We do warranty your home for two years. Light fixtures that we do not supply the Builder will be homeowner's responsibility.
We do not warranty bulbs. If you have a fixture that is not working, change the bulb. Please make sure to change the bulb before calling the electrician to check it.
These devices will make a chirping sound if the 9-volt batteries are dead. All batteries should be changed in all devices when one starts chirping. It is recommended to change the batteries every six months. If the chirping continues, call the electrician, you may have a bad device. If the smoke/co detectors are sounding loudly and there is no fire, call the electrician.
These receptacles are found in the “wet areas.” Garage, exterior, kitchen, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Not all outlets will have the test and reset buttons on them. Some of them will have a red or green light.
Normally there are two GFCI test and reset outlets. If the outlets are not working, unplug everything on the counter tops and island, push test first then reset power should be restored. If not, go to the breaker panel, if the breaker for the area is tripped, reset it and go back into the kitchen and repeat the first step. If you still do not have power, call the electrician.
In most cases the GFCI test and reset receptacle is in the bathrooms. Go to the master bath outlet, push test and reset and all should come back on. If the breaker is not tripped, power should be restored.
There is normally one outlet with test and reset on it. This will control the exterior outlets on the exterior of the house along with any others inside the garage. The builder should always caulk around each of the exterior outlets to keep them from getting wet. If they do get wet the GFCI will not reset until they dry. This will also affect your garage door opener. If this happens, unplug everything (except the door opener in the ceiling), find the outlet with test and reset, push test first then reset, and you should have power. If you have a freezer or refrigerator in the garage, make sure it is on a dedicated outlet/breaker. If plugged into a non-dedicated GFCI receptacle and the GFCI trips, you risk losing everything being kept cold.
All new homes have arch fault breakers. These breakers trip when overloaded or when there is and arch or a power surge. You will have to go to the panel box and reset the breakers. Lamp cords and extension cords with damaged wires will also trip them. Anything used that arch’s when turned on or off will trip the arch fault breakers. If you have a breaker that continuously trips, before calling the electrician, determine what you are using or is on when the breaker trips. Power surges from the power company will cause the arch fault breakers to trip. If the power goes off and back on, the breakers will possibly trip, and must be manually turned back on.
If you lose power in ½ or more of your home and all the breakers are on, call the electrician. We are going to tell you to call your power company and tell them. They will come out and determine if the underground wire from your house to the transformer is damaged. If so, you will request a by-pass. This is a wire on top of the ground from your house to the transformer that will give you full power. At this time, we will come check to see where the underground wire is damaged and who damaged it during construction. The by-pass is a must, we cannot check anything with the underground wires hot. Sometimes the people installing fences, cable tv wire, sprinkler systems or landscapers will hit one of the wires causing it to gradually sizzle in two. If this is the case, we will dig it up in that location and take pictures. If for any reason the wires are not damaged, and are bad, we will replace it and reimburse you for the by-pass. If one of the other trades mentioned above damaged it, you will be responsible for the by-pass and the cost for replacing the underground wire. There are times the builder will help with this.
1. What about safety?
“ALWAYS” be safe when dealing with electricity. Electricity can kill. Homeowners can do minor maintenance items on their homes such as changing a light bulb in a light fixture or replacing a battery in a smoke detector, but even these tasks can be dangerous if not done safely. NEVER remove an electrical light fixture or cover plate for receptacles, switches, etc. The cables behind these covers are energized and can electrocute you. If you feel there is a need to remove a plate or light fixture call a licensed electrician.
2. Can a homeowner do work on their own electrical system, such as adding a receptacle?
Probably not. It is a violation of state law for an unlicensed person to do electrical work. Remember, electricity can kill.
3. How do I safely change a light bulb for a light fixture?
A. Turn off the switch that controls the light fixture. If the bulb you want to change is in a table lamp, unplug the cord.
B. Remove the light bulb by turning it counterclockwise. Do “NOT” put your finger nor anything else inside the bulb socket.
C. Install the new light bulb by turning it clockwise into the bulb socket until it is firmly snug.
D. Turn on the switch that controls the light fixture to insure the bulb works. If you replaced the bulb in a table lamp don’t forget to plug the cord into the receptacle.
4. My home has a receptacle, but only one of the two places to plug a cord into works. What’s wrong?
The power to part of the receptacle is probably controlled by a switch. Look for a switch that does not control a light fixture. The purpose of this is so you can control a table lamp with a wall switch.
5. Why are my smoke detectors making a chirping sound?
The backup battery built into the smoke detector is probably weak and needs replacing.
6. Should I test my smoke detectors periodically?
Yes. Press the test button on each smoke detector to insure the alarm sounds.
7. My smoke detectors went off for no apparent reason. What could the problem be?
It may just be dust causing the problem. Use a hand held vacuum cleaner to remove the dust.
8. My bath room receptacles don’t work. What’s wrong with them?
A ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) receptacle may need to be reset. Make sure to unplug any item plugged into any receptacle in “all” the Bath Rooms.
9. Can I plug a freezer into the receptacle in the Garage?
Probably not. “ALL” receptacles on the “wall” in a Garage are protected by a ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) receptacle. Freezers have a compressor which sometimes cause GFCI receptacles to trip, thus shutting off the power to the freezer. Many homeowners have lost a freezer full of meat for this reason although the freezer did function for a long period of time before tripping
the GFCI receptacle. A freezer requires a “dedicated” circuit “NOT” protected by a GFCI receptacle.
