Posted on: October 27, 2016
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Electrician
Rewiring a house can be a lot of work, but it is necessary to prevent accidents such as short circuits. One of the first things you need to consider when you are planning a home renovation is the existing electrical system. Is the condition of the existing electrical wiring and the capacity (in amps) of the system up to code?
Along with plumbing and heating and cooling systems, updating the electrical system in a house will be one of the most expensive remodeling tasks. Major electrical rewiring will require you to use the services of a licensed electrician. There are situations where you can do some of the electrical work yourself with a proper permit having your work certified by a licensed electrical inspector. You need to check your local building codes before you begin.
You need to check your local building codes before you begin.
The lights come on when you flip the switch, the TV works, and the refrigerator keeps food cold. That means the electrical wiring must be fine, right? Not necessarily. There may be times, especially if your house is more than 40 years old, when you need to upgrade electrical wiring for safety, or because the existing wiring no longer meets your family’s power needs.Rewiring can be a messy and expensive proposition, but with a little upfront planning you can minimize the disruptions and even turn the job into an opportunity to add features that will increase the value of your home.
Faulty wiring is the leading cause of residential fires, according to a 2009 study by the National Fire Prevention Association. And the older your house is, the greater the chances that the wiring might be outdated or unsafe.
Old wiring—even knob and tube wiring that dates back to the early 20th century—isn’t inherently dangerous, but unless you were around when the house was built, you can’t be sure the electrical system is up to code. Plus, materials such as wire insulation can deteriorate over time.
If you don’t know when your wiring was last inspected, it’s worth paying a licensed electrician to give it a once-over, especially if you have any of these warning signs:
Another reason to consider upgrading is that some carriers refuse to insure houses with older wiring, or charge owners higher premiums.
Instead of the standard copper wire, many houses built in the 1960s and early 1970s have aluminum wiring, which is considered a safety hazard. “Aluminum wiring connections often loosen up over time,” says Greg Fletcher, a master electrician, educator, and author of several books on wiring. “That can cause overheating and possibly fires at receptacles when appliances are plugged in to them.” An inspection can determine whether it’s safe to leave the wiring in place. Sometimes the addition of copper connectors, called pigtails, at receptacles and circuit breakers can resolve potential problems.
Sixty amps used to be the standard for household power. Today, houses often need 200 amps to run air conditioners, flat-screen TVs, computer equipment, and all the other gadgets our parents and grandparents hardly imagined.
Not having enough power isn’t just an inconvenience; it can actually damage sensitive electronics. “It’s very hard on these devices if the voltage drops off,” says San Francisco-based builder Bob Hauser. Even with adequate power, you may need to add outlets to avoid relying on power strips and extension cords, an inconvenience and a potential safety hazard. Read more here.
There are a lot of things a homeowner can do to determine just how big a project her or his electrical rework will be. Determining the size of the system you have and the condition of your wiring and other components and developing a plan for any new outlets and circuits you many require will go a long way in planning your budget for a home electrical system update. You should hire a professional do start the job. An electrician will be able to establish a map of the electrical wires and come up with a plan to replace everything. Saving a little money by hiring unlicensed workers is not worth risking your family’s safety. Do the smart thing and only hire a quality contractor to rewire electrical outlets. Call (713) 812-7070 us for your home service and repair needs.
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