Frequently Asked Questions

You will find answers to most of your electrical service related questions here

How much electrical work should homeowners attempt on their own?

Even the smallest job could be a safety hazard. Any electrical work should be completed by a certified electrician. PKC Electric Inc ensures that all work is completed according with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) standards and codes. Permits must be obtained for specific electrical work to ensure the safety of your home. Why take the chance?

How does an Electrical Panel Work?

Electricity enters your home from your local electricity company (Hydro Ottawa/Hydro One) through the service entrance near your electricity panel. The panel board splits power into circuits that distribute electricity throughout your home or business. Each circuit is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker. Fuses and circuit breakers detect short circuits and overloading which causes a fuse to blow or a circuit breaker to trip.

How do I reset breakers on the electrical panel and why would a breaker in my panel be hot to the touch?

Turn the breaker completely off and then completely on. Some breakers will look like they are not tripped but could be in the neutral stage, which still does not allow them to function as if they were completely on. A way to help determine this, is to turn every breaker completely off and then back on.

The breaker could be hot to the touch because it has too much load and is overheating. This issue should be evaluated by a certified electrician.

What is a surge protector and should I get one?

Surges are created by lightning or from the local power station such as Hydro Ottawa. A surge protector helps to protect your electrical devices from a power surge. Usually, surge protectors are used for electronic devices such as computers and flat screen televisions. Surge protectors can be installed directly on the electric panel to protect all outlets in your home or you can purchase individual surge protector units at your local hardware store to protect individual outlets.

Does an electrician need to be licensed with the province of Ontario to complete electrical work?

Yes, there are different licences that a certified electrician must have to complete electrical work in your home or business in Ontario. PKC Electric Inc has three separate licences: Master Electrician, Residential and Commercial licences. In addition, electrical contractors must be able to provide their ECRA/ESA number provided to them by ESA. This number certifies that they are legally allowed to conduct electrical work in Ontario.

What is a “tamper-resistant receptacle”?

This is a type of electric outlet that is now installed in all newly constructed or renovated residences. It is designed to protect children from shock and burns as the result of inserting small metal objects (for example, paper clips or keys) into a receptacle.

What areas of my house should be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected and what are the buttons on my GFCI outlet for?

GFCIs should be installed in all wet locations including unfinished basements, garages and within six feet of any sink in kitchens, bathrooms or powder rooms and anywhere outside the dwelling. One button is the test button. When it is pushed, it should turn off the outlet and all other outlets that are connected to it. The other button is a reset button, which is used to turn the power back on to the outlet and any others that are connected to the outlet.

Can I change an existing switch to a dimmer switch?

Yes, but it needs to be compatible with the light bulb in the fixture (Example: LED)