How do I know if my home needs an electrical upgrade?
The age of your home is not necessarily an indicator that you are in need of an electrical upgrade, although it might be. Homes built prior to 1990 are often equipped with inefficient wiring, stone-age electrical panels and too few outlets for the number of appliances we use today. If you are noticing any of the following, you might be in need of a service upgrade.
- You find yourself using extension cords to reach lights, appliances, or other electronics.
- You have outlets that do not work.
- Your bathroom and kitchen are not equipped with GFCI outlets.
- Fuses trip continuously.
- Your lights dim when you turn on other appliances, especially those that require large amounts of power like the air conditioner or heater.
What can be included in a service upgrade?
Three main components can be a part of a total electrical upgrade.
- The circuit breaker. Circuit breaker panels typically have a lifespan of between 25 and 40 years. These panels in older homes are typically designed to bring in far less power than we typically use nowadays. Even if your circuits do not trip, having a breaker panel that is older than this can be a hazard, especially if you add an appliance that requires large amounts of power such as an air conditioner or spa.
- The wiring. Rewiring an entire home is a complicated and time consuming process, but it does not mean having to damage every wall in your home. On the flip side, faulty wiring in your home can lead to outlet malfunction and fires. If the wiring in your home is older than 40 years old or if it no longer meets your needs, it may be time to rewire your entire house.
- The outlets and light switches. Not only is it possible to add outlets to your home, it is also possible to move inconvenient outlets to more convenient locations. For instance, if you are considering changing the footprint of your kitchen, you may need to move low outlets to a higher location so you can plug in appliances. Or, if you are moving a doorway, you will need to change the location of the light switch.
For more information on these and any other service upgrades, contact TAG Electric contractors for a free in-home estimate.