|Helpful Home Tips
Here you will find some helpful basics that you can check when there seems to be a problem with your electrical service. If you find that the hints below have not helped your situation please feel free to call us and we will be happy to come out and diagnose the problem.
If the outlets in your house or other appliances seem to have quit working you should first check for any GFCI that may be associated with the problematic circuit. Pictured below is a typical GFCI with a test and reset button located in the center of the outlets. As the buttons state, Test will activate the GFCI
and interrupt power to all the outlets and light fixtures it is feeding. Pressing the reset button will restore the circuit and should restore power to all outlets and fixtures it is feeding. The general location of this type outlet is in the garage, the kitchen and the bathroom as well as outside receptacles.
Panel Circuit Breakers and AFCI Breakers
If resetting the GFCI does not restore power the other area you may want to check is in the main electrical panel itself. It may be that a circuit breaker has tripped and needs to be reset. To reset a breaker that is tripped you MUST turn it all the way to the OFF position and then back to the ON position. This should properly reset the breaker and restore power to the circuit.
If for any reason a GFCI or a breaker in the panel trips immediately after you reset it, do not attempt to reset it again but call for an appointment for one of our trained technicians to come out to diagnose what the potential problem may be.
What to do if you lose power anywhere in your homes/office:
Check for an off or tripped breaker: Reset any you find by pushing the toggle firmly to the off position and then to the on position.
What is a power outage?
A “power outage” refers to those times when regular electric service has been interrupted by damage to power lines or power stations due to storms, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and so on. During a disaster situation, electric power can be cut out for days or weeks. It is important to plan ahead for the possibility of losing electric power. Know where the flashlight and other emergency supplies are kept.
What should I do if the power goes out?
- Check the fuse box to see if there is a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Sometimes the power outage will be limited to your own home.
- If you determine that a fuse or circuit breaker needs to be replaced, turn off all large appliances or unplug them before replacing a fuse or a breaker to avoid damage to the electrical system.
- Check your neighborhood to see if others are without power.
- Call to report the power outage. Call only once to keep the line open for the other customers.
- For residents of Asheville and surrounding areas, call
- Progress Energy-1-800-419-6356 or Duke Power- 1-800-769-3766
- For all other customers call RLC Electric & Technologies Inc. at (828) 258-5328
- In a severe emergency or disaster, expect electric power to be out for several days. In such an event, consider relocating to a shelter or to a friend’s home where heat and power are available.
- WARNING: Never use charcoal, gas, or propane heaters indoors. Doing so can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. These can also increase the risk of fire.
What should you do when you see damaged or downed power lines in your neighborhood?
- Don’t get near any fallen or sagging power line.
- Call the utility company about the line.
How should I use a power generator?
- For your safety, always follow the manufacturer’s instruction on the use of power generators.
- Since most of the generators are powered by gasoline and can generate carbon monoxide gas, run them outdoors where the fumes will not cause illness.
- Power generators should never be plugged into your home’s main electrical panel as this may result in serious injury or death to utility personnel working to restore power.
- Instead, plug the generator directly into the appliance you wish to use during the outage.
What should you do to protect your electric appliances from electrical
power surges when the power returns?
- Sometimes when your power is restored, power levels can vary considerably. This variation can damage electrical appliances.
- Turn off the lights and electrical appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer.
- After you have turned off the lights, go back and turn on one single lamp so that you will know when the power is working again.
- Wait at least 15 minutes before turning on the remaining appliances after the power has been restored.
What about people who are using life support equipment at home?
- People who depend on electrical equipment to treat health problem should have a plan in advance of a power outage.
- In some cases, this may mean purchasing a back-up power supply such as a generator or going to a health care facility that has back-up power.
- People who use life support equipment should register with the local utility. When they do this, the utility will make them a top priority for power supply and restoration.
How long will the food in my refrigerator and freezer remain cold enough
to prevent food-borne illness?
- It is important to keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed to prevent the loss of the cold air.
- A fully loaded refrigerator may keep food fresh for about 6 hours.
- A fully loaded freezer may keep food frozen for up to two days.
- If any food in the refrigerator or freezer is warmer than 45 degrees Fahrenheit, throw it out.