Frequently Asked Questions

At Kemly Electric, we believe part of our mission is to educate our Seattle customers on the basic workings of the electrical components in their homes and businesses. From our Ballard, Seattle offices, our estimators and journeyman electricians are happy to answer any questions, large or small.

Call us or email us with your questions or concerns: (206) 782-1670 or info@kemlyelectric.com.

We work with the Phinney Ridge Home Association, at their annual home show, participating in workshops designed to teach fundamental electrical knowledge to homeowners. Brian Kemly was featured on KOMO Radio’s call in home show (listen here).


our electrician answering customers questions


Here are some of our FAQs:

What does a homeowner need to fix simple home repair problems?

If you’re a handy home owner, it’s possible to fix many simple repair problems yourself. But keep in mind that safety comes first. With basic tools such as wire strippers, pliers, diagonal cutters (dikes), screwdrivers (flat and Phillips head), a hammer, a plug tester and an electrical circuit tester, you can fix small electrical problems. If the problem is with a faulty appliance, Kemly Electric will be happy to troubleshoot and direct you to the appropriate appliance repair contractor in Seattle.

How do I reset my circuit breaker?

First, look for the breaker that’s set in the middle. Then flip the breaker all the way off. You should feel a slight resistance as the spring inside resets. After you feel this, turn the breaker back on. Your power should be restored. In case the breaker doesn’t reset, call us and we’ll troubleshoot the problem for you.


Can I change my own outlets and switches?

If it is a simple problem with your home electrical system, you as a homeowner with basic electrical knowledge, can fix it yourself. Keeping in mind that safety is paramount when dealing with electricity, the first thing you must do is turn off the circuit breaker. Never do any work on an energized circuit. Most homeowner issues such as replacing switches or outlets are simple. To understand some of the basics, there are good do-it-yourself books in the library or local hardware store.

When changing an outlet or switch, the main thing to remember is the longer slot on the outlet device has to be connected to the neutral (white) wire. The black (or hot) wire connects to the smaller slot. The green (or bare) wire connects to the ground slot. You’ll also need to purchase a plug tester so you can test each outlet after installation. If you have any questions about this process, give us a call and we’ll help.

How do I replace my own light fixture?

Replacing a light fixture is a more complicated process than working on a plug or a switch. Some older homes in Seattle and the Puget Sound region don’t have a junction box, and new fixtures require a junction box in order to be installed. Remember this: each installation needs to be evaluated individually. If the installation doesn’t seem straightforward, call us to request a qualified electrician to perform the installation for you.

24/7 Service & Repair CALL (206)782-1670