Electrical FAQs

Residential FAQs for Electricians

How long do electrical repairs take?

Most electrical repairs can be fixed in a single day. However, repairs requiring us to file paperwork or work within other constraints – getting permit approval, state inspections, etc. – may take longer than a regular break-fix. At Hoffman Electrical, we offer superior, expedited service and will always resolve your electrical issue as quickly and safely as possible.

How much are service fees and overtime charges?

We believe in providing our customers with the best electrical service possible, which is why we won’t charge you a service fee or overtime charges! Our up front, fixed pricing model guarantees that you won’t pay a dime more than your agreed upon price. We’ll always sign a contract outlining the scope of work needed and exact pricing – before any work is done!

How can I lower my electric bill?

When it comes to saving money on your monthly electric bill, taking small steps (like only operating a minimal amount of lights in the room you’re in) can go a long way towards lower utility bills. Also be sure to turn off any TVs or electrical devices when not in use.Additionally, your HVAC system and water heater account for the bulk of your electrical expenditures. Therefore, making sure your furnace, central air conditioning unit, and water heater are in good working condition can have a significant impact on lowering energy costs. Try setting your thermostat a little bit higher than normal (in the summer) and lower (in the winter) or taking faster showers.

What should I do if I lose power?

If the lights are out in your neighborhood, alert your power company and use safe methods of lighting, such as flashlights, while your utility company corrects the problem. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible to prevent food from spoiling in the event of a prolonged outage.If your home is the only one on your block without power, call Hoffman Electrical! We’ll send out one of our electricians to diagnose and repair your problem as safely and quickly as possible.

How do I reset a tripped circuit?

If you tripped a circuit, first locate your breaker panel (usually found in a garage, basement, closet, or hallway). Find the panel, open it, and identify the tripped breaker by looking for the breaker that is neither in the “on” or “off” position. It may be orange or red in color to quickly find it.Once the tripped breaker is located, push the switch to the “off” position and then back to the “on” position. Your breaker should now be aligned with the rest of the breakers on your circuit panel and should be working.

Why does my circuit always trip?

If you find a specific circuit continues to trip over and over, you may have too many electrical items or devices running on the same circuit, or a faulty short. If your circuit breaker does not reset, give us a call to prevent further damage!

How can I prevent electrical fires?

Preventing an electrical fire should be a concern for all homeowners. Upgrading your electrical equipment or having a licensed electrician inspect your home can help identify and locate potentially hazardous or faulty electrical equipment to prevent an electrical fire in the future. Using surge protectors in areas where there is not enough outlets can also provide some protection against electrical fires.

Can I install a ceiling fan where a light is?

Yes, you can install a ceiling fan where a light is. But first, you must make sure the electrical box is properly braced and rated for the weight and torque of the ceiling fan you wish to install. It’s best to let a professional electrician to install your ceiling fan for maximum safety and best operation.

Why are my lights flickering?

If you find your lights begin to flicker – particularly when a major appliance turns on or off (heating or air conditioning system, washer and dryer, etc.) – chances are the wiring in your home is old and needs to be replaced. Old, out-of-date wiring simply wasn’t designed to handle the electrical capacity of today’s more modern technology, and if left unfixed, could result in an electrical fire. Call Hoffman Electrical for a free, no-obligation estimate on an electrical upgrade.

Why does my smoke detector keep chirping?

If a smoke detector in your home is chirping, this could mean one of two things:

  1. Infrequent chirps are often an indicator of a faulty smoke detector.
  2. Consistent chirps means the smoke detector battery is low and should be replaced.

Where is the safest place to use a generator?

Home standby generators are a great source of backup power during storms or prolonged electrical outages. You should never operate a generator inside your home or in a garage. Contact us online or give us a call for a free generator installation estimate in the Tampa or St. Pete areas!

What is a GFI?

Technically speaking, GFI stands for Ground Fault Interrupter and is used to measure the resistance on the positive and negative electrical loads connected to it. Often found in or near wet areas of the home – bathrooms, kitchens, garages, all outdoor receptacles, etc. – or locations where electrical shock is most likely to occur. When it detects an unsafe level of electrical current, it will trip to prevent you from shock. A built in circuit breaker will then reset once the problem is resolved.

What is a heavy up?

A heavy-up, also called an “electrical upgrade,” is a service that aims to essentially increase the safe capacity of electrical power in your home. This service is often important for homes that experience frequent breaker problems, or homes that plan to expand or renovate in the near future. We also routinely do heavy-up services for older homes that have fallen behind. If you’re not certain whether or not you need an upgrade service Hoffman Electrical offers complimentary assessments!

