Frequently Asked Questions
What does an electrician fix?
While it depends on the electric company you choose, electricians can repair outlets, switches, appliance connections and much more. If you have a problem with any aspect of your home’s electrical system, a quality electrician should be able to help. Contact Simms today if you need electrical repairs.
How much should electrical repairs cost?
The national average for electrical repairs is $280 according to Home Guide, but the cost of your electrical repairs is determined by several factors, including the time it will take to complete, the type of repair needed and the electrician you choose. Remember that, when it comes to electrician prices, you get what you pay for. If you choose the cheapest option, you risk ending up with low-quality repairs.
Do I need an electrician to install lighting?
While a DIY-savvy homeowner may choose to install lighting on their own, it’s best to hire an electrician to do the job. A certified electrician will be able to guide your decisions, help you choose the best light fixtures and reduce the risk of complications. When you hire a professional, you can rest easy knowing that the project will be finished correctly in a timely manner without any mistakes.
How much does it cost to install outdoor landscape lighting?
According to Home Advisor, the cost of if outdoor landscape lighting installation is $2,000-$4,500. However, the total cost depends on how much lighting you’re installing, the time it will take and the type of lighting you choose. In addition, choosing a high-quality electrician can seem pricey, but knowing that their work will be done 100% correctly is worth the cost.
Why is outdoor lighting so expensive?
If you’ve installed both indoor and outdoor lighting, you’ve probably noticed how much more expensive the latter seems to be. This is because every part of outdoor lighting must be strong and durable enough to last for many years outside. Everything, from the light fixtures to the wiring, must be completely waterproof and difficult to break. When it comes to outdoor lighting, you must pay for these higher-quality, more expensive materials.
How deep do you bury landscape wire?
National electric code states that wiring unstalled underground must be buried at least six inches deep. Landscape lighting, however, is mostly low-voltage wiring that’s installed beneath mulch in landscape areas.
Whole-Home Backup Generators
How big of a generator do I need to run my whole house?
While the size of your home’s backup generator will depend on your specific electrical needs, a generator rated at 5,000-7,500 watts is a good starting point. This is enough to run all of your essential household equipment, including a well pump, refrigerator and freezer and lights. Contact Simms to get an estimate for the best size generator for you.
Are whole-house generators worth it?
Yes, a generator will definitely pay for itself eventually. Over time, your home’s generator will save you the cost of replacing spoiled food and damaged frozen pipes in the event of a power outage. It will also help keep you comfortable and minimize disruption to your daily life during power outages.
You can even choose between a manual and automatic power transfer for your generator. With an automatic transfer of power, your generator will keep your home’s essential equipment running even if you aren’t home, protecting your house from damage.
Is there a tax credit for a whole-house generator?
Yes, you can receive a tax credit (not a tax deduction) for having a backup generator installed in your home. This way, your generator will save you money even if you aren’t using it.
What is electrical installation?
Any time you install new electrical equipment or fixtures in your home, you’re having an electrical installation done. Electrical installation is common for older homes, as they typically need extra fixtures to accommodate modern electrical demands (modern homes require more than one outlet per room). Electrical installation is also common for homeowners who want to make updates, from getting a new TV to rewiring circuits. Simms’s electrical installation services include but are not limited to:
- Dimmer Switches
- Ceiling Fans
- Flat TV Outlets
- Car Chargers
- Kitchen appliance cords and hookups
- Kitchen rewiring and circuiting
- Adding new circuits and breakers
- Garage power underground
- Residential lighting
- Home backup generators
- Surge protection
- Breaker panels
- Utility meters
- Finished basement wiring
Can I install a ceiling fan myself?
Installing a ceiling fan, especially if you’re replacing a light fixture with it, is a tempting DIY task, but the added wiring and weight make it a complicated one. To avoid problems with your new ceiling fan in the future, it’s best to have it installed by a professional electrician. The service is inexpensive and comes with the certainty that your fan won’t be falling from the ceiling like a scene from a cartoon anytime soon!
Can I install an EV charger at home?
Yes, you can have a charging station for your electrical vehicle installed at home. While it may require some rewiring to accommodate the equipment, your charging station will charge your car faster than the portable charger that came with it, saving you time.
Do you have to rewire the whole house?
If your home’s wiring is outdated (more than 50 years old), you need to rewire your entire house. 75% of all homeowner’s insurance claims are from fires caused by faulty or outdated electrical wiring. While the rewiring process can feel disruptive and overwhelming, it’s a necessary part of protecting your home and family. If you suspect that your home needs rewiring, contact Simms for a system inspection.
Is rewiring a house messy?
