Electrical, Heating & Cooling Services in Lake County & Beyond

Electric, Heating & Cooling FAQ in Crown Point

Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

At All Services, we are proud to be in the service of residents and businesses throughout Lake and Porter Counties. Big or small—our expert team is here for you. Whether you’re browsing to schedule an electric, heating, or AC service or just looking for some information about your home’s most important systems, we can help.

To get you started, here’s a collection of the questions our customers ask on a pretty regular basis, along with answers we trust you’ll find both helpful and easy to understand.

Have a question you don’t see addressed here? Then send us an email now or call us at (219) 233-2066 and we’ll get back to you just as quickly as we can!

  • What causes a circuit breaker to trip off?

    Circuit breakers are made to trip off whenever too much electricity is detected in the electrical lines that are being protected.

    Circuit breakers will typically trip off under the following circumstances:

    • A circuit is shorted
    • A circuit is overloaded
    • Something damages the circuit breaker

    When two electrical wires come into contact with each, a short circuit happens and your circuit breakers trip off in order to protect your electrical system. If you have an older system with fuses, this will cause a fuse to blow.

    When troubleshooting a short circuit, think about what happened immediately before the circuit shorted out. If you had just plugged in your vacuum, for example, start by unplugging it. After you have unplugged the vacuum or other appliance, reset the circuit breaker or replace your fuse. If everything runs normally, this indicates that the problem is not with your electrical system.

    If you are unable to find a specific appliance or other electrical items that caused the problem, then you should call a Crown Point electrician from All Services to find and fix the short circuit.

    On the other hand, when there is too much power flowing through a particular electrical circuit, it can cause that circuit to overload. Circuit breakers are designed to detect any overloads and trip off to protect that circuit. To fix an overloaded circuit, simply lower the number of appliances plugged into that circuit. If you find yourself needing to plug in more things, talk to our highly skilled electrician about adding one or more circuits.

  • What should I do if my garbage disposal stops working?

    There are some simple troubleshooting that you can perform yourself when your garbage disposal suddenly stops working.

    These steps are as follows:

    • First, make sure that the switch on your garbage disposal is turned off before doing any troubleshooting.
    • Carefully check the inside of the disposal for something that may be jamming its motor. No matter what, don’t put your hands inside the disposal. Use a wooden spoon or a long wooden handle to clear out obstructions as necessary.
    • Turn on your disposal for just a moment. Does it make a humming noise? If it does, the power supply to your garbage disposal is working properly. Your disposal is most likely broken or has something blocking its internal mechanisms.
    • If your garbage disposal makes no humming noise when you turn it on, then reset the disposal by pressing the small button on the bottom or side of the disposal. Try turning it on again.
    • If all these steps do not work, try flipping your circuit breakers off and then back on to see if this fixes the problem.

    If none of these steps fix your problem, give us a call—we’ll be glad to help!

  • Why aren’t my lights turning on?

    There are six common reasons why lights won’t turn on:

    • You have a bad bulb that needs to be replaced. As your first step, replace your bulb with a new bulb. If this does not work, then try a bulb from a fixture that you know for sure works.
    • The light switch is broken. Listen to any audible sound when you flip the switch such as crackling or popping. Other warning signs include a light that takes a while to turn on or a loose switch.
    • There’s a problem with the fixture. The best solution is to replace the fixture. If you desire, however, most fixtures can be repaired.
    • Power issues. Please read our Power Problems section.
    • The time clock for your light is set incorrectly or broken. Try resetting the time or replacing the time clock.
    • If your light is turned on and off by a photocell, adjust or replace it.

    If you have mercury-vapor, high-pressure-sodium, or fluorescent lights and you notice a humming noise or a strange odor whenever you turn it on, you may need to replace the ballast. These light fixtures rely on electrical ballasts in order to provide power to their bulbs.

  • Why won’t my lights turn off?

    If your lights are not turning off, the three primary causes include:

    • Your switch is broken and needs to be replaced.
    • The time clock is set incorrectly or broken. Reset your time clock. If this doesn’t work, replace the time clock.
    • If your light utilizes a photo-cell, check to make sure that the photo-cell is functioning properly. If not, then replace it.
  • Why are my lights blinking?

    If your lights are continuously blinking on and off, the common causes include:

    • Broken photo-cell that can easily be remedied by a simply adjusting it.
    • Many recessed light fixtures use a thermal cell to turn off lights when temperatures are too high. Try using a bulb with lower wattage.
  • What causes fluorescent lights to flicker?

    Fluorescent lights that are frequently flickering have three primary causes, including:

    • If your bulb flickers only when it just turns on, it probably just needs to warm up. You might notice this, especially on cold days. Just give the bulb time.
    • You have old bulbs that need to be replaced.
    • You have an old ballast that needs to be replaced.
  • What causes light bulbs to burn out prematurely?