Do I need an electrical code inspection?

While code corrections aren’t exactly an annual service per se, the majority of homes we service do in fact need some code corrections. This is especially true for older homes that aren’t quite up to date with the current Code requirements, but even modern homes often could use some corrections here and there to address aging wiring, faulty panels, and weak or broken electrical connections. It’s wise to seek code corrections any time you:

  • Move into a new home
  • Haven’t had an inspection in 5-10 years
  • Are living in an older home
  • Are planning on a renovation or home addition

Do I need emergency electrical services?

We understand that it can be hard to decide when a standard service will do and when a problem strays into the full-on emergency status. Honestly speaking, however, we would genuinely call any situation where you feel at risk or unsafe an absolute emergency! Emergency services become necessary if you experience any of these:

  • Smell acrid or melty odors from appliances, wiring, or outlets
  • See sparking or smoke coming from outlets
  • Discoloration or blackening around outlets or along walls
  • There is a buzzing sound coming from any electrical access point in your home, from the breaker panel, or from any appliance

Commercial Electrical FAQs

Does your electrical maintenance agreement cover businesses and industrial facilities?

Unfortunately, our electrical maintenance agreement is for residential customers only. But, we offer comprehensive electrical maintenance, electrical renovations, and build-outs for our commercial clients. Give us a call to learn more about our commercial electrical services in the Tampa or St. Petersburg, FL areas.

What does commercial electrical maintenance include?

As part of our commercial maintenance calls, we’ll ensure your entire office, warehouse, or industrial facility meets NEC (National Electrical Code) regulations and that all electrical devices and connections are running properly. Some of the systems we’ll inspect include: GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers, wiring, transformers, voltage regulators, security systems, telecommunications testing, UPS systems, light poles, HID lighting, motion centers, photocells, light timers, exit signage, and more!

What industries and commercial properties do you service?

Hoffman Electrical services the following types of commercial properties and industrial facilities:

  • Retail Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Warehouses
  • Apartment buildings and complexes
  • Municipal buildings
  • Schools and universities
  • Healthcare facilities, fitness centers, and hospitals
  • Office
  • Industrial buildings
  • Churches
  • Hotels
  • Shopping malls
  • And more!

What is a bucket truck?

A bucket truck allows our electricians to install and repair electrical equipment in high places. Things like light pole repairs, parking lot lighting services, hanging banners, or reaching electrical signage up to 40-feet high (four stories) are now possible from Hoffman Electrical!

Do I need a standby generator or manual generator for my business?

A standby generator provides your business with a reliable backup power supply when an outage occurs. Standby generators transition from using an electric supply from your utility company to backup power seamlessly and without interruption. Clients, customers, and guests won’t even notice the power is out!A manual generator is one that needs to be connected to a manual transfer switch (located outside your building) before power can be restored. This means your customers may experience a few minutes of darkness before the lights come back on.

What’s better for my business: LED lights or CFLs?

Without a question, LED lights are better for your business than CFLs. Compared to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), LEDs (light emitting diodes) consume up to 85 percent less energy and have an expected lifespan of up to 50 times longer.

How long do LED light bulbs last?

LED light bulbs last up to 50 times longer than other lighting solutions, such as CFLs. Some LED bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours – that’s almost six years if they are left on 24/7.

Do I need dedicated computer circuitry?

Although installing dedicated circuitry for workstations in your office is not absolutely necessary, it does provide many benefits to your business, including:

  • Improved safety
  • Increased productiveness
  • Streamlined processes

What’s better for my business: LED lights or CFLs?

Without a question, LED lights are better for your business than CFLs. Compared to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), LEDs (light emitting diodes) consume up to 85 percent less energy and have an expected lifespan of up to 50 times longer.

How long do LED light bulbs last?

LED light bulbs last up to 50 times longer than other lighting solutions, such as CFLs. Some LED bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours – that’s almost six years if they are left on 24/7.

Does Hoffman Electrical offer signage services?

The specialists at Hoffman Electrical have a full fleet of equipped bucket trucks to handle hard to reach places in or around your business. This does indeed enable us to provide complete repair and maintenance services for signs in parking areas, on your structure, or near your business. We also provide banner, advertisement, and banner replacement and updating!

How complete are your build-out services?

At Hoffman Electrical we strive to offer clients a single-source for all of their electrical needs. When it comes to our commercial and industrial build-out services no job is too large, nor is any job too small! We offer complete build-out installation, replacement, repair services, and more to all of our clients in St. Petersburg and Tampa. If you’re not certain about any aspect of our service, please feel free to contact us by calling 866-238-3243 and we’ll connect you with our project managers to discuss details in further depth.