I probably just have a tripped circuit breaker, but what does a tripped circuit breaker look like?
There are three possibilities. One brand of breaker shows a "red flag" when the breaker is tripped. Another brand trips all the way to the "off" position, you can't miss it. The majority of breakers trip to an "intermediate" position, and those can be tricky to locate. They trip to a position half way between "off" and "on". You'll have to look closely. Sometimes they barely move from the "on" position. When in doubt, and when it is safe to do so, reset all of your circuit breakers. You might find one that feels "soft" and you'll know you found it.


I have a circuit breaker that won't reset
Circuit breakers have to be forced all the way to the "off" position first, before being turned to the "on" position, or they won't reset. First force the breaker all the way off, then all the way on.


I reset the circuit breaker but it buzzes and trips right back off
Go to the affected area and determine what all doesn't work. Unplug every appliance or lamp plugged into a "dead" outlet. Switch off all lighting in the affected area. Disconnect everything you can find on the "dead" circuit. Then return to the circuit box and try again to reset the breaker. If it trips off again, I will need to visit your site to troubleshoot the problem. If the breaker now stays "on", return to affected area and start reconnecting everything you disconnected. Often times you'll find that you have a defective appliance that is causing the problem. If you plug in the toaster and the breaker trips, you need a new toaster, not an electrician.


Some of my outlets quit working. I've checked all the breakers and nothing is tripped. What's wrong?
Many outlets in modern homes are "GFI" protected, meaning there is a GFI outlet somewhere in the circuit that has tripped, and killed all power to the remaining outlets on the circuit. Look for a GFI receptacle somewhere. They look different than a normal power outlet, they have a "Test " and "Reset" button on them. They will be found in bathrooms, basements, garages, outdoors, kitchens, or any area around a sink or water source. Push the reset button on any GFI outlet that you find, and power will likely be restored. This simple knowledge may save you a service call.


My dimmer switch doesn't dim anymore and the lights buzz and flicker
If you are using CFL light bulbs on a dimmer switch, you probably just ruined your dimmer and possibly the light bulb also. CFL's aren't compatible with most dimmer switches, and damage will occur if attempted. Either remove the CFL and re-install a regular bulb, or replace the dimmer with a regular switch. We can help you out with that.