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Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting in Your Home

Most homeowners find minor problems with their power and lights from time to time. Here are a few helpful hints that might solve your problems. If not, please call us to help at 410-781-4357 (HELP).

Q: My bathroom and outside receptacles are no longer working.

Check all GFCIs (rectangular receptacles with test and reset buttons) in all bathrooms, the unfinished area of your basement, in the garage and all outside receptacles. Push the top button to reset the circuit.

Q: I’ve lost power in two of my rooms.

Go to the electrical panel and turn every breaker “off” then “on,” and “off” then “on” twice. (Remember to do this twice, “off” then “on,” and “off” then “on.”)

Q: My smoke detectors are beeping and setting off the alarm.

Check the battery and if the house is under 10 years old, vacuum out the smoke detectors. If the house is over 10 years old you should replace all the smoke detectors in the house.

Q: How often do I need to replace my smoke detectors?

Every ten years. Every year in the United States, 3,500 people die in home fires. Most of these deaths occurred in homes that did not have a working smoke detector. IT’S A FACT: if your smoke alarm was installed before March 2001, it needs to be replaced (every ten years). For more information about home fire safety, visit the U.S. Fire Administration.

Q: Half the items in my house are not working and / or my lights are dimming down to nothing.

If you have a 240 volt electrical cook top, try turning one of the burners on. If it doesn’t come on, call BGE at 1-800-685-0123. If you don’t have an electric cook top, place a cup of water in your microwave for two minutes and see if your lights dim down. If they do, call BGE at 1-800-685-0123.

Q: My power intermittently goes on and off.

This signals that there is a loose connection, and this can be very dangerous. Contact an electrician ASAP.