Updating Your Electrical System is Critical for Safety and Efficiency
The average household uses a large amount of electricity and that amount is likely to rise with new household technologies being developed that rely on electricity. Updating your home’s electrical system, especially in an older home not designed for modern electricity demands, keeps your loved ones safe from fire and electrocution, ensures the system meets electricity demands of appliances, you don’t have frequent circuit breaker trips and increases the resale value of your property.
If you live in an old house, if your current electrical system is unable to meet your electricity needs or if it’s been over a decade since your electrical system was upgraded or installed, it may be time to update your system, especially if you’re trying to sell your home. Building codes change with new safety standards implemented regularly and it is important your electrical system is in line with current building codes. Your electrical panel, which aims to safely distribute the supply of electricity to your house, determines how much electricity is available for the circuits to distribute to all appliances, lights and outlets in your home and has a lifespan of 25 to 40 years. The first important step in updating your electrical system is to have your electrical panel and existing meter replaced so your system has the ability to distribute more electricity. Your electrical panel should have a device called a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter installed to detect imbalances in the flow of current in and out of a circuit and to immediately shut off the circuit to prevent overload or electrocution and shock. It should also have an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter that will monitor for Arc Faults, unintentional low-voltage discharges not detected by circuit breakers, to trip the circuit when one is detected. Circuit breakers protect your home by tripping and turning off when the wire running from your electrical panel to your appliances or devices becomes overloaded or in danger of becoming hot and catching fire. It is critical you check the number and type of circuit breakers you have and ensure those that are obsolete, damaged or dangerous are replaced. In many older electrical systems, circuit breakers may not even trip when the circuit is overloaded. This may be because of a loose connection in the circuit and sometimes a homeowner unknowingly adds to the danger by replacing a circuit breaker that keeps tripping with a larger circuit breaker than the wire is rated to carry. If wiring gets old or has wear and tear, the electrical system may not be able to support modern appliances in a safe manner with the electrical current not transferred properly, which may short your appliances and shorten their lifespan significantly. When wiring becomes exposed, heated or creates sparks, materials around it get ignited which can lead to fire or electrocution. The overall efficiency of your home’s electrical system will also be drastically reduced and it will show in your electricity bills. Have a professional like Kronos Electrical Contractors Ltd add extra circuits, new electrical outlets