The Bathroom, Kitchen, Garage or outside outlets stopped working.

These areas of your home have a special device called a G(round) F(ault) C(ircuit) I(nterrupter) receptacle which are very sensitive to moisture and water; required by the National Electrical Code, they create a safer electrical system for you and your family. They have the ability to protect many receptacles; meaning you only need a few in your home to protect those vital areas. If an outlet is not working in one of these areas, you should look around for the goofy outlet with a button in the middle and hit “Reset”. They are often behind a counter-top appliance, or a cabinet in the garage but, rest assured, they are there. Simply reset them and power will be restored.

Switched Outlets

In living rooms and bedrooms, a wall switch often controls one of the sockets of a duplex receptacle. Either the top or bottom of the outlet will have power to it when the light switch is in the “On” position. The purpose of this setup is to control a lamp or illuminating device in a room without having to walk across a dark room to turn on a light. Please check both the top and bottom of the outlet if you are unsure whether or not there is power available.


Circuit breakers are currently the most common type of overcurrent device used in homes today. These are found in the panelboards commonly located in garages and act like switches, turning on or off power for its respective circuits. Occasionally they trip (for a variety of reasons) and need to be reset in order to restore power. Breakers have three positions, “on”, “tripped”, and “off”. To reset the breaker, the handle needs to be pulled or pushed entirely to the “Off” position. There will be a physical snap when it sets in place. From there, you can push or pull it to the “On” position. Make sure that the handle goes entirely to one side and the other and doesn’t remain in the center, “tripped” setting.

Federal Pacific or Zinsco Panel

I have an outdated panel that has been mentioned as a fire hazard, should I replace it? Yes, these panels are outdated and are known to not properly protect your wiring inside your walls when overloaded.

I would like to increase my power capacity or install power to a new accessory building

First call your power company and run your project by them. Once you have received approval from the utility company for your project Prairie Electric will be happy to provide a quote and coordinate the installation.

Smoke detectors chirping

If you have a chirping smoke it is most likely low battery which will need to get changed out. Take down the smoke from the bracket and unhook it from the smoke detector then take out the old battery once that is complete hold the reset/hush button to reset the unit. Install new battery and plug back in.

If you have a false alarm then you have to find the unit that initiated the alarm which will be the detector that is flashing red every second. Hit the hush/test button and unplug the wiring harness and then take out the battery. With battery out clean with the vacuum or blow out with air. Put the battery back in and connect wiring harness, the unit should be good to go.

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