These electrical Frequently Asked Questions are general inquiries. Please remember that electrical work can be very dangerous and possibly fatal if done incorrectly. Be safe and always call a licensed electrician to deal with any problem you may have.

See below for answers to the most common electrical questions we receive from our customers. Don’t see your question here? Contact us

We will be happy to assist!

My house has aluminum wiring. Is this a fire hazard? Do I need to re-wire?

Many homes built between the 60’s and 70’s were done so with aluminum wiring in place. In itself, aluminum wiring is safe, if properly connected, terminated and provided that any devices used are approved for use with aluminum wiring. All such work must be completed according to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and manufacturer instructions.

According to the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority):

Some insurers will not provide or renew insurance coverage on these homes without an inspection by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). Ask your insurance company for their requirements. You may need to repair or replace the wiring, and provide a copy of the ESA Certificate of Acceptance to the insurer.

If you need to hire someone to do the repairs, by law it must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor. Make sure you hire one familiar with aluminum wiring. The Licensed Electrical Contractor should first assess the job and take out any necessary notifications with ESA. The ESA can then review the electrical work. Be sure to get a copy of the ESA Certificate of Acceptance from your Licensed Electrical Contractor for your records.

(Source: https://esasafe.com/home-renovation-buying-and-selling/aluminum-wiring/)

If you have concerns about the aluminum wiring in your home/ business, please contact a licensed electrical contractor experienced in aluminum wiring, such as Trigon Electrical Inc. to discuss options.

Why are my lights flickering?

The occasional flicker may not be cause for concern, however if new, reoccurring or more severe flickering begins to occur, you will want to have the cause investigated.

Common causes include:

– Fixture wiring/ bulb issues
– Loose plugs/ connections
– Faulty switches
– Appliances with large current draws causing voltage drops.

Larger potential electrical issues include:

– Outdated wiring
– Loose service conductors in Main electrical panel
– Overloaded circuits
– Meter box or Main line connection issues.

If you notice an increase in flickering, call an electrician. It may be a simple fix such as a replacement switch or plug, but can also be a symptom of something more. Wiring problems are not something to ignore, especially as there may be underlying, unseen issues at play.

What is difference between an Arc Fault breaker and a regular breaker?
In general, all breakers are designed to prevent overloading of the wires in your home and business. Specifically, they turn off automatically in instances that a short circuit occurs or if the circuit is carrying too much load. Arc Fault breakers (AFCI) are designed to guard against faulty connections causing arcing, or sparking. A detection device senses the electrical arc and breaks the circuit to prevent an electrical fire.

It is important to understand that an AFCI does not take the place of GFCI protection. While ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) protect against shock, they are not intended to protect against fire, as does an AFCI. It is critical that Code requirements for both AFCI and GFCI protection are followed whenever extending or updating a wiring system.

Please talk to one of our electricians to determine what system and which devices are required for your specific needs and application.

How much does it cost to change my fuse panel?

Whether you are planning for a:

  • Simple panel change
  • Changing an existing screw-in fuse type electrical panel to replace it with a circuit breaker type panel
  • A service upgrade to 200A or 400a

Costs surrounding the above can range from $1500 to $5000 on average depending on your specific requirements.

Because there are many variables that need to be considered, we recommend you speak with one of our electricians at Trigon Electrical Inc. to discuss your plans and then have your current system assessed. This will determine how much service you have available and how much more your home will require.

Learn more about what is involved in Electrical Panel and Service Upgrades.

Do I need Whole Home Surge Protection in my home?

Today, homes are more advanced than ever before and filled with devices and appliances with electronic and/or digital components. Most common on this list include items such as:

TV’s, entertainment systems (audio/ visual), security systems, computers (routers, modems, printers), kitchen equipment, washers and dryers, furnaces, central vacuum, garage door openers… just to name a few.

Grid disruptions and power surges can wreak havoc on these systems and possibly take them out of commission.

A professionally installed whole house surge protector can save you thousands in replacement costs of your many sensitive and expensive electrical devices, making it not only a wise, but also often a necessary investment for the modern home.

Contact Trigon Electrical Inc. to learn more about which surge protection system is right for you.

Can I do my own electrical repairs?

In Ontario, homeowners are allowed to do their own electrical work, but are obligated to follow regulations set out by the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority).

(See: https://esasafe.com/compliance/what-you-need-to-know/)

That being said, even though you may be allowed to- should you? Remember, even seemingly small repairs, if done incorrectly- will not meet safety standards and could result in more serious problems later on.

Also, before heading to the hardware store, take the time to read the fine print of your insurance policies. Be aware of safety & liability issues resulting from any DIY work performed. Some policies may refuse coverage for incidents resulting from unqualified, unlicensed work.

Regardless, in most cases, even if the electrical work may appear simple- there is a problem with the DIY Handyman. Unfortunately, the average Handyman is not qualified to handle electrical work. Electricians have to undergo years of extensive training and certification processes to obtain his/her license. Licensed Electrical Contractors have additional requirements to maintain valid standing. These requirements are in place to ensure all electrical work is carried out safely and according to the current code requirements. Always consult a licensed electrical contractor regarding any electrical work that needs to be addressed in your home/ business.

What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept Cash, E-transfer, Visa and MasterCard and offer convenient online payment options directly through your invoice.

We will require a (back up) credit card to be on file.

All work is discussed and pre-approved prior to start of work and any changes will be communicated as they occur. You will be provided a copy of a signed work order at the time of your appointment outlining completed tasks.

We will also request an email address in order to send you a copy of the final invoice.

Do you supply free estimates?
We respect our customers time and we value the time of our electricians. As such, beyond your initial call, we highly recommend setting up a free phone consultation in conjunction with photos of the project to discuss estimated costs and options with one of our electricians.

Once you are comfortable with the information discussed, we are happy to set aside a time for work completion or to arrange for a subsequent site visit (should this be required for more complex projects).

Site visits/ In-person consultations are billed at a set rate to account for the time spent by the electrician in detailed discussions including taking measurements, pricing materials and travel expenses incurred.

Do I receive a written estimate?
If requested, we will send you a written estimate within a weeks time.
Will I need to arrange for any permits and inspections?
All permits and inspections pertaining to the electrical work agreed upon will be arranged through Trigon Electrical Inc.

We will take care of all necessary communication and coordination with both the utilities as well as the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) on your behalf to complete your project.

What are your hours of operation?
For normal repairs or maintenance, we will schedule work between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. We do also offer 24/7 for emergency situations. There are additional charges for emergency call outs, but we will get someone out as soon as possible to ensure your safety. We will always let you know if your situation constitutes an emergency and requires immediate service.