Everything You Need to Know About Power Surges


So you may have heard or even used the term power surge before, but do you really know what it could mean?

Ultimately, power surges can simply be thought of as a spike in your home’s electrical current. A power surge is often a quick blast of power and is over before you know it but the damage they do can last far longer than there initial hit.

Causes of Power Surges

Power surges happen in and outside your home and could be the cause of some of the following:

  • Lightning
  • Household appliances such as your refrigerator, A/C, and computer
  • Faulty wiring
  • Power outages
  • Problems with utility equipment
  • What Can A Power Surge Do?

The effects of power surges can range from not so serious to super serious. For example, an internal power surge may just cause your appliances to work a little slower, but an external power surge can damage electronic appliances and devices beyond repair in an instant. This is why, for instance, you should always unplug devices such as your computer during a lightning storm.

How You Should Prepare

A good line of defense against power surges is to have a surge protector – these can help keep devices such as your computer safe, and are also a good idea to consider for other major electronic appliances. All surge protectors are different though, so you’ll need to really consider what you’ll be using it for and how much protection you need before buying one.


Here at TFC Electric Inc., we know everything there is to know about power surges, and we want to help you feel confident that your Suffolk County home is protected. For information about the electrical services we can provide, please call (631) 589-2800 or continue to look around our website.

The Space Heating Safety Tips You Should Know

The cold weather is upon us, so that can only mean one thing–homeowners will be dusting off their space heaters. Portable space heaters are a great way to supply your home with additional heat in the winter. However, if not properly used they can also cause a fire or electrical shock. As you begin breaking out the space heaters, keeps these tips in mind.

space heaterRead Instructions

Prior to using a space heater, read the warning label. The label should also let you know whether or not the space heater was tested for safety in a laboratory.

Check the Quality

Never use a space heater that has frayed or damaged wiring. If you discover this type of damage, you may have to purchase a new space heater.

Don’t Forget to Shut it Off

Do not leave your space heater on when you are not in the room. Remember to turn off and unplug the space heater if you are leaving the house or going to bed.

Keep Your Distance

Remember that even space heaters need their space. Keep all flammable objects and materials at least 3 feet away from the unit.

Watch Where You Plug

Do not plug your space heater into an extension cord or power strip, as it can start a fire. Plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet.

At TFC Electric, your safety is our number one priority. If you experience an electrical emergency this winter, call 631-589-2800 immediately. We can troubleshoot and safely restore your electrical system. We can deliver peace of mind for you and your family.



Reasons Why 2018 is The Year for New Lighting

It’s a new year which means it’s time for a change and what better change than new light? When it comes to lighting your home in 2018, a change can definitely do you and your home some good. So if your lighting is older than you can remember, here are 3 reasons to update your lighting for 2018! 
light bulbs

Better Aesthetics

Light fixtures go in and out of style. Over time, your light fixtures might start to look a little bit outdated. Having new light fixtures installed in your home can give your rooms a more modern or contemporary look.

More Energy Efficiency

A lot of people are jumping on the “go green” bandwagon. It’s all about finding new and different ways to make your home more energy efficient. Upgrading from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs can help you save energy and money. 

Increased Resale Value

If you plan on selling your home in 2018, upgrading your home’s lighting is a must. After all, updated light fixtures increase the overall resale value of your home. Best of all, new light fixtures can entice potential buyers. 
Are you interested in shedding some light in your home? If so, turn to TFC Electric. We work and collaborate with architects and designers to create a lighting plan that fits your needs. We have a variety of different lighting fixtures including Wac, Halo, Bega, Lightolier, Lumark, Lithonia and many others. Call us at 631-589-2800 to request service.