    The three most common reasons why your bulbs burn out prematurely include:

    • A bulb with too high wattage- Make sure you always use the correct wattage for all light fixtures.
    • Low-quality bulbs- Always use name brand light bulbs.
    • Unknown problems with fixtures- If options 1 and 2 don’t fix the problem, it’s likely that the problem is with the fixture. Call All Services to replace your fixture right away.
  • What causes light bulbs to hum?

    The main causes of humming lights are the following:

    • Bad transformer or ballast- It is time for a replacement.
    • A conflict between a low-voltage light fixture and a low-voltage dimmer- This can be tough to fix, but try out several different dimmers to see if you can find one that works properly.
  • Why are my lights dimming on their own?

    You will sometimes experience lights that go dim for a brief period of time and then return to full brightness. This most often occurs whenever your lights are on the same circuit as an appliance that uses a high level of power. Because of this, the light will dim momentarily whenever the appliance turns on until electricity levels even out. This often happens, for example, when your central air conditioning system turns on.

  • How do I make sure I don’t lose power to my refrigerator?

    It’s important to always have an ample supply of power going to your refrigerator or freezer.

    Here are two tips to help you solve this problem quickly:

    • Check to see if the outlet your refrigerator is plugged into is a GFI outlet. Start by resetting the GFI to see if that will restore power. If this solves the problem, you’re done. In this case, however, you should talk with an electrician about replacing the GFI outlet with a normal receptacle very soon. Because GFIs are very sensitive, you should never have your refrigerator plugged into one. This could result in loss of power to your refrigerator while you are at work or on vacation.
    • If you find yourself unable to restore power to the outlet that your refrigerator plugs into, call a Crown Point electrician from All Services so they can troubleshoot the problem. In the meantime, use a heavy extension cord to plug your refrigerator into a nearby outlet so that you don’t lose any food.
  • How do I stop my smoke detector from chirping?

    Smoke detectors are one of the most important safety devices in your home. Every now and then, however, you will have a smoke detector chirp or set off for no reason.

    If this happens to you, follow the steps below:

    • If your smoke detector is battery-powered, remove the battery and insert a new one. If you still have a problem, you should replace the whole smoke detector unit.
    • If you have hard-wired smoke detectors (120 Volt), flip your circuit breakers one at a time until your alarm turns off. You can then turn all of the breakers back on, except for the breaker that powers your smoke detector. You should now replace the broken smoke detector with a new one.
    • Always make sure to replace any faulty smoke detectors, whether they are battery powered or hard-wired.
  • Is it normal for a dimmer switch to be warm to the touch?

    Although you may not have noticed it before, it is perfectly normal for a dimmer switch to be warm to the touch. Dimmers are typically warm when in use, especially when you have two or more dimmers in the same area. However, if your dimmer is warmer than usual, or hot, this could pose a safety issue.

    Here are two things to be careful of concerning your dimmers:

    • Dimmers should never be connected to paddle fans, motors, or low-voltage lights. These electrical devices require specially made dimmers.
    • Make sure that you do not exceed the recommended wattage for your dimmer. Your typical dimmer is rated at a max of 600 Watts. This is the same as powering six 100-watt bulbs or ten 60-watt bulbs.

    NOTE: If you need to connect more than 600 watts to a single dimmer, you can purchase dimmers designed for use in high-wattage situations.

  • How can I be sure that a fuse has blown?

    Fuses are designed with a small wire that will fail if too much power flows through it. As a result, the electricity will no longer flow through this wire. Although many people think that looking through a glass fuse will let you know if it is broken or not, this is not always the case.

    If you suspect that a fuse is blown, the best thing to do is replace it. If this fixes the problem, wonderful! If this does not restore power, always call All Services for a professional solution.

  • Do I really need GFI outlets in my home & if so, where should they be located?

    To be compliant with the National Electrical Code, any outlets in areas where water is used must contain GFI outlets rather than normal electrical receptacles. This type of outlet is used near water for safety reasons.

    Ground fault interrupter outlets closely monitor the electrical wires that they are connected to and will shut off power to the outlet if there is any electrical problem at all.

    If you ever lose electricity when you are in your bathroom, kitchen, garage or outdoors, check first to see if it is a GFI receptacle. If so, it will have a “TEST” button and a “RESET” button. First, push the “TEST” button, then push “RESET”. If you have a GFI outlet that is constantly shutting off, try plugging a different appliance into it to see if you get the same result. If the problem lies within the outlet, you will need to call a qualified electrician.

