FAQ

General Questions

When Should I Call an Electrician? When is it time to call an emergency electrician?

At Schlumbrecht’s Electric, we recommend that you call an electrician the moment you have a project or situation involving electricity. Are you attempting to switch out an electrical outlet, change a fuse, or does one of your electrical outlets suddenly feel hot to the touch? The fact is, electricity can be dangerous. An electrician can ensure the job is done right and up to code while keeping your family safe.

How Do I Choose the Right Electrician?

You should look for an electrician near your home or office that has experience in the type of project you want done, whether it’s an entire office rewiring or a pre-move-in home wiring inspection. Read online reviews, as well, to get an idea for the electrician’s experience and professionalism while performing a job well done. Schlumbrecht’s Electric offers the services of electricians who are both experienced and well-versed in a variety of home and commercial electrician jobs. We can get the job done to your satisfaction quickly and safely, guaranteed.

Are You Licensed?

Yes. Each of our electricians is licensed and insured by the state of Louisiana.

Do You Have References?

Absolutely. Ask for references for any home or office electrician project and we can supply them to you anytime.

How Long Have You Been in Business?

Schlumbrecht’s Electric was founded in 2009 by owner Robert Schlumbrecht. We have a combined experience of over 65 years in the electrical industry.

Will You Provide an Estimate?

We recommend that you get an estimate from us so that we can determine what type of work you need and other details, like how long the project is likely to take. You can rest assured that your estimate will be honest and complete with no hidden charges or surprises of any kind.

What are the common Electrical Acronyms and what do they stand for?

If you are trying to memorize all the electricity abbreviations, you have your work cut out for you. Wikipedia keeps a nice list the next time you have lots of time on your hands and want to increase your knowledge of the electric industry.

How much electrical work should I attempt on my own?

Aside from plugging something into your home or office, we don’t recommend attempting any work where electrical charges are involved. An accident could result, leading to significant damage and even death. Rewiring a home or office and switching out a breaker can leave you exposed to powerful currents. Don’t mess around with electricity. Let the pros at Schlumbrecht’s Electric perform your electrical work instead.

What is that hole that looks like a half-circle that you see on electrical outlets these days?

That hole, which is very important for safety, is a ground built into the outlet that prevents contact between a hot wire and one that is neutral. That half-circle hole helps you avoid the danger of electric shocks and fire.

What is a rotating electrical outlet used for?

A rotating electrical outlet lets the plug rotate 360-degrees without affecting the positioning of the hot, neutral and ground wires.

How can electrical switches help with home security?

When we talk about switches and home security, we’re most likely referring to smart switches. Smart switches allow you to hook up your home’s electrical system to your wi-fi network. Using an app, you can use voice control and remote control right from your smartphone to turn on lights or turn them off, set certain moods, and set the thermostat, among other amazing capabilities. Call to ask about smart switches for your home or office today.

What is the difference between a breaker panel and my old fuse panel?

A breaker panel is safer and more convenient. Breaker panels are also easier to repair. 

Fuse panels require you to have fuses on hand in case one of them blows and replacing melted fuses can be a pain. Furthermore, fuse boxes aren’t equipped for GFCIs, so the chance of electricity or fire is high.

How do I reset my breakers?

Turn off the lights and unplug everything in the room that is affected. Open the circuit breaker panel and use a flashlight to inspect each one. Look for the circuit breaker that is located in the center position. Flip it off then on again. That’s how you reset a circuit breaker. 

What is a surge protector, and should I get one?

Yes. A surge protector can protect the electrical components in and around your home in the case of a dangerous power surge.

Why is a breaker in my panel hot to the touch?

An overheated breaker is a sign of a loose connection. If the breaker is already seated, the problem could be that the wire connected to it is loose. Contact one of our certified electricians for assistance.

How can I tell when an electrical outlet is not safe?

Grounded outlets, the ones that have three holes, are safe. Ungrounded electrical outlets with only two holes are not safe and should be avoided.

Can I plug a new refrigerator in anywhere?

Yes, you are free to plug your fridge into any standard outlet. Try to plug the appliance into a 20 Amp circuit if at all possible.

What does it mean when my fluorescent lights are flickering or cycling on and off?

Fluorescent bulbs are basically glass tubes filled with gas. That gas is excited by electrical pulses sent out by the ballast, resulting in visible light. The pulses mean that there is a flicker all the time. This strobe-like effect is usually so fast that the differences aren’t detectable by the naked eye. Only when the ballast begins to fail does the flicker become slower and thus more visible to human eyesight. 

Your bulb or the ballast starter may be faulty. Either way, our electricians can stop your fluorescent flicker for improved lighting and fewer headaches. 

Can I change an existing switch to a dimmer switch?

Yes. You can replace any standard single-pole or three-way switch with a dimmer switch. Keep in mind that dimmer switches do not work with fluorescent fixtures and low-voltage lighting. 

What areas of my house should be GFCI protected?

