAC system accounts for almost half of your home’s energy usage, meaning maximizing its energy efficiency is a must. Programmable thermostats provide the means to save energy by scheduling temperatures for each day of the week. This will stop your heater from wasting energy throughout the night, as well as during the work day.

This St. Patrick’s Day, go green with Roman Electric’s 12 energy saving tips! If you would like to cut down on energy usage with a programmable thermostat, let Roman Electric be your trusted electrician! Our extensive electrical services guarantee we can handle any thermostat installation for your Milwaukee home, as well as any other electrical service you require. Give us a call at 414-369-3798 to schedule an appointment and avoid getting pinched this St. Patrick’s Day!