Monthly Archives: February 2016

Electrical Meter Problems

If your home has electricity, it has an electrical meter! Through the electrical meter is where utility power enters your home. This critical electrical component can negatively impact your electrical usage and bills if it is not working properly; watch out for signs that may indicate a problem with your electrical meter.

How to find your electrical meter

For most homes, the electrical meter is located on an exterior wall. It is likely close to where your electrical panel is located inside the home. In older homes, the electrical meter may be found in the basement or in a dedicated utility room.

Common electrical meter problems

Many homeowners don’t consider that their electrical meter could be to blame for common issues. Some problems that could be attributed to a malfunctioning electrical meter at your home include:

  • Increased electrical bills: When your electrical bills jump without an increase from your utility company, it’s a sign that something is consuming excessive power. In some cases, this could be a malfunctioning appliance, like an air conditioner; in other cases, it could mean your electrical meter is drawing excess power. If you receive an electrical bill that is astronomical without other explanation, such as beginning to use a new appliance or turning on the air conditioner for the first time this season, it’s a smart idea to have an electrician inspect your electrical meter for malfunctions.
  • Error notification: Some models of electrical meters, particularly those with digital displays, may issue a notification of an error. If you get an error or fault message on your meter’s display, contact an electrician to correct the issue right away; neglecting to do so can result in high electrical bills.
  • Lack of power: There are several issues can cause your home to be without power, such as a faulty electrical panel. Sometimes, your electrical meter could be the source of the problem. It could have been damaged, causing it to break or to pull away from the home, leaving you without power. If you notice your electrical meter has disconnected from your home yet you still have power, you should still call for an electrician to re-secure the meter for your safety.

What to do if you suspect electrical meter problems

Electrical meter problems can be difficult for homeowners to identify. Some of the issues associated with faulty electrical meters could also be connected to other electrical issues around the home. If you are having problems operating electrical items throughout your home properly or you have received electric bills which were abnormally high, you should certainly have an electrician visit your home and perform an inspection to identify the source of your electrical problems.

If you suspect your Phoenix area home’s electrical meter is faulty, call Mister Sparky right away. Our licensed electricians will inspect your electrical meter to diagnose any problems, and perform tested, safe repairs.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Phoenix Generator

Many homes and businesses throughout the Phoenix area have generators installed to provide them with a backup power source in the event utility power is lost. Standby generators, also called whole home generators, are connected to the home or business’s electrical system and can detect when power is lost; they’ll fire up automatically to power the important systems and devices indoors so you won’t experience a lengthy interruption in service.

One scenario every generator owner wants to avoid is finding out their generator is dead after utility power is knocked out in an emergency situation. To avoid this potentially dangerous problem, be on the lookout for these ______ signs which can tell you it is time to replace your generator.

  1. Your generator is reaching the end of its expected service life

Like all major systems, generators do have a limited service life. With proper care, you can expect your generator to last anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 service hours. Because whole home generators aren’t used on a regular basis, it can be hard to determine exactly how many years they’ll last. It’s a smart idea to keep a log of the hours your generator has run each time it was in use; with this information, you’ll be able to track if your system is approaching the number of operational hours of its expected service life. If you are near that zone, within it, or exceeding it, you should begin to consider replacing your generator.

  1. Your generator hasn’t been maintained properly.

Generators need regular preventative maintenance to protect them. The system needs cleaned, components need changed, and the generator needs to be inspected and tested to ensure it’s working properly as well as to detect issues which need corrected to allow the system to function correctly. When maintenance is neglected, the system loses efficiency; efficiency loss also causes the generator to use more fuel, which is another warning sign that your generator is about to fail for good. If you haven’t been performing these steps yourself or don’t have a service agreement with Mister Sparky to take care of generator maintenance, your system could fail much sooner than its expected service life.

  1. Your generator needs to be repaired often

Generators and other mechanical equipment tend to have more minor breakdowns in the years before they break down for good. If you’ve had to make repairs to the system more often in the past few years, your generators last days are likely on the horizon and it’s time to replace it.

If the signs are pointing toward generator replacement, let Mister Sparky give you a hand! We carry a wide range of whole home generators and our licensed electricians will perform skilled installation for your new system. Don’t be left without power in an emergency situation due to a dead generator — call us today to learn more about generator replacement!