Your home should have GFCI outlets in all unfinished basements and crawl spaces due to the high levels of moisture. You might consider them in the kitchen, where you may have major appliances near a sink. Generally speaking, GFCI should be used on any outlet within four feet of a sink or other water source.

What are the buttons on my GFCI outlet for?

GFCI outlets are designed to protect you from deadly electric shock. There are two buttons on the standard GFCI outlet. One is reserved as a “Test” and one as a “Reset.” Push the test button. If the reset button pops out, the outlet is working correctly. Anytime the system trips, the reset button will pop out. Pop it back in and you’re back in business.

Can I make my home safe if I currently have knob and tube wiring, but do not have the funds available to complete a whole house rewire at this time?

You won’t see many homes these days fitted with knob and tube wiring, and for good reason. Knob and tube wired homes are not grounded and thus cannot accommodate today’s three-pronged outlets and plugs. Furthermore, there is a high chance of electric shock and fire. 

Don’t take the chance. Contact Schlumbrecht’s Electric to make your home safe with modern wiring that will protect your family against shocks and fires while adhering to your budget. 

What is the difference between conventional circuit breakers and an AFCI?

Conventional circuit breakers respond to overloads and short circuits. AFCI devices protect against fires caused by arcing faults in the electrical wiring.

How long will it take to complete a rewire, and will I need to move out during the process?

You shouldn’t have to move out of your home or office while the rewiring is being completed. It could take between one and two weeks to complete your rewire, depending on the size of your home and other factors.

What is the difference between a regular breaker and an Arc Fault breaker?

A regular circuit breaker protects against power surges while an arc fault breaker keeps your home or office safe from fire by protecting against arcs in the wiring.

Is aluminum wiring a fire hazard or is my aluminum wiring safe?

Aluminum is an excellent conductor of electricity, but homes and offices with aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to have fire hazard conditions when compared to buildings that use copper wire, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

You can keep your home safer by rewiring with copper.

What is knob and tube wiring?

Otherwise referred to as K&T, knob and tube wiring was the early standard of wiring before more modern and safer methods became adopted. The trend ran from around the 1880s to the early 1940s and consisted of single-insulated copper conductors that ran between the walls or ceilings and that joined with porcelain insulated tubes. These were supported along their length by porcelain knob insulators that were nailed into the wood. Where the conductors entered a wiring device like a lamp or switch, they were protected by flexible cloth insulated sleeves called looms. 

While knob and tube installations are still permitted in the US, the method can be dangerous and can increase the likelihood of accidents and fires. This is due to the fact that there is no grounding wire with K&T wiring like we find with today’s home and office wiring methods.

What is a GFCI Receptacle?

A ground fault circuit interrupter is a type of circuit breaker that shuts off electric power when it senses imbalances between the ingoing and outgoing current. 

Can I do this work myself?

We don’t recommend doing any electrical work yourself unless you have the proper certification. Only a professional who is trained to work your specific type of project can ensure your electrical job goes smoothly and efficiently with no accidents whatsoever.

Residential FAQs for Electricians

How can I lower my electric bill?

You can lower your electric bill by using a programmable thermostat to fluctuate during warmer and cooler times of day. You can add more insulation to your home, replace your air filter, and lower the temperature on the water heater. You can also wash your clothes in cold water, use appliances strategically, and use less A/C and heating, opting to dress with more or fewer layers of clothing instead. 

What should I do if I lose power?

Check the circuit breaker to see if you still have power. Look out for fallen power lines and never check your electricity during major thunder and lightning storms. Call the electric company to see if the outage is widespread. If only your home is affected, call Schlumbrecht’s Electric. There may be a problem with your main circuit panel.

How do I reset a tripped circuit?

Check your circuit breaker for any breakers that stand out among the rest. The knob should be in the middle, in other words, instead of all the way to the right. If you know the breaker that tripped and it looks out of the ordinary, flip it off and then back on. The breaker should be reset.

Why does my circuit always trip?

Sounds like you have a short circuit. You might also have a loose connection. Contact one of our certified electricians for assistance as messing with your circuit breaker is dangerous work. We can find the source of your tripped breaker and fix the problem fast, guaranteed.

How can I prevent electrical fires?

You can have the wiring inside your home inspected by a certified professional. You should also ensure that the appliances you use are modern and have a grounding wire, and that you never stick anything foreign into your electrical outlets. Don’t overload extension cords and power strips and keep heat-producing appliances unplugged when not in use.

Can I install a ceiling fan where a light is?

Yes, you can install a ceiling fan where a light exists because the wiring is already in place.

Why are my lights flickering?

Flickering lights are almost always caused by loose wiring. We take loose wires seriously at Schlumbrecht’s Electric, because loose wires are one of the leading causes of house fires.

Why does my smoke detector keep chirping?

Smoke detectors chirp when the battery is getting low on power. Change the battery, and that smoke detector will go back to silent guard duty.