5 Ways to Not Run Out of Power This Holiday

Your tablet needs to charge, the kids’ phones need to be charged, the decorations are plugged in and in just a few days your in-laws (and all their devices) will be staying with you for the holidays. Today, the average household has 24 electronics, but still the same amount of outlets as years ago. If you’re finding yourself with too many devices and not enough outlets, here are a few simple ways to cut down on the congestion this holiday and prevent a holiday power outage:

Electrician During the Holidays | TFC Electric

Think Cordless

Electronics that are not used daily, like vacuums or electric razors, can usually be swapped out for their cordless counterparts. The next time you need a new coffee machine or speaker, look for ones that run on batteries, or that only need to be charged once in a while. You’ll free up a few extra outlets and be able to store your devices anywhere you want.

Have an effective setup

With curling irons, hair dryers, and electric toothbrushes, it’s no surprise that the bathroom is one of the most in-demand rooms for outlets. But before you all pile into the bathroom, think “can this be done somewhere else?” The answer is usually yes. Try doing your hair in your room or keeping some items in a spare or guest bathroom.

Stay off Your Phones

Everyone in the living room wants to charge their phone while still using it, but you only have a few outlets, now what? Encourage people to leave their phone to charge in another room of the house. Not only will this get everyone off their phones, but by staying off your phone while it charges, it will actually make your battery last longer when you do need it.

Use a Power Strip

Need just a few more outlets in one area of the house? Try using a power strip. A power strip plugs into an existing outlet and leaves you with a line of usable outlets, perfect for behind TV units and stereo systems – but be careful not to start plugging power strips into every outlet. Make sure your house can handle all the extra usage and only use power strips with a surge protector.

Get an Extension Cord

 If the problem is that your outlets are just too far away, try getting an extension cord. But before you visualize yourself living within tangled black and orange wires everywhere, think again. With beaded, woodgrain and rope braided extension cords on the market today, you can turn a once eyesore into a unique decoration.

If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you still need more outlets, let the TFC Electric Inc. team help with everything from electrical service upgrades and electrical wiring to installing new wall outlets and more! For our readers in Suffolk County, New York, know that you can always count on us to assist with your electrical needs.

How to Install a Dimmer Switch

Electrician Suffolk County | Smithtown | Islip | TFC Electric

Dimmer switches give you more control over your home’s lighting, and can even help you save energy and extend the lifespan of your bulbs. Most dimmer switches are designed to fit in a standard wall box, making them a relatively simple DIY swap.

Follow these step-by-step instructions from the experts at TFC Electric to install your very own dimmer switch:

What you’ll need:

• Phillips head screwdriver
• Flat head screwdriver
• Long nose pliers
• Wire stripper
• Wire cutter
• Voltage tester
• Dimmer switch
• Dimmer wall plate
• Wire connector nuts
• Electrical tape

Step-by-step instructions:

1. Turn off the power to the switch from your breaker. Confirm the power is disconnected by turning the switch on and off a few times.

2. Remove the old light switch plate. You should be able to unscrew it from the wall using your flathead screwdriver.

3. Remove the old light switch. After removing the plate, pull the switch away from the wall. Use the voltage tester to make sure none of the wires are live, then disconnect them from the light switch. If you are replacing a three-way switch, one of the wires will be connected to a different colored screw, or one labeled as COMMON; mark this wire with the electrical tape.

4. Connect the new dimmer switch. Connect the ground wire on your light switch to the green or bare copper wire in the wall by twisting the ends together and capping them with a wire connector nut. Follow the same process for the other two wires. Make sure none of the bare wire is exposed after capping. If so, you will need to remove the cap, untwist the wires, shorten them using a wire cutter, then re-connect and cap them.

5. Install the new wall plate. Carefully tuck the wires back into the electrical box and tighten the screws to secure the dimmer switch. Then, use your flathead screwdriver to connect the wall plate to the wall.

6. Restore power and test the dimmer. Restore power to the switch from your main breaker and turn on the light. Test your dimmer to make sure it works at different lighting levels.

While installing a dimmer switch is a relatively safe project, there is a lot that can go wrong. If you run into any problems during installation, the professionals at TFC Electric are just a phone call away. If you live in Suffolk County, Long Island, give us a call anytime at (631) 589-2800.

