Bergen County Electrical FAQ

These are the most common electrical questions asked by our clients in the Bergen County area. Contact us today at (201) 930-1830 so that we can discuss your electrical needs, since each electrical configuration and design is different we will study your case and provide an array of options.

How do I know it is time to call a professional electrician?

Aside from the obvious electrical problems that prevent you from flicking on lights or using electrical outlets, there are a few telltale signs that you might need to contact an electrician:

  • Lights dimming when turning on electrical appliances
  • Flickering or intermittent lighting
  • Unidentified burning smells
  • Overloaded outlets or power bars

Why should I hire a professional Electrician?

There are several reasons to hire a professional electrician for installation and repairs around your home:

  • Safety – even the smallest electrical project can turn out not to be as simple as you first thought. Playing with electricity if you are not qualified to do so can be extremely dangerous and end up in injury, property damage and even death.
  • Insurance – even if you succeed in obtaining an electrical permit for electrical work in your own home, be aware that if anything goes wrong and you end up damaging your electrical system or your property, your insurance company will not compensate you. Insurance companies only cover electrical work performed by a trained, certified electrician.
  • Saving Money – doing the job yourself may seem like a great idea, and you may think that it will be cheaper than to hire a professional electrical company such as Mardel Contractor L.L.C. In the long run however, should you encounter any problems or make your electrical problem worse than it was to begin with, you will end up spending more money to have the damage you caused repaired. It is not worth trying to save a few dollars if you're only going to end up spending more than you would have in the first place.

Do you offer emergency services?

Yes, we do. At Mardel Electrical Contractor, our priority is the safety and well-being of our customers. If you find yourself without electricity or are faced with a dangerous electrical situation, please call us without delay. Our team of expert electricians will respond as quickly as possible to ensure no injury or damage comes to you or your property.

How much should I attempt on my own?

At The present time most states allow you to do whatever you want in your own home. But doing electrical work yourself is a gamble. How much are you willing to risk to save money. There is a reason why it takes so much training to become an electrician. Do not make a mistake by taking electricity lightly, even the smallest job could be a safety hazard. Why take a chance. Get a professional to do this work.

Also In some states the homeowner can pull his own Electrical permit for work in his single family home, what he does not know is that in case of damage or fire caused by his work, his homeowners insurance will not pay, they will only if the work is done by a licensed Electrical Contractor. You should check with your homeowners Insurance Co., and they should sign a document or something to this effect to acknowledge this when they pull a permit.

The most dangerous time is when you tell yourself. This is easy. I can do it myself. Why should i get an electrician? Than when you don't remember where all those wires went, or your hair is standing straight up, you say to yourself. Well maybe we better call someone to straighten up this mess. Now it will cost you double what you thought you were going to save in the beginning.

How many convenience outlets in each room?

In every kitchen, family room, dining room, living room, parlor, library, den, bedroom, or similar room or area of dwelling units, receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the floor line in any wall space there is more than six feet, from an outlet in that space. This is to prevent the use of extension cords. Outlets are usually placed about 18 inches above floor level. Switches usually go about 48 inches from floor level. For convenience outlets each single receptacle in a single branch circuit is usually figured for 1.5 amps, duplex outlets for 3 amps in estimating total amperage for that circuit. Air conditioners should be on a single dedicated circuit.

How should outlets be installed in a kitchen area?

All 15 and 20 receptacles installed within 6 feet of a kitchen sink or wetbar shall have G.F.C.I. protection. Receptacles in a kitchen used to serve counter tops should be supplied with at least two 20 amp branch circuits, for small appliances. Each fixed appliance (refrigerator, stove, dish washer) shall have its own dedicated circuit. On counter tops 12 inches or wider a receptacle shall be installed so that there is no more than 24 inches between outlets. Receptacles outlets installed to serve island counter tops shall be installed above, or within 12 inches below the counter top. There shall be no more than 24 inches from center line of counter top. No receptacle shall be installed face up on a sink counter top.

What is an AFCI?

Starting January 1, 2002, The National Electrical Code , Section 210-12, requires that all branch circuits supplying 125V, single phase, 15 and 20 ampere outlets installed in dwelling unit bedrooms be protected by an arc-fault Circuit interrupter. Eventually they will be in more areas but the NEC selected to require them on bedroom circuits first because a CPSC study showed many home fire deaths were related to bedroom circuits.

The AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker, will shut off a circuit in a fraction of a second if arcing develops. The current inside of an arc is not always high enough to trip a regular breaker. You must have noticed a cut or worn piece of a cord or a loose connection in a junction box or receptacle arcing and burnt without tripping the regular breaker. As you can guess this is a major cause of fires in a dwelling.

There is a difference between AFCIs and GFCIs. AFCIs are intended to reduce the likelihood of fire caused by electrical arcing faults; whereas, GFCIs are personnel protection intended to reduce the likelihood of electric shock hazard. Don't misunderstand, GFCIs are still needed and save a lot of lives.

Combination devices that include both AFCI and GFCI protection in one unit will become available soon. AFCIs can be installed in any 15 or 20 ampere branch circuit in homes today and are currently available as circuit breakers with built-in AFCI features. In the near future, other types of devices with AFCI protection will be available.

If a GFCI receptacle is installed on the load side of an AFCI it is possible for both the AFCI and the GFCI to trip on a fault if the current exceeds the limit for both devices. It is also possible for the AFCI to trip and the GFCI to not trip since the two devices could race each other. However, in no case is safety compromised.