Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you do small jobs?
A: Yes, we do. No job is too small. We are a service and repair company. We don’t do any new construction or large commercial jobs so we can get to you quickly, usually within 1 to 2 days. We are specialists at home electrical installations and troubleshooting because that is what we do every single day. Most electrical contractors prefer new construction homes and large commercial jobs and will only take a small job if it is slow season. Because of this their electricians are not as skilled at troubleshooting home electrical problems and the company may not be able to get to your job right away. If they do work for you during the slow season, you may not be able to get them to come back out very quickly if you have a problem with their work later.

Q: What forms of payment can I use to pay for my services?
A: For your convenience we accept cash, checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We even have some financing options available for qualified customers.

Q: Can’t I do some of the work myself?
A: You should only do electrical work if you have the proper knowledge and training to do it safely and correctly. Electricity can be dangerous, so if you are not sure of your skill level, it is best to let a professional handle the work.

Q: Why do you need to come out to give me a price?
A: Electrical wiring methods and materials have changed drastically since home wiring first began, and the National Electrical Code changes every three years. Most homes have had additional wiring added or changed after being built. There are different acceptable wiring styles and material preferences among electricians of the same time period. There is no way for an electrician to know exactly what type of wiring methods, styles, and materials are in your home without a visit to your home. Each home’s floor plan, size, foundation style, and attic accessibility is different than the next. All these variables come into play when calculating the price to do any type of electrical work. Without knowing these variables, it is just not possible to give you an accurate price to do your work. Be wary of ballpark figures given over the phone as they cannot possibly be accurate. One person may give you a very low ball park price just so you will let them into your home, and then try to make it up on the backend once the work is in progress. Others may not want to disappoint you after they come out and may give you a little higher price hoping it will actually be close to covering the actual work once they come out to look at it. It is in your best interest to have an electrician look at your job and give you an exact price that they will stick with, no matter what, once the work begins.

Q: Why do you charge a dispatch fee?
A: Every single electrical contractor must pay his/her electrician to come out to your home, even if it is just to quote you a price or give you an estimate. The contractor is not going to lose money on this, so instead they incorporate this cost into the price of the work they perform. If they are by the hour, they may charge a higher hourly rate for the first 1/2 hour or first hour than the rest of the time or they will charge you during the drive from another customer’s home or to the shop and back. If they are providing you with a price quote or “free” estimate, they will roll this cost (but usually at a slightly higher rate, so as to cover for the free estimates done without getting the job) into this and call it a “free” estimate. As you can see, it is only free to those who decide not to use this contractor, while the customers who do use his/her services end up paying for those who don’t. We feel that each person who has one of our electricians come out should pay for their own dispatch. Why should we penalize our true customers (the people who have us do work for them) by making them pay the cost of dispatching for those who don’t use our services?

Q: It’s too dark in one of the rooms of my house; can I put a higher wattage light bulb in?
A: You should only use a light bulb with a wattage that does not exceed the rating for your particular fixture or lamp. Each fixture or lamp should have the maximum wattage rating labeled on it somewhere near the socket. Exceeding this maximum wattage can start a fire in your light fixture or home wiring. If your room is still too dark, consider changing out the fixture for one that allows a higher wattage or more bulbs, or considering adding some recessed lighting fixtures in the room to supplement the other fixture.

Q: My breaker keeps tripping, can I just put the next higher rated breaker in it’s place?
A: No. The breaker size/rating is determined by the size of the wiring. If there is an overload and the breaker does not trip because it is over-sized/overrated, then the wiring on that circuit can easily start a fire in your home. If you have a breaker that has tripped more than once, or would not reset, you should have the circuit evaluated by a trained electrician.

Q: If I can’t find the right brand of breaker for my breaker box, can I use a different brand?
A: You should only use a different brand of breaker if it is listed for specific use in your breaker box and it is acceptable by the manufacturer of the breaker box. If a breaker has not been tested for another brand of breaker box, and listed for specific use in a particular breaker box, then it may not work properly in that breaker box, which is a safety hazard and against the National Electrical Code. This could also void any warranty you may have on your breaker box and the breaker itself. This could also void your insurance coverage in the event of a fire.

Now that you are ready to schedule service,
Call us at (219) 364-6766

Amps & Volts Electric, Inc.
755 W Chicago St., 
Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 364-6766

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