Electricity is a necessary convenience and can help make any house feel like home. Most minor electrical issues and random outages can be easily remedied by resetting the components in your system, while others will need an experienced electrician.
Important safety note: If at any time you notice sparks coming from a switch or electrical fixture, turn off the switch and unplug everything from the outlet. Contact our office immediately. Never try to reset a breaker that is hot to the touch or has sparked.
Items that are Tenant Responsibility
- You are responsible for replacing blown fuses and resetting tripped circuit breakers. Damage or loss caused by this will be your responsibility.
- You are responsible for resetting GFCI outlets.
- You may add phone jacks, cable outlets and internet outlets if desired.
- You are responsible for replacing all light bulbs, including fluorescent bulbs and outdoor light bulbs.
- You are responsible for routinely testing and replacing batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- You should always check electrical cords to make sure they’re not running across doorways or under carpets. Also, check them for damage before using. Replace damaged cords immediately.
General Care and Use Tips
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
Determine what batteries your detectors use (most common is 9V) and test your detector each month when you pay your electric bill. Most smoke detectors backup batteries have a constant “chirp” when the battery needs changed. It is your responsibility to ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are plugged in and have the proper batteries in place. Also check the date on your detectors; your detector expires after 10 years from Manufacture Date. Report any missing or non-working detectors immediately.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
Carbon Monoxide poisoning can lead to death. If you have gas service at your property, you must have a working Carbon Monoxide Detector. If you do not have, or know where your CO detector is, you must notify us in writing immediately. Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless, and nearly impossible to detect without a detector. Call your gas company or the fire department if your detector goes off and immediately exit the property until the property is cleared as safe to return.
At move-in, all light fixtures will be equipped with the proper light bulbs. All burned out light bulbs are to be replaced during your occupancy (including floodlights and fluorescent lights). Upon moving out, all lights must be equipped with the proper number and kind of bulbs. For decorative bulbs, all must match. Light bulbs should be 60 watts unless otherwise specified on the lighting fixture.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
If you experience an electrical outage of any sort, the first place to check is your breaker box. Because a growing number of appliances are used in today’s homes, more electricity is being consumed and many times a circuit has been overloaded and the breaker needs to be reset. If specific outlets in the home are not working or power is out to one area of the house, the issue might be that a GFCI outlet needs to be reset.
If you are having an issue with an appliance, power in part of your house, or with your heating and cooling system, always check and reset the breakers prior to reporting maintenance. Circuit breakers move slightly when triggered. It may appear to be ON when it has “tripped”. Find your breaker box, typically located in the laundry area or garage. To reset, turn the breaker in the OFF position, then back ON again. Make sure you only do this once, as problems can result from activating and suddenly cutting off the power surge. If the electricity does not come back on, check all of your outlets to be sure they are not being overloaded. Be sure to check your outdoor breaker panel as well.
Power Out in Entire Home
If the electricity has gone out in your entire home and resetting the breaker does not restore it, it is likely that there has been a power failure. A good indicator of a power failure would be to check if you notice outside lights on your neighbor’s house are off as well. Call the power company or refer to their online power outage map.
Power Out in Part of Home
If the electricity is off in only part of your home and resetting the breakers does not restore it, check your home for GFCI outlets and follow the troubleshooting prompts below. If resetting the GFCI outlets is not successful, it is possible that you have experienced an electrical short.
How to Reset GFCI Outlets
The ground fault circuit (GFCI) breaker detects even slight voltage changes and cuts the power during fluctuations. They are usually used in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and garages, but can be located in other areas so please be sure to check all outlets. If you lose power to a plug near a water source, it is usually the GFCI circuit. Additionally, if you lose power in only one part of the home and a breaker is not tripped, it is likely the GFCI on the outlets. You must reset all GFI’s, by pressing and holding the reset button until it resets, before calling our office to submit a maintenance report. Some GFCI’s are located at the breaker box are marked with a red or yellow button. Many homes have the GFCI at the plug in outlet. When these “trip”, simply reset the breaker as outlined above, or per the instructions on the outlet cover. If we send an electrician, and the issue is resulted from an overloaded breaker that is fixed by resetting the GFCI or circuit breaker, you will be billed for the service call.