Your Hampton Roads Electricians
What Makes Us The Best?
Your Hampton Roads Electricians
What Makes Us The Best?
If you need an electrician, it is probably for one of these reasons:
- You’ve got an emergency on your hands.
- You want to make electrical upgrades to your home.
- You’re remodeling or building a new home.
- You need an inspection for a home sale or purchase.
We're Licensed, Insured, and Local
Whichever situation applies to you, Asbury Electric is here to help. As a family-owned business, we know how important it is that you can trust the people you hire to work in your home. We’re committed to delivering the highest quality work and the best possible customer service on every single job.
We’re here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have an emergency, don’t wait. Call us at 757-768-7147.
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Tips From An Electrician
You aren’t an expert on your home’s electrical system. And, it isn’t reasonable to expect you to be. But if you learn some of the basics, you’ll be better prepared in the case of an emergency, or when you need to hire a contractor. Here are some tips from our team. We hope you find them helpful!
Tip #1 My Breaker Keeps Tripping. Should I Call an Electrician?
It isn’t normal for a breaker to trip on a regular basis. Occasionally, you may be asking for more electrical output than it can provide. But, once you reset it and address the overload, it should not keep tripping. If it does, there is likely something seriously wrong with your electrical system – something that could be a fire hazard.
It is easy to overload a circuit. Anything that produces heat tends to require a considerable amount of electricity. If you’ve got the dryer running, the iron on, and someone turns on a hair dryer, and they are all plugged into outlets attached to one circuit, that’s a good recipe for circuit overload.
Be aware, that appliances with a tendency to overheat can also cause a circuit overload. An overheated air conditioner, for instance, will continue to draw larger and larger amounts of electricity to maintain the same level of performance. Eventually, your HVAC system will die, or you’ll blow a circuit, or both. Have your appliances maintained and inspected regularly to keep everything running efficiently.
Take the risk of fire seriously. If you’ve got a short circuit, you’ve got a serious fire hazard. Outlets with loose wiring or improperly installed outlets overload when they touch, and cause the circuit to break. They also create sparks and can easily start a fire. If you smell smoke or see any discoloration around your outlets, call an electrician immediately.
A ground fault is similar to a short circuit, and occurs when a live wire contacts a ground wire. This is just as dangerous as a short circuit, and requires immediate attention.
Finally, a nearby lightning strike could cause your entire breaker to blow all at once. The power outage typically won’t last very long. But, if the rest of your neighborhood gets their power back, and your circuits keep tripping, get a professional out to take a look. You’ve got something else going on.
Tip #2 Call an Electrician if. . .
Lights Flicker: You may need to add a new line. If your lights flicker when you turn on the air conditioning, blow dryer, or other appliance that draws a lot of power, you’re overloading your system. Talk to a professional about possibly running all of your appliances that draw a lot of power to one circuit with enough power to keep them running.
You’ve Got an Outlet Octopus: Do you have one, or two, or twelve outlets around the house with adapters plugged into them, and four or five appliances plugged into each adapter? You know you’re asking for trouble, right? There’s almost no chance that your outlets aren’t doing double-duty with this kind of load plugged into them. And, when your outlets are tasked beyond capacity, you run the risk of shock, sparks, and fire. Have a professional contractor install more outlets, and make any required changes to your electrical panel.
You Get Shocked: If you experience even the smallest tingle or twinge when plugging in or unplugging appliances, you’ve got a problem. It could be caused by a number of things. Call a professional. Don’t mess around.
Wires Run Under the Rug Have Become a Tripping Hazard: We feel like this one should be obvious. If you’ve run a bunch of wires under your carpet, including extension cords, because you don’t have enough outlets where you need them, and you don’t want to have to look at all of the ugly wires, stop doing that right now. Call someone and get some extra outlets installed. Upgrade your panel if you need to. It isn’t an expensive fix. And, what you’re doing can be very dangerous. You’re creating a serious fire hazard.
You Can’t Plug That in Here: Do you have a bunch of old outlets with only space for two prongs. Those outlets are not properly grounded. Have an electrician come out and fix those for you. It is a fast, simple fix. You won’t have to fuss with adapters, and you’ll know that your electronics are safe and grounded.
Rust is Around: There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. If rust is showing up in or around your breaker box, you have water seeping into or near your electrical system. There is almost nothing more dangerous. Call a professional immediately.
You Haven’t Made Any Upgrades in 20 Years: If your home is more than 20 years old, the chances are pretty good that your wiring isn’t up to current standards. It’s worthwhile having an inspection done, even if it turns out that everything is okay. If your house was built before 1975 and you haven’t had your wiring inspected, you definitely should. You could have aluminum wiring, which could pose a fire hazard if it starts to deteriorate. Aluminum wiring should be inspected at least once a year. Better yet, have it replaced and have your home’s electrical system brought up to date.