5 Benefits of Landscape Lighting

landscape lighting suffolk county

Plants often take center stage in the world of landscaping, but exterior lighting can be just as important. A professionally installed landscape lighting system offers many benefits to homeowners, both aesthetic and functional:

1. Expanded living area. Landscape lighting can help expand the space of your outdoor living area, and allows you to enjoy it around-the-clock. With an illuminated deck or patio, the party doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down, and a well-lit lawn allows you to take advantage of your full yard.

2. Improved safety. Illuminated walkways help prevent slip and fall accidents; especially during the winter months, when the sun sets earlier and slippery surfaces are common.

3. Added security. A well-lit exterior makes your home less of a target for potential vandalism and burglary. Criminals cannot approach the home as easily, and there are less places to hide. This added level of security can even save you money on your homeowner’s insurance premium!

4. Enhanced curb appeal. With all of the functional advantages of landscape lighting, it can be easy to forget about the aesthetic benefits. A professionally-installed lighting system can highlight the intricacies of your landscape, making your home the talk of the neighborhood.

5. Increased resale value. The improved safety, security, and functionality that landscape lighting provides is sure to be noticed by potential buyers. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders ranks outdoor lighting as their most-desired outdoor feature.

Homeowners in Suffolk County, Long Island can trust the experts at TFC Electric with their landscape lighting needs. From design to installation, our team will guide you every step of the way as we turn the yard of your dreams into a reality. Contact us online to get started with a free estimate, or call (631) 589-2800.

Hidden Electrical Hazards in the Home

hidden electrical hazards | electrician smithtown | electrician suffolk county

Out of sight, out of mind. While this theory may apply to some things around the home, your electrical system isn’t one of them. Even if all seems well, there could be something going on behind-the-scenes that puts your home in danger.

Here are three hidden electrical hazards that all homeowners should be aware of…

Old wiring

The average lifespan of an electrical system is 30-40 years. But according to HouseLogic, roughly 30 million American homes are 50 years or older. An outdated electrical system is prone to blown fuses, a shortage of outlets, and even the risk of fire.

Arc faults

An arc fault occurs when an electrical current is steered off course, usually due to damaged wiring. Arc faults are a leading cause in electrical fires across the country, and can be triggered by something as simple as a loose outlet connection. Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) can be installed for as little as $50 and can prevent up to 75% of all arc fault-related fires.

Low-quality products

Have you ever purchased an electrical device (be it an extension cord, circuit breaker, or light switch) for well below market cost? Well, there’s a reason the price was so low. Often times, these products are counterfeit, low-quality goods that do not meet federal standards. Your best bet is to only purchase electrical products from reputable retailers, and look for the Underwriter Laboratories (UL) seal of approval on all items.

Do you suspect that electrical deficiencies are putting your home in danger? Homeowners in Suffolk County, Long Island can count on the experts at TFC Electric for professional inspections, repairs, upgrades, and installations. If you live in Smithtown, Huntington, Islip, or the surrounding area, give us a call at (631) 589-2800 to get started with a free estimate.

3 Signs of a Trustworthy Electrician

electrician suffolk county | tfc electric

If you are experiencing electrical problems in your home, or perhaps maybe it’s just time for an upgrade, you should always hire a qualified electrician. Performing DIY electrical work is dangerous for yourself and your family.

The downside to this is that finding a quality electrician is often easier said than done. Ask around and chances are good that someone you know has been ripped off by a shoddy contractor. With so many services to choose from in your area, how can you determine who is trustworthy? Just look for these three signs…

The Basics

Electricians are really no different from any other business. You wouldn’t give hundreds of dollars to a random person with no company affiliation, would you? Any reputable electrician should have these three things:

  • Proper licensing and insurance
  • A dedicated phone line
  • A website


When searching for a service, one of the first things homeowners do is look at reviews. There are no shortage of online directories to help connect consumers with service providers in their area. Angie’s List is a great place to start doing your research on prospective companies.

Did you know TFC Electric has a 98% A-rating on Angie’s List and is a three-time recipient of their Super Service Award?