10. My receptacles in the Garage do not work. What’s wrong with them?
A ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) receptacle usually located in the Garage may need to be reset. Unplug all items plugged into any “wall” receptacle in the Garage as well as any items plugged into
any “outdoor” weatherproof receptacles. Then press the reset button.
11. My outdoor weatherproof receptacles do not work. What’s wrong with them?
A ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) receptacle usually located in the Garage or in the Utility Room may need to be reset. Unplug all items you have plugged into any of your outdoor weatherproof receptacles as well as any items you have plugged into a “wall” receptacle in the Garage. Press the “reset button”.
12. After a heavy rain my outdoor and Garage receptacles do not work. What’s wrong with them?
A ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) receptacle usually located in the Garage or in the Utility Room may need to be reset AND to prevent this from happening again caulk any gap between all
the outdoor weatherproof receptacle covers and the house brick or siding. Unplug all items you have plugged into any of your outdoor weatherproof receptacles as well as any items you have plugged into a “wall” receptacle in the Garage. Press the “reset button”.
13. I have a receptacle whose socket has black residue near where I plug my cord into. What do I do?
Call a licensed electrician. This signals a problem with either the item plugged into the receptacle or the receptacle itself.
14. My outdoor Christmas lights quit working. What is the problem?
A ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) receptacle usually located in the Garage or in the Utility Room may need to be reset. Unplug all items you have plugged into any of your outdoor weatherproof receptacles as well as any items you have plugged into a “wall” receptacle in the
Garage. Press the “reset button”.
15. A breaker for some Kitchen receptacles tripped. How can I prevent this from happening?
You probably need to move a countertop appliance to a different circuit because you are overloading the circuit. Two 120 volt 20 amp circuits supply power to the receptacles in the Kitchen, Dining Room and Breakfast Room if it has one. Each circuit will handle about 2400 watts. If you happen to plug a 1500 watt coffee maker and a 1200 watt toaster into the same circuit the breaker will trip because the circuit is overloaded with 2700 watts. You need to either not operate both appliances at the same time or find another receptacle that is not on the same circuit for one of these appliances.
Note: Countertop microwaves require a dedicated circuit, so if you place one on your Kitchen counter you will probably not be able to operate a second appliance in the Kitchen if it is on the same
circuit as the microwave.
16. When I operate my vacuum cleaner my lights dim and sometime a breaker trips. How can I prevent this from happening?
Plug the vacuum cleaner into a receptacle in the Kitchen, Dining Room or Breakfast Room.
17. When my outdoor air conditioning condenser turns on my lights “momentarily” dim. How can I
prevent this from happening?
Today’s air conditioning condensers require more electricity than past units at the moment it starts up to get the motor running. Therefore, when it starts up you may see the lights blink just for a moment. This is not an electrical problem. It is simply an annoyance.
18. “Part” of the lights in my home is not working. What is wrong?
Check the following items:
A. Check for breakers tripped in the electrical load center.
B. Call your electricity provider such as Reliant Energy, Entergy or Texas-New Mexico Power & light to come out and check you service entrance. If they say it is not their problem and you will
have to get an electrician to fix the problem ask the electricity provider to install a “TEMPORARY BYPASS”. This is a temporary cable they lay on top of the ground to provide your home with
power until the problem can be fixed. There will be a fee from the electricity provider for the temporary bypass, but “IF” the problem is due to Swartz Electric’s installation you will be reimbursed for this expense. Then call a licensed electrician to come out and look at the problem. IF THE HOME IS STILL UNDER WARRANTY BY SWARTZ ELECTRIC YOU MUST CALL SWARTZ ELECTRIC.
19. I have some “dimmer” switches in my home. They are warm or hot to the touch. What is the problem?
There is probably no problem. As you dim the lights down further and further the dimmer gets warmer and warmer because it is actually restricting electricity at the dimmer from going to the light(s). This restriction causes heat.
20. Some of the breakers in my electrical load center have a blue, green or yellow button with “TEST” imprinted on it. What are these?
Those breakers are “arc-fault breakers”. These breakers are designed to help prevent fires because they will sense a short in a cord for items such as lamps. To see if the breaker is working properly you can push the test button and a red flag will appear in the clear window beside the breaker switch. This signals the breaker has tripped. To turn the breaker back on flip the switch to the off position, then to the on position.
21. My electric dryer cord does not match my dryer receptacle. My dryer cord only has three prongs, but the receptacle has four. What should I do?
Call a licensed electrician to change the cord on your dryer to a four prong cord.
22. I am going to install a swimming pool in my back yard. What type of electrical concerns should I have?
A. Have the pool contractor's electrician run a load calculation on your home to insure the electrical service is large enough to handle the load for the additional swimming pool equipment.
B. MAKE SURE THE SWIMMING POOL CONTRACTOR HAS A CABLE LOCATOR
COMPANY COME OUT TO MARK YOUR ELECTRICAL, TELEPHONE AND TV
23. Fluorescent light fixture tip.
Periodically the lenses for fluorescent light fixtures need to be cleaned. Use a mild soap. Do not rinse the soap off. Wipe it off with a nonabrasive cloth. Leaving a film on the lens reduces static electricity and therefore lengthens the life of the ballast which powers the lamps. The lens is opaque and not clear so you probably will not even notice it.