Unfortunately rewiring a house is a complicated process that can get messy and disruptive. However, the Simms team is committed to minimizing the disruptions you experience while we rewire your home. Our rewiring process includes:
- Full client involvement
- Daily job walk-throughs
- Protection of your floors with canvas tarps and shoe covers
- Installation of plastic sheeting on furniture
- Sealing off heating and cooling vents
- Broom cleaning at the end of each day
- Fully code compliant
- Permits and inspections
- New designer outlets, dimmer switches, USB outlets, smoke detectors and more
How much does rewiring a house cost?
The cost of a whole house rewire can be vastly different depending on the amount and type of materials, as well as the size of the job. Thumbtack suggests a range of up to $10,000 but notes that the national average is $2,100. Call Simms today to get an estimate for rewiring your home.
Panel and Breaker Services
How long does an electrical panel last?
An electrical panel should last 25-40 years, but many homeowners are currently upgrading their electrical panels to increase their electrical capacity as technology in the home increases. You should have an electrician inspect your electrical panel for replacement if:
- It makes a burning smell.
- Breakers trip frequently.
- It still uses fuses (instead of circuit breakers).
- The panel is hot to the touch.
- It’s rusty or otherwise visibly damaged.
- The panel makes a buzzing or hissing noise.
- Lights flicker or dim when an appliance runs or you plug something in.
Another common reason people upgrade their electrical panels is to add more circuits for more outlets and appliances. If you find yourself constantly needing another outlet or are planning to install more appliances soon, an electrical panel upgrade may be in order.
How much does it cost to replace an electrical panel?
According to Home Advisor, the national average cost of replacing an electrical panel is $1,200. The price may be higher or lower depending on the amperage, or how strong the current is, and whether rewiring has to be done during the process. Contact Simms to get an estimate based on your specific electrical needs.
What is electrical load?
The electrical load of your home is home much electricity your home’s electrical system may need. The load is a calculation of how much electricity you can use, and it takes into account every appliance, outlet and light fixture in your home. Everything that uses electricity, from the lights to the air conditioner, is included in the electrical load.
Electricians must “balance the load” when wiring your home to avoid problems with the electrical system. Simply put, there are two sides to your electrical panel, and electricians must divide the circuits (electricity use) between the two to keep it balanced. If you use too much electricity from one side at once, the load is unbalanced, which can cause problems such as tripping circuits.
Because working on electrical panels is such an intricate process, it’s important that you never try do work on your electrical panel. Always hire a licensed electrician to make repairs or replace the panel.
Electric Meter Services
Can I upgrade my electric meter myself?
No project this big should be done without the help of a licensed electrician. When you choose Simms, you can sit back and relax while we take care of the permits, inspections and code coordination. You’ll have an upgraded electrical service in no time.
Why should I upgrade my electric meter?
Upgrading your electrical service from 100 to 200 amps is the best way to keep your home’s electrical system from getting overloaded. It’s a simple fact that we demand much more electricity in our homes today than we did 20 years ago. Every new electrical device we get adds to that demand, from getting a new TV to buying an electric car. Even if you don’t need an electrical meter upgrade yet, you should get one if you’re planning to finish out the basement, buy an electric vehicle or anything else that requires a lot of electricity.
You can use the electrical load calculation to see if you need to upgrade your electrical service, or you can contact the experts at Simms to take care of the process and recommend the best solution.
How much does it cost to replace an electric meter?
According to Home Advisor, the average cost of replacing an electric meter is $1,148. It varies depending on the cost of the meter, the level of service (amps) and the time it takes to complete the project.
Whole-Home Surge Protection
What is surge protection?
A power surge is when lightning or damage to power lines sends a surge of electricity through the power line and into your home. Surge protectors are devices that sense surges of electricity that are potentially harmful and divert them back into the outlet’s grounding wire. This protects anything plugged into the surge protector, such as laptops and phones, from being damaged by the power surge.
Do whole-house surge protectors really work?
Yes! At Simms, we’ll never try to sell you something that isn’t effective. Just like a small, store-bought surge protector keeps power surges from frying your coffee maker or laptop, a whole-home surge protector guards your entire home against power surges. Whole-home surge protectors are installed at your home’s power line, preventing power surges from entering your home at all and protecting every piece of electrical equipment at once.
Is a whole-home surge protector worth the money?
Yes, they are very much worth the cost. Whole-home surge protectors save you from having to replace appliances unexpectedly, which can be a big financial strain, but they can also qualify you for insurance discounts. Check with your insurance company to see what discounts you might qualify for, and reap the benefits of saving money in two ways at the same time!