24/7 Emergency Service

Electrical emergencies can happen at any time. You want a contractor who will be there when you need them, not whenever it is convenient for them. 24/7 service is a sign of a contractor who is dedicated to his craftsmanship and to his customers.

TFC Electric provides residential and commercial electrical services to homes and businesses around Suffolk County, Long Island. We meet all of the above criteria, and a whole lot more. Let us make you our next satisfied customer. Contact us online to get started with a free estimate, or call (631) 589-2800.

Comparing Different Types of Light Bulbs: LEDs vs. CFLs vs. Incandescent

led lights vs cfl lights vs incandescent lights

Twenty years ago, a light bulb was a light bulb. However, thanks to recent advances in energy efficiency, today’s homeowners have more options than ever when it comes to lighting their home.

The three most common types of light bulbs are incandescent, CFLs, and LEDs. If this all sounds like a foreign language, don’t worry. The experts from TFC Electric are here to break down each type of light bulb in order to determine which is best for your home.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

Not that long ago, incandescent bulbs were the only type of lighting available on the market. These lights work by heating a filament to the point that it glows, producing the bulb’s light. These bulbs are extremely inefficient, and in 2007 Congress passed an act to phase out the production and sales of incandescent lights.

  • Average lifespan of 1,200 hours
  • Consumes 3,285 kilowatt hours of electricity per year
  • Emits 85 BTUs of heat per hour

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Compact fluorescent lights (or CFLs) utilize an electric current which flows through a tube containing gases. This process creates ultraviolet light which quickly transforms into visible light. CFLs are much more efficient than incandescent lighting, however they may take a few seconds to “warm up” and cannot be used with a dimmer switch.

  • Average lifespan of 8,000 hours
  • Consumes 767 kilowatt hours of electricity per year
  • Emits 30 BTUs of heat per hour

Light Emitting Diodes

Light emitting diode (or LED) light bulbs work by passing an electrical current through a semiconductor material to illuminate tiny diodes. LEDs are the newest type of lighting, and by far the most efficient. They used to cost more than $100 per bulb, but thanks to a major cost reduction (bulbs can now be purchased for under $10), they are increasing in popularity across the country.

  • Average lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Consumes 329 kilowatt hours of electricity per year
  • Emits 3 BTUs of heat per hour

TFC Electric provides residential and commercial electrician services to homes and businesses across Suffolk County, Long Island. With more than 20 years of experience and a 98% A-rating on Angie’s List, don’t look any further than us for your next electrical project. Contact us online to get started with a free estimate, or call (631) 589-2800.

4 Electrical Jobs to Leave to the Professionals

DIY home improvement projects are a great way to add a personal touch to your home, and save some money in the process. However, DIY electrical projects should be approached with extreme caution. While simple electrical work can be usually be completed safely, there are some projects you should always leave to the professionals:

New Construction

If you are renovating your home or building an addition, you will need to have the electrical work performed by a licensed contractor. When it comes time to connect to the grid, power companies don’t want to risk damaging their equipment or injuring their employees due to an amateur’s mistake.

Circuit Breaker Upgrades

Your circuit breaker is the heart of your home’s electrical system. As you add appliances and devices, you may need to upgrade your circuit box in order to accommodate this increased load. This is not only an extremely complicated job, it is very dangerous for the average do-it-yourselfer.

Outlet Upgrades

Replacing an outlet in your home is a fairly simple DIY project that most homeowners can complete without difficulty – if it is the same type of outlet. However, upgrading to a GFCI or USB- enabled receptacle can result in fire or loss of power if you are not careful.

Standby Generator Installations

Installing a standby generator is a lengthy process. Not only do you need to obtain proper permits from your town, the generator must be directly connected to your home’s circuit box and gas line. As you can probably tell, there are a lot of things that can go wrong if you attempt this yourself.

Homeowners in Suffolk County, Long Island can count on TFC Electric for all of their professional electrician needs. Our trained technicians are fully licensed and ready to serve. Visit our website to learn more, or call (631) 589-2800.