Frequently Asked Questions

At ‘Joe’ Dickey Electric, Inc., we specialize in Residential Electrical services. Whether it’s a specialty lighting project, television wiring issue, landscape lighting project, a need for surge protection, or some other type of electrical situation, we can have it done for you quickly and sufficiently.

The electrical world is full of questions; here are some common ones we’ve encountered.

Don’t see the answer to your question? Give us a call at (330) 549-3976 and our team of experienced professionals will be happy to help!


The third prong on a plug is a grounding prong. Two-prong receptacles do not have the same level of grounding as a three-prong device. The third grounding prong provides additional protection to the electrical system, the item plugged in, and you from electrical shock.
First, make sure there are not too many appliances plugged into one circuit, as this can overload it. If it’s just one appliance, unplug it and either replace it or call us to repair it. You could also try connecting another appliance to the problematic receptacle. If it still shows signs of trouble, have the receptacle and or the circuit checked by our home electrical service experts.
When you protect your whole house from power surges, you’ll protect all of the equipment in it instead of just one piece that’s plugged into a surge protector. This can come in especially handy if you use a lot of electronics or appliances.
When the electrical current that passes through a fuse exceeds the limit, it burns a hole in the thin strip of metal. This stops the flow of current and it means you have a blown a fuse. Fuses need to be replaced (not reset). When the electrical current exceeds the limit through a circuit breaker, however, the breaker trip setting opens to stop the flow of current. Breakers are re-settable by flipping the handle on the face of the breaker.
LED lights are more expensive to purchase than incandescent lights, but they’re more efficient (they’ll last 50,000 hours instead of 1,200 hours). They also have a lower annual operating cost, which is great for people trying to “go green.”
Yes. Because a ceiling fan is an active load that is heavier than most light fixtures, you need a special mounting box designed for this application. Saddle boxes are usually good for fans up to 35 pounds.
Low-voltage fixtures include a transformer to reduce voltage (say from 120 volts to 12 volts). The downside to low-voltage fixtures, however, can be higher installation costs. Also, transformers tend to create heat and mounting locations can be tricky.
When you use an electrical appliance, the current flows from your service panel to the device. A grounded wire gives the unused electrical current a safe way back to the service panel so there’s no danger in the event of a short circuit.
You may have seen an electrical outlet with a “test” and “reset” button in the middle – this is a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter). It automatically shuts off an electrical circuit when it detects that the current isn’t flowing correctly. It’s also used to reduce the risk of electrical shock from a receptacle located in damp locations and/or counter top areas.
If you notice a smell coming from your outlet or switch, there’s a good chance your receptacle could be damaged. Turn off the power immediately and call our residential electrical service experts.
No one wants to call in professional help when they’re not needed. There are a lot of homeowners who think that their electrical issue is no big deal and that they can get by if they ignore the problem, hoping it will eventually sort itself out, or they decide to take matters into their own hands. Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to conduct your own electrical work. Even if it’s just a small problem, unqualified repairs won’t meet safety standards and could sow the seeds of more serious problems down the line. So, when should you call an electrician? Whenever you have an electrical problem! It’s of no inconvenience to us to provide the reassurance you need. Besides, more often than not more frequently tripping circuit breakers, flickering lights, faulty wiring, etc., warrant our immediate attention
Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to do your own residential electrical work. It is guaranteed to be a recipe for disaster. You wouldn’t do your own dental work, would you? Our electricians are highly trained professionals who can guarantee a safe solution. Furthermore, if you do your own electrical work and it causes a fire or another type of injury, you will be liable for the damages. It’s not worth the risk when ‘Joe’ Dickey Electric’s excellent electricians are only a phone call away.
Figuring out the electrical loads of homes is essential. And to determine the size of electrical panel involves an audit of your appliances and a little bit of math as well. Your circuits should only be loaded up to 80% of the total circuit capabilities. So, if you have a 15-amp circuit, the safe operating amperage would be no greater than 12 amps. Confused yet? If so, give ‘Joe’ Dickey Electric a call and we’ll be happy to assist you in your energy load audit.
If you can safely turn the power off, do so and give us a call immediately. You might need an upgrade or some maintenance. Either way, this is a job for the professionals.
A surge protector is a piece of equipment that suppresses the excess voltage in your system to prevent it from causing harm to your appliances and devices. You should get some to protect your appliances and devices from power surges.
‘Joe’ Dickey Electric, Inc. has been in business since 1957. Our high-quality electricians are long term and trusted employees. They also are constantly going to classes and seminars to be up to date on code changes and new technology. We also have been involved in helping the community for years. We are safe, reliable, offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and offer a No-Hassle Pricing Program. We are licensed throughout the Mahoning Valley and the State of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. We truly believe that our Customer Needs Come First!
Most houses that were built from 1880-1945 have knob and tube. Knob and tubing has its problems, soldering in walls and ceilings cannot be insulated and should not be used for today’s appliances, like, air conditioners, plug in heaters, etc. It depends on the condition of the wiring and each situation.
Most homeowners and inspectors cannot always identify the age of wiring. It takes a trained electrician to do this. If your home was built between 1920 and 1960, the wiring that was used has a tendency to dry rot and cause many problems. Your house should be inspected to determine if your wiring is up-to-date.
Yes, you are responsible for the meter box and the connection to your property from the electric company’s equipment.
Usually because you have overloaded the circuit with things like; air conditioners, microwaves, plug in heaters, toasters, etc. It does not always matter how big your service is, it usually has to do with a branch circuit, which is from the breaker box to the problem device.
There are several reasons, it could be the quality of the lamps you are using or the house could be at the high end voltage of the electric service on your street.
There are several reasons; you may need more branch circuits throughout the house, or you may have loose connections in the breaker box, meter box or throughout the house. This could cause a potential fire.
Several years ago, the code was updated and it requires us to install arc fault breakers in the house wherever there are new lines being installed except for where GFCI devices are required (kitchens and bathrooms, etc.). This is a major breakthrough in our industry. This is one of the most intelligent breakers. They monitor the current and discriminate between normal and unwanted arcing conditions. Arc fault breakers are primarily designed to protect against electrical fires caused by arcing.
We recommend using a generator so that there is no interruption in your electrical service during a storm or power outage. We would be happy to come out and evaluate your electrical system and price up a Home Generator.