Safety Tips

Here are some answers to frequently asked electrical questions:

What is a GFI?
A GFI is an abbreviation for Ground Fault Interrupter, a specially designed outlet usually used in wet locations. This ensures protection from electrical shock. The ‘+ve’ and the ‘-ve’ loads measure the GFI’s resistance. The GFI trips when there is more resistance from either of the loads. GFI installation is a must for kitchens, baths and laundry areas.

Are round fuses safer than circuit breakers?
The question of safety doesn’t have anything to do with round fuses or circuit breakers. Safety is not a concern until the fuse box is not damaged or deteriorated. Fuses are usually more sensitive than circuit breakers and are safer to use. But circuit breakers are preferred for two reasons – first, when the fuse is used to protect your home from overload circuits, it cannot be reused. This would result in the consumption of more fuses. The second reason why circuit breakers are considered safer is because more insurance companies now require fuse boxes to be replaced with circuit breakers.

When I try to put my dimmer off, it is usually very hot. Can this be a safety hazard?
Dimmers are rated on the basis of how many watts they are designed to handle. If the dimmer has to operate to its fullest capacity, it heats up. Few dimmers have metal fins to dissipate heat. You can choose to either use a high-rated dimmer or reduce the wattage connected to the dimmer to prevent the dimmer from excessive heat.

Recessed lights sometimes stay on for a while and then go off on their own. What could be the possible reason for this?
Recessed lights are supplied with a thermal overload. Since the fixture is inside the ceiling, it is important to ensure that excessive heat from the bulbs does not cause a fire. The thermal overload is designed to act as a thermometer – when the heat reaches the preset temperature, it will disconnect the electrical power and will light up once the temperature drops. As an alternative, using lower wattage lamps is a consideration, as they generate less heat.

Is it fine to use a dimmer with fluorescent lights?
Yes, but make sure you use a dimmer and light fixture that is designed specially for fluorescent lights.

What voltage level is considered dangerous?
Generally any level that exceeds 30 volts is considered dangerous.

My fluorescent light flickers a lot. What could be the reason?
You should use correct starter for specific tube. If tube still flickers, it means internal ballast has to be replaced.

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