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CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR NEW HOME!
Table of Contents:
GFCI or AFCI Breakers
App Controlled Devices
You may notice a receptacle somewhere that doesn't quite match the others in your home; it has a couple buttons in the middle and an LED indicator light. You might find them in your bathroom(s), kitchen, exterior, laundry room or anywhere else that may have a "wet" area nearby. These receptacles protect themselves and other devices located "downstream" on the same circuit against any potential ground faults. They may protect other receptacles or switches that are also in, or even closer to, a "wet" location and they are simply a safely precaution. They can trip due to faulty or wet cords, wet hands touching a protected switch or even a splash of water against a receptacle - so if they do, they're just doing their job and can be quickly reset by pressing the RESET button down. The ones installed in your home are all considered to be "Self-Test", but you can test themselves by depressing the TEST button to trip it, followed by the RESET button. If you find one tripping consistently or being unable to reset, that's something that may need to be looked at.
GFCI or AFCI Breakers
These breakers are similar to the GFCI receptacles, in that they protect an entire circuit from Ground Faults (GFCI) or Arc Faults (AFCI). We prefer to keep the AFCIs as breakers in your panel to keep it simple and occasionally we may need to locate a GFCI as a breaker in your panel or as a blank GFCI receptacle next to the panel, simply because the usual receptacle just wouldn't work out where we needed it to be. Just like with the GFCI receptacle, these breakers are all considered "Self-Test", but they still all come with a TEST button if you'd like to check it out yourself as well. Once tripped, they are reset the same way as any other breaker, by flipping the breaker completely to the OFF position and then completely to the ON position. Turning it completely OFF first is essential to a proper reset of any breaker circuit.
LEDs are one of the greatest advancements in the electrical industry. They save money (in the long run), are safer and much more efficient. However, they are much more complex than heating up a filament to produce light. There are drivers and chips and resistors and solder points (even within a simple LED light bulb). Occasionally an issue may arise where dead spot pops up, or a driver fails, or flickering occurs - it's not indicative of any issues with your electrical itself, but possibly just a flaw with a piece of the system for that particular light; replacing or repairing the light is typically the solution.
Smart Home technology is another one of those great advancements to electrical and homebuilding in general. You might have a Wi-Fi Thermostat, a Ring or Nest Doorbell, Colour Changing Strip Lighting, Smart Switches, etc. When we install any of these devices for you, we will try to get it as set up as possible for you, but until you have your Wi-Fi enabled and your apps downloaded and set up, we are unable to truly test everything. We try to keep all instruction manuals as well as important parts or tools and place it with your information package , but we also like to keep a copy on file. Feel free to checkout the MANUALS, GUIDES and SPECS section if there's something specific you are looking for. A lot of these complex app devices have a Frequently Asked Questions section which is a valuable tool before having us come in for a service call. Sometimes a problem can be solved by simply changing a setting in the app.
This guide may vary from builder-to-builder or home-to-home, but hopefully it can answer some of the more commonly asked questions as you settle into enjoying your new home.
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