Where is the safest place to use a generator?

The only safe place to use a generator is outside in a well-ventilated area. Generators produce carbon monoxide, which is deadly in high amounts. Running a generator indoors, such as in the basement, is highly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Keep your generators outdoors and away from doors and windows.

What is a GFI?

Also called a residual current device or resident current circuit breaker, the Ground Fault Circuit Interceptor (GFI) protects you and your family from electric shocks from the devices you use. It works by evening the input of current to the output to maintain a safe balance.

What is a heavy up?

In electrician-speak, the term “heavy up” refers to an electrical panel upgrade for greater energy and safety.

Do I need an electrical code inspection?

You should have an electrical code inspection if you are moving into or out of a home or office. This ensures that your building is code compliant for fewer surprises and greater safety. 

Do I need emergency electrical services?

If you see sparks or an electrical outlet is overheating, or if you see a loose wire somewhere, contact Schlumbrecht’s Electric in New Orleans. We can show up to your property fast to eliminate your electrical problem for your peace of mind. We work quickly with cutting-edge tools and techniques and guarantee your satisfaction and safety when calling about all electrical situations. 

What size electrical service system do I install in my home?

Most residential buildings have 100, 200, or 400 amps. Your electrical requirements will depend on your home size and other factors.

Which grade of electrical outlets should I have installed in my home?

If you want to replace the electrical outlet in your home, any standard plate will do. If you want to add an electrical outlet where there isn’t one already, we don’t recommend doing this job on your own. You will need to cut into the wall and alter the wiring, which can be dangerous. Call our experienced electricians instead. We can have your electrical outlets installed and up to code in no time flat.

Does my house need to be re-wired?

Call us for a free estimate on a complete home rewiring. We can let you know if a wiring is necessary if you are safe to leave what you currently have. If you have an outdated system, like the knob and tube method of wiring homes, you could be at risk of accidents or fires. In that case, we would recommend a rewiring. However, unless rodents have chewed on your wires or you experienced problems like flickering lights or sparky outlets, your home wiring may be fine as is. We will let you know honestly whether you require a home rewire or if you should leave your home as-is.

Will my house be destroyed during a rewire?

Absolutely not! We follow strict protocols to rewire homes so that there is minimal disruption to the life inside those homes. Call for a free estimate and we can explain our process in greater detail.

What is Whole Home Surge Protection and is it necessary in my home?

Whole home surge protection can keep your home or office safe in the case of a lightning strike or overload at the energy source. If you live in storm prone areas or have outdated wiring, whole home surge protection may not be a bad idea.

Commercial Electrical FAQs

Do you offer guarantees for businesses and industrial facilities?

Yes! We guarantee all our work, whether you are a homeowner, business owner, or the operator of an industrial facility.

What does commercial electrical maintenance include?

For a one-time service or periodically, our experienced electricians will show up to your office to inspect your electrical equipment with a keen eye. Our technicians are looking for defects in your wiring, loss of power for any reason, and any other malfunctions that may require service or a complete replacement.

What industries and commercial properties do you service?

We work with all commercial industries. Call to inquire about your business needs and we can let you know precisely how we can accommodate you. We service both residential and commercial properties throughout New Orleans and the surrounding areas. We have nearly 70 years of combined experience and can tackle any job big or small for your ultimate satisfaction.

What is a bucket truck?

A bucket truck has an arm on the back and on that arm is attached a bucket where an electrician will sit. The arm of the truck lifts the bucket high into the sky so that the electrician can work on power lines with ease. 

Do I need a standby generator or manual generator for my business?

If you have requirements for your business that need constant power, such as servers that need to be on no matter what or emergency lighting for safety reasons, stand-by generators are the way to go. On the other hand, if you rarely lose power and won’t lose much if you do, a manual generator can be a good backup in case your main power goes down.

What’s better for my business: LED lights or CFLs?

If you want to save energy, LED lights are the way to go. Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs use up to 35% less energy than incandescent bulbs while LED lights use up to 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. 

How long do LED light bulbs last?

Your LED lights should last up to 50,000 hours each.

Do I need dedicated computer circuitry?

If you have a large operation, like multiple computers and servers, then dedicated computer circuitry is certain recommended. These systems ensure your computers get the power they need without overloading the system.

Does Schlumbrecht’s Electrical offer signage services?

We perform sign repair. If you have an electrical sign that is broken, don’t hesitate to call us for fast service you can always trust. 

How complete are your build-out services?

We always go above and beyond with our build-out services. Get details about the specifics of your project by calling Schlumbrecht’s Electric, now serving all of New Orleans and beyond.

How can I save energy in my office?

Only use the A/C or conditioning when absolutely necessary and opt to dress warmer or cooler instead. Get your office assessed for energy leakage and use more insulation if necessary. You can also ensure you use energy-compliant doors, windows, and appliances. Check with your local electrician for more tips on saving at the electrical meter.

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