Category: Featured

What Causes Flickering Lights?

What does it mean when the lights in your home start to flicker?

While there are a few benign issues, flickering lights should not be ignored. In many cases they are the telltale sign of a much more serious electrical issues that requires immediate professional attention.

The occasional light flicker might be caused by a number of problems, some of which aren’t cause for concern. These include a problem with the lightbulb, a loose socket connection, or defective fixture. Inspecting your lights can often reveal if any of these are the issue.

However, while these causes might be to blame, they are not typical. More often, flickering lights are a symptom of a more serious problem.

Here are the 6 main causes of flickering lights.

1. Overloaded Circuit. If you notice flickering when you turn on a large appliance, you may be overloading the circuit.

Flickering that is brief and infrequent usually isn’t critical. This can happen in even the best-designed electrical systems, where larger loads have their own dedicated circuits. However, f the flickering is consistent or persistent it’s time to call a professional.

2. Utility Service. Sometimes the issue stems from the source. Your home likely shares a transformer with the surrounding homes. If a neighbor is engaging in heavy electrical use, it can cause your lights to flicker. This means the issue may lie with your utility service. An electrician can determine if it’s time to call them for a repair.

3. Fluctuating Electrical Voltage. On a standard, 120-volt circuit, your home should have a reading of between 115 volts and 125 volts. There are many reasons whey the voltage in your house might be too high or too low. 

Other signs associated with this issue include lights flicker or dim when large appliances are turned on, flickering keeps happening after the appliance is turned off, lights dim at random times, frequent lightbulb burnouts, and appliance malfunctions.

Incorrect voltage can be a safety hazard in your home and lead to an electrical emergency. That’s why it’s imperative to call an electrical to diagnose the problem immediately.

4. Loose Wiring. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that nearly 70% of home fires caused by electrical equipment and lighting can be traced back to loose wiring.

Sometimes wiring can be improperly installed, or loosen over time. This demonstrates the need for annual electrical maintenance. If your home’s electrical system has not been maintained annually, and you already have flickering lights, call an electrician.

5. Arcing. Not only can loose wiring cause your lights to flicker, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. If you have loose connections it can lead to a phenomenon called arcing. Arcing is when electricity jumps over a loose connection. Every time it jumps, or arcs, it produces very hot temperatures that can spark an electrical fire. 

Prevent arcing before it becomes a problem. Have a professional check for loose wiring in lights, switches outlets and the breaker panel immediately.

6. Main Connection. If the flickering occurs in several areas of your house, it likely means there is a bigger, underlying issues with your main panel.

If your lights flicker inconsistently, or for no apparent reason, call an electrician right away.

It might seem like a minor issue, but flickering lights can quickly turn into a serious problem. Even one loose connection can be enough to spark a fire or cause a major electrical issue throughout your whole house. 

If you’ve noticed flickering lights, and aren’t sure of the reason, it’s time to call an expert. These connections are dangerous and should only be handled by skilled, experienced electricians like the ones on our team.

If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. 775-841-9473

Top 5 Tips For Choosing The Best Electrical Contractor


Top 5 Tips For Choosing The Best Electrical Contractor


When it comes to your electrical system, it’s essential to make sure it’s functioning well – and keeping you and your family safe. In order to do that, you want to hire a professional to take care of all your electrical needs. Here are the top 5 tips for choosing the best electrical contractor.

  1. 1. Licensed and Insurance

Finding an electrician who is licensed and insured is extremely important. This will protect you from unnecessary costs and stress if anything is to go wrong inside your home during your appointment. Not only that, but it also confirms that the electrician you chose for the job has the proper electrical training. To hire the most professional, skilled, and experienced electrician, make sure they have up-to-date licenses and insurance.

  1. 2. Qualifications and Certifications

Being an electrician with specific qualifications and certifications offers a guarantee to customers that the work performed will be of a professional standard and high-quality. As a customer, this is something you’ll want to look out for. Hiring a certified electrician is just as important as hiring one that is licensed.

  1. 3. A Good Reputation

One sure way to know you’re hiring a true professional is to see what their online reputation is like. Reading reviews from past customers lets you know the type of service you can expect to receive from the company in question. Do some research online before making your selection

  1. 4. Value For Money

As a general rule of thumb, you should get at least 3 quotes before making your selection, so you can compare. That is how you’ll know for sure that you’re getting the most value for your money. A good electrical contractor will provide a quote and a breakdown of prices so it’s very clear to you and you know what to expect. Aside from pricing, there are many other things to consider before choosing the best electrical contractor for the job.

  1. 5. Attitude and Communication

There’s nothing like choosing an electrician for an important job – and not hearing back from them. Communication in any relationship is key – even your relationship with your electrician. Your home is important to you, and it should be important to anyone you hire. When searching for an electrical contractor, find one that keeps their customers informed from the start. Many HVAC companies will use dispatching software, like Service Titan, to communicate effectively and efficiently with their customers.

Looking For A Reputable, Quality Electrical Contractor Near You? Contact Happy Outlet at 775-841-9473 today.


Is Your Home Up to National Electrical Code?

Unless you’re a professional electrician, you probably don’t have the time and energy to keep up with annual changes and updates to the National Electrical Code. But as anyone in the electrical profession knows all too well, this book is critically important when it comes to buying and selling property or building new construction projects.

Even if you aren’t planning to put your house on the market any time soon, there are a few electrical code updates you shouldn’t ignore. As the technology we use every day develops so quickly year after year, our electrical systems need updates to keep them functioning correctly.

In honor of National Electrical Safety Month this May, our team at The Happy Outlet wants to share a few useful National Electrical Code requirements. Below are a few common upgrades your older home might need.

Do you have dedicated circuits for specific rooms or appliances?

Since our appliances have developed to serve us more effectively in the last few decades, they have also started to consume more and more electricity to work. Old school circuitry doesn’t always cut it anymore for washing machines, HVAC units, refrigerators, and other large appliances.

According to the National Electrical Code, your kitchen alone will need at least seven dedicated circuits for specific appliances (your fridge, dishwasher, and microwave are all examples). Even your garage must have its own dedicated circuit for receptables that power outdoor tools.

Most modern homes will already comply with dedicated circuit requirements. But many older homes will need new circuits added to the electric panel.

Do you have GFCI outlets outdoors and in every kitchen and bathroom?

The National Electrical Code now requires Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in any space where there is a source of water. GFCI outlets are designed to detect any disruptions in the flow of electricity. If they notice a surge of power, they will disconnect from the circuit completely. This feature is designed to protect homeowners from electrocution (which happens most frequently when electronics come into contact with water).

Your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, garage, basement, and all outdoor spaces should have GFCI outlets since there is always a chance that water could interfere with your electrical appliances. This is a relatively inexpensive upgrade that is critically important for your safety.

Do you have smoke alarms outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home?

Most people already know that smoke alarms are required in every bedroom. But in recent years, the National Electrical Code has updated its policy on smoke alarms.

You should have smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of your home (including the basement). This ensures that even if one smoke alarm fails, there is a safety net of other alarms to alert you to a fire immediately.

Is your home up to National Electrical Code?

In answer to the greater consumption of electricity and greater number of electronics in our homes, the National Electrical Code has created some new rules to keep homeowners safe.

If you have any questions about how to upgrade your home to meet electrical code requirements during a remodeling process, give us a call at The Happy Outlet! One of our expert electricians will be happy to help you.

For more information on electrical safety at home, check out our list of tips.

If you need any electrical repairs, replacements, or upgrades in your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.