    Tip: Although the outlet that has lost power may not be a GFI, it may be protected by a nearby GFI that has tripped off. Check all of the GFI outlets in the area to see if any are tripped to see if this will restore power to your affected outlet.

    GFI Outlets or GFI Receptacles can identify differences in electrical power as small as 3ma. If more power is detected coming from the hot side than is leaving from the neutral side, it will immediately shut itself off. While this may be annoying, the electricity coming in must go out either through the neutral end or somewhere else. This feature protects you from excess electricity.

    You should test your GFI outlets each month. It is easy to do by pressing the “TEST” button. If this does not cause the “RESET” button to pop out, you should call an electrician. If your “RESET” button pops out, your outlet is working normally. To reset the outlet, just push the reset button back in.

  • What should I do if I lose power in my entire home?

    If your entire home or building is out of power, we recommend the following steps:

    • Call your utility company to see if there’s an issue with the power from the utility company reaching your electrical panel.
    • Try resetting your main circuit breaker. It could be shut off or broken.
    • All circuit breakers have been flipped. Try resetting each breaker in your electrical panel.
    • If none of the above helps, call our licensed Crown Point electricians for assistance.
  • What exactly is a short circuit & how can I correct one?

    When two wires accidentally touch each other, a short circuit occurs. This will cause the affected circuit breaker to trip, or a fuse to blow.

    The best way to fix a short circuit is to think about what happened just before it occurred. Many times, a short will occur when you plug something new in.

    If you just plugged in your hairdryer, for example, unplug the dryer and reset your breaker. If this fixes the problem, your electrical system is ok. You should probably get a new hairdryer, though.

    If there is no appliance that is causing the short circuit, play it safe and call us to properly troubleshoot the problem.

  • How do I reset a circuit breaker?

    Your circuit breaker has an internal switch that can be flipped off when the breaker trips, so although the external switch is in the on position, this does not determine that the circuit breaker did not trip off.

    To reset your circuit breaker and restore power to your home, follow these steps:

    • Turn off all electronics including computers and other large appliances.
    • Turn the first breaker of your electrical panel off, and then switch it on again.
    • Repeat the previous steps with each breaker in the electrical panel
    • Turn on your electronics to see if power has been restored.

    If your electronics has turned on, it means that you have successfully reset the circuit breaker. If not, we recommend that you call for a professional electrical contractor from All Services.

  • My heater has a rotten egg smell, what is it?

    If you smell rotten eggs whenever your gas furnace is running, it could be a sign of a gas leak. Whatever you do, never light a match, smoke, or create a spark regardless if the odor is strong or not. Check the pilot light of the furnace to determine the leak. If the pilot light is yellow in color instead of blue or completely out, we recommend that you call 911 or your local gas company and get out of your house immediately. As soon as you’re at a safe distance, call All Services so we can schedule a repair or replacement your furnace.

  • When should I replace my furnace?

    Furnaces have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. When you reach this mark, you may start to notice certain problems such as loud noises, inefficiencies, cycling on and off, higher heating bills, and more. Rule of thumb is when the money you spend on furnace repair is almost half the total cost of a new equipment, it’s time for a replacement. All Services can help you find and install a replacement furnace that best fits your budget and lifestyle. You may also ask our Crown Point heating techs about our flexible financing options to help with any financial concerns.

  • My air conditioning has poor airflow, what can I do?

    Poor air conditioning airflow has many causes with dirty filters being the most common. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your filters or it has been more than six months since the last time, replace it immediately and see if this improves your airflow. If not, the issue might be coming from a dirty or leaking air ducts. This can be remedied with duct cleaning in Crown Point from All Services. Other causes include an improperly installed air conditioning as well as the wrong sizing of the cooling system.

  • What factors should I consider when buying a new AC?

    When purchasing a new air conditioning system, you should take into consideration the following factors:

    • Correct size
    • Energy efficiency or high SEER rating
    • Available warranties
    • Your budget

    Enlist the help of All Services to make sure you select the best AC for your home or commercial space. We take the time to evaluate your home and discuss your specific needs. We also ensure that the installation will be done in a correct and timely manner.

  • What is indoor air quality?

    Indoor air quality is the state of the air you breathe inside your home or commercial space. It is affected by several factors including the presence of dust, allergens, and other particulates, humidity level, and ventilation. As more people are spending their time indoors, it is important to pay attention to the quality of your indoor air as this can greatly affect one’s health. If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your home or office, get in touch with us right away so we can test your current air quality and offer targeted solutions.

  • Do I really need heating & air conditioning maintenance?

    Like any other mechanical equipment, such as your car, heating and air conditioning systems require regular inspections and tune-ups to ensure top performance. System maintenance offers a number of benefits including increased efficiency of your heater and AC, reduced energy costs, extended system life, and reduced occurrence of major system problems.

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