Tip #3 Understand Basic Electrical Terms
When you hire an electrician, you’re going to be hearing a lot of terms that you are familiar with, but that you probably don’t actually know what they all mean. Many people, us included, don’t like to appear uninformed or less intelligent, so we just nod our heads as if we’re following along with the conversation, even when we’re completely lost. Don’t do that.
When you work with Asbury Electric in Gloucester, we’ll encourage you to ask questions. We’ll pause while we’re assessing your electrical problem and take the time to make sure you understand what’s happening. No question is a bad question. No question is a dumb question. We’re the experts, not you. And we don’t expect you to understand everything. That being said, your home uses electricity, you depend on that electricity, and you’ll be very glad that you understand some basic electrical terms if you do end up with an emergency on your hands.
- Amps: An amp is simply a unit of measurement that indicates the rate of electrical flow through your wires, or your electrical current.
60 amp service: If your house was built prior to the 1970s, it probably originally had 60 amp electrical service because the electrical needs for a typical household were much lower before the addition of all of our modern-day electronics and appliances. Many homes then relied more heavily on natural gas. If your home doesn’t use gas, 60 amps is most likely not going to be sufficient.
- 100 amp service: This is the minimum circuit breaker load allowed by modern electrical codes. If you look at your electrical panel you may see some switches labeled 100, 150, 200 and even 400. Anything that requires a heavy electrical load like a hot tub or air conditioning will likely be on its own 200 or 400 amp switch.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter: If you’ve ever watched a home renovation show on TV, you’ve likely heard of GFCIs. They are designed to protect you from electrical shock. Modern electrical codes require GFCI outlets in areas of your home where water is present, including the kitchen and bathroom.
There is certainly a lot more you could learn about your home electrical system. In the weeks to come, we’ll cover more terminology tips. Meanwhile, if you need an electrical inspection or repair, or want to do anything from adding new overhead lights to replacing your electrical panel, just give us a call.
Don’t forget, our electricians are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you with any electrical emergency.
Tip #4 How to Handle an Electrical Fire
The best way to handle an electrical fire is to avoid having one in the first place. Follow these tips for preventing electrical fires, and for extinguishing one in the case that prevention fails. And if you think that there is any chance that an electrical system in your home poses a fire hazard, please call Asbury Electric in Gloucester. Don’t take any chances. We’ll come out and take a look, and make any necessary repairs, so you’ll know for sure that your family is safe and secure.
If your electrical system hasn’t been inspected or updated in the past 10 years, get an inspection to make sure everything remains in good working order.
- If your electrical system hasn’t been inspected or updated in the past 10 years, get an inspection to make sure everything remains in good working order.
- If your home was built before 1980 and your electrical system hasn’t been upgraded, have a professional electrician inspect your system to make sure it is up to code.
- Don’t overload your outlets. The best way to prevent this is to avoid using adapters to plug multiple appliance into an outlet intended to only support two. If you need more outlets, have an electrician install them for you. A professional will make sure that there is enough power running to each new outlet, and that each is attached to the proper circuit.
- Replace funky outlets. If you’ve got an outlet that plugs fall out of or that you have to force plugs into (never do that by the way), replace it. When taking off the panel, if you see any singed spots or loose wiring, call an electrician for help.
- Don’t use extension cords as permanent parts of your electrical system. They are not intended for that purpose. They’re meant only to provide temporary access to electricity. If you need power somewhere you don’t have it, have new outlets professionally installed.
- Increase service capacity. If you are making improvements to your home on an ongoing basis, make sure that you don’t overburden your electrical service capacity. A licensed electrician can add capacity and install new branch circuits. If you are tripping circuits frequently, you probably have exceeded your capacity.
- Small electrical fires, like a smouldering electrical cord, can be put out by dousing them with baking soda. The bicarbonate in baking soda is the same thing that is used in Class C fire extinguishers.
- Never use water. Water conducts electricity. Just don’t do it, ever. It can be deadly.
- Have fire extinguishers, and make sure everyone knows where they are and how to use them. If you have a small fire and are confident that you can extinguish it yourself, use your fire extinguisher. If you don’t know the source of the fire, or are uncertain if it may be smouldering anywhere else in the house, call 911. Your fire department would prefer that you be safe rather than sorry. They’ll make sure your fire is completely out. If you can’t extinguish the fire quickly — in a minute or less — get everyone out of the house and call 911 immediately.
- Once the fire is out and everyone is safe, call an electrician to do a thorough inspection of your electrical system.
Asbury Electric in Gloucester is here to help with all of your electrical safety and electrical fire prevention needs. We’re a locally-owned and operated company and we care about our neighbors. So please don’t hesitate to call us for help when you need a reliable, licensed, and professional electrician. We’re here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Tip # 5 My Bulbs Keep Burning Out. Should I Call An Electrician?
Having to frequently replace light bulbs is a pain. But, it could also be a sign of larger, potentially dangerous, electrical problems. Keep reading to learn more. And, if you think you have a problem, give us a call. We’re here to help.
If you’ve got one light fixture, like a ceiling fan light or chandelier, that keeps burning out bulbs, the fault may be in the actual fixture. But, that’s not always the case. A professional electrician can certainly help you diagnose a faulty fixture. And, they can likely make the required repairs, or recommend that you call the manufacturer or return the fixture. It is also possible that it is just time to replace the fixture. If it is old, or of extremely low quality, your best bet is to replace it. It could pose a fire hazard. But, if you spent a lot of money on it, or just love it so much that you can’t part with it, give us a call. We’ll come take a look.
You may also be burning out bulbs because of excessive heat. Check to make sure that you’re using the right wattage bulb. Just because a bulb fits in a fixture, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use it. Always follow manufacturers instructions for maximum wattage. If the problem is with recessed lighting, there may be insufficient ventilation to allow lights to cool down properly.
Vibration is also a frequent culprit. Does your ceiling fan wobble a lot? That can easily cause bulbs to blow. Make sure it is properly installed, especially if it is on a slanted ceiling. Improper installation on a slanted ceiling can cause a whole host of problems beyond burning out bulbs.
If your problem is with multiple fixtures, it is definitely time to call a professional electrician. Your home electrical system could actually be sending too much electricity to those fixtures, and to other fixtures as well. That’s something that you need to get tested. And, if it turns out to be the problem, an electrician can fix it for you.
If nothing seems to fix the problem, you could have more serious problems. Faulty wiring or improper electrical installation may be to blame. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ve moved into a brand new home so everything is going to work perfectly. Mistakes happen, and electricity is nothing to fool around with. So, if you can’t fix the problem yourself, don’t put it off. Call a professional electrician.
Tip #6 Hiring the Right Electrician
We know that we are experienced, trustworthy, provide excellent customer service, and stand by our work. But, if you’ve never worked with us before, you don’t know that. We need to earn your trust. That’s one of the reasons we’re putting this list of tips together for you, so you’ll have enough knowledge to know which electricians are trustworthy and which aren’t. So, here are some tips for hiring a good electrician.
Hourly Rates Aren’t Everything. You may find a wide range of hourly rates when hiring an electrician. Choosing the lowest rate isn’t always going to save you money. If you hire an inexperienced person to handle a complex job, it is going to take them longer to complete each task, and they may need to go back to correct mistakes. They’re basically learning on your dime. Someone charging $50 dollars per hour may take 20 hours to complete a job that someone charging $75 per hour can complete in seven or eight hours. So, make sure you do enough research to understand the level of professional experience your contractor has. And, get an estimate for how many hours they expect the job to take.
Check Reputable Reference Sources. You should expect your electrician to be able to provide references from past customers. Make sure they are recent customers, and that their project was of the same scope as yours. If you are rewiring your home, and the reference is from someone who had a new ceiling fan installed, that reference isn’t really worth a whole lot. Just as important as customer references are professional and industry references. Are you hiring an electrician who specializes in new construction or remodels? Then, they should be able to provide references from the contractors they’ve worked with. And, don’t forget to check sources like the Better Business Bureau. Any complaints filed against an electrician with the Bureau will be found on their website.
Check for miscellaneous charges. Does your electrician charge for travel time? If so, make sure it is a reasonable expense. One of the reasons that we recommend hiring a locally-owned and operated electrical contractor is because they likely don’t have these kinds of fees. And, if they do, you can usually negotiate with them. An electrician working for a franchise or large, national company probably doesn’t have the authority to negotiate on travel charges, hourly rates, or anything else.
When to Call Your Gloucester Electrician
Licensed Electrician in Gloucester
We get it, you’re a do-it-yourselfer who does home improvement projects to make your home exactly what you want it to be. You’ve upgraded your own light fixtures and installed a dimmer switch, without complications. We completely respect that. But, sometimes we all need a licensed electrician to ensure that there are no safety issues or to repair shoddy electrical installation. Here are a few times that you should seriously consider calling your local electrician rather than attempting to fix the issue yourself.
#1 Damaged wires or switches
– it is never a good idea to take on the task of repairing damaged wires and switches on your own. This is an electrical emergency waiting to happen! The best course of action is to cut power to the affected area and make an appointment with your trusted local electrician.
#2 Tripping circuit breakers
– If your circuit breakers regularly trip or you lose power when you turn on appliances, that is a warning that your electrical system cannot handle all of your home’s electrical demands. Your breaker is a safety mechanism that cuts power when the risk of overheating or overloading is present.
#3 Outlet installation
– If your home doesn’t have enough electrical outlets to meet your needs, don’t just add more yourself. Call an experienced electrician to upgrade your electrical system and add outlets and power to meet your demands.
#4 Remodel or home upgrades
– If your home is older and you decide it is time to upgrade or update it, chances are this includes adding or replacing light fixtures. If you are conducting a remodel that will change the structure of a room, you’ll need to hire a local electrician for sure, to assist in the construction process and ensure that everything is safe and will accommodate your power needs.
For a trusted, experienced, local electrician, call Asbury Electric! We have the skill and the tools handle all of your electrical needs. and ensure that everything is safe and will accommodate your power needs.
For a trusted, experienced, local electrician, call Asbury Electric! We have the skill and the tools handle all of your electrical needs.
Electrical Emergencues That require and Emergency Electrician, Now!
Licensed Electrician in Gloucester
No matter how handy or electrical capable you are, there are some electrical emergencies that are never safe for you to attempt to fix. If you experience any of these electrical problems immediately remove yourself and your family from the home and call 911. If it is safe to do so, cut the power to your home. If your family is safe and it is safe for you to do so, you can attempt to use a fire extinguisher to sweep the flames, but NEVER ever use water to put out an electrical fire. If there is no fire and you are able to cut the power, your next course of action is to call an emergency electrician right away.
#1 You can smell burning wires
– Burning wires emit a burning metallic or plastic smell. This is a very serious problem and if it is not corrected immediately, can become fatal. A burning smell is indicative of a pending electrical fire. Immediately cut the power and call a 24 hour electrician.
#2 Buzzing or humming breaker box
– Any loud noises coming from your breaker box means that something is attempting to trip and is unable to because of some fault. This is incredibly dangerous. This poses big problems to your entire electrical system and needs to be corrected immediately!
#3 Loss of power
– While being without power can be considered more of a nuisance than an emergency, if there is no known reason for a loss of power, it becomes an emergency. The problem may be as simple as the power company shut off your electricity or as emergent as an injury to your breaker box which puts your entire electrical system at risk. If there is no good reason that your home lost power, call an emergency electrician just in case.
#4 An electrical fire occurred
-Once the fire has been handled as we instructed at the beginning of this section and there is no longer an immediate danger to you, your family, or your home, then call your local emergency electrician. A licensed electrician can do an electrical assessment and figure out why the fire started in the first place and correct any hazards to prevent future fires.
If you need an emergency electrician, no matter the time of day, Asbury Electric has your back! Call our local emergency electrician, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because we know emergencies don’t always happen during business hours.
Tips to Reduce Your Electric Bill
Your home’s energy bill is directly related to the energy your home consumes. To help reduce your electric bill, you need reduce the amount or electricity your home uses. This seems to be easier said than done, but there are things that you can easily do to help reduce your home’s energy consumption.
- Reduce laundry cycles – make sure that you have a full load before pressing start and line dry your laundry.
- Clean out your dryer filter- make it more efficient so you can reduce the time and heat required to dry clothes.
- Change your air filter- allowing air to flow decreases energy load.
- Reduce dishwasher cycles- make sure you have full loads to start and you use a low setting.
- Turn off unused screen electronics — televisions, desktop computers, gaming systems.
- Install dimmer switches- it helps you reduce the amount of light used.
- Keep your fridge and freezer full- it helps to insulate and hold in the cold, reducing how much it runs.
- Install ceiling fans- it helps circulate air and decrease air conditioning use.
- Install curtains or blinds- it helps to shield your house from the sun and decrease air conditioning use.
- Switch to LED lights- they use 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Turn down the temperature on the water heater
- Purchase energy star appliances- they have met strict energy standards.
- Adjust your thermostat- you can save up to 10 percent for every degree closer to the outside temperature your thermostat is set at.
If you think your current electrical system is contributing to your high energy bills, call your local electrician to do an assessment and give you suggestions on where you can cut energy use. For an experienced electrician in Gloucester you can trust, call Asbury Electric now!
We service Hampton Roads, Williamsburg, and the Northern Neck!
We’re based out of the Gloucester Courthouse area and our service extends to all three of the Virginia peninsulas. We serve the following locations:
8157 Sheffield Dr.
Gloucester, VA 23061
Virginia Beach Office
4701 Shore Drive, Suite 103 PMB 116
Virginia Beach, VA 23455