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Electrical System FAQ

Zar Electric: Serving Raleigh, Wake Forest, & Surrounding Areas

We believe everyone should have a working knowledge of their electrical system. Education is empowering; understanding your electrical system's basics can help you keep your home or commercial property safe. For over 20 years, we have worked with both residential and commercial customers in the Raleigh area. We are committed members of our community, and we always treat our customers like neighbors.

While all electrical issues should be handled by a skilled professional to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your guests, we are commonly asked the following questions. Please note that these answers are intended for informational purposes only. You should always contact a skilled electrician from Zar Electric before you attempt to undergo any repair or installation on your own.

To schedule an electrical inspection with a Master Electrician, contact us at (919) 200-6551.

  • General

    • Is Aluminum wiring legal in North Carolina?
      The short answer is that it is legal, however, these wires are no longer up to code and most homes are being built with copper wiring. Aluminum wiring was discontinued in North Carolina in 1974, because the connection points presented a significant safety hazard. Be aware of the difference if you are buying or selling a house and the cost to rewire should you need to. Here’s an article with some great info to further explain the wiring, identification, and rewiring options:
    • Can I mix copper and aluminum wiring?
      It's not an issue as long as the two are kept apart. Due to the hazard of differing diameters, rates of expansion, and temperature changes, even if the wires are joined using a splice twist, this is strongly discouraged and should not be mixed. Here's some more info on the wires from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission:
    • I have an electrical problem; What can I do?
      As you may have noticed from pursuing our website, electrical issues can occur for various reasons, including overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, the age of the system, and much more. It is always best to turn to a professional Raleigh electrician who can assess the problem and fix it quickly, without jeopardizing the safety of your property.
    • What electrical installation services do you offer?
      Because all of our electricians are highly trained, licensed, insured, bonded, and Master Electrician certified, there is no electrical installation that we can't handle. We offer a comprehensive range of electrical components and appliance installation services across the Raleigh and Wake Forest areas. Our electricians can help you install everything from wall-mounted TVs to electric vehicle charging stations. We also offer professional installation for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, security lighting, and more.
    • Can you help me install a home automation or smart home system?
      Yes! Zar Electric offers a wide range of smart home system installations. From remote-controlled thermostats to automated climate control, your options are endless. Our Wake Forest-based electricians work hard to stay up to date on smart home automation technology, and we can help you select the products and services that are right for you. Whether you need home networking and integration of several smart home appliances or want to install a security camera at your front door, we have you covered.
    • Why do my lights periodically dim?
      When too much electrical current flows through your home's wiring, especially when additional appliances have been turned on, your lights may flicker and dim. The wiring may also be too small of a gauge to handle the amount of current. Flickering lights may also be a sign that your wiring system is inadequate or overheating. If this is a chronic problem, you should contact an experienced electrician to perform an inspection.
    • Is a tripped breaker dangerous?
      In general, tripped circuit breakers indicate an overloaded circuit that is easily fixed by turning off an appliance or two. However, if the breaker keeps tripping, there may be a short that requires the expert help of a fully-trained electrician.
    • Should I worry about having outlets that do not appear to work?
      To troubleshoot an issue with a non-working outlet, plug a table lamp into it, then try a few switches throughout the room. Sometimes outlets are connected to specific switches, and you may be able to find the right one just through the process of elimination if the lamp turns on. If this does not work, call Zar Electric so we can assess the problem outlet.
    • What are GFCI outlets, and are they required?
      GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupters, will turn off when moisture that can cause shocks or electrocutions is present. These became part of the code in 1981, and all newer homes should have them in kitchens, bathrooms, our outdoor outlets. They are identified by buttons that will read “test” and “reset,” allowing you to turn the outlet back on after it has been tripped.
    • What is a ground fault interrupter, and do I need one?
      This safety device must be installed on important circuits throughout all new homes according to the National Electrical Code. They will shut off power if there is a risk of electrocution, so they must be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, swimming pools, and outdoor circuits.
    • Do I need to replace my aluminum wiring or push wiring?
      Yes, it is recommended that you at least remediate and repair your aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring is prone to overheating and has a much higher risk of electrical fires. You have several options when it comes to fixing this problem. Call our Raleigh aluminum and push wiring remediation electricians to learn more.
    • Can you help me with my swimming pool’s electrical system?
      Yes! Zar Electric specializes in swimming pool and hot tub electrics. We can help with a wide range of issues, including pool lighting and pool motor issues. To troubleshoot your problem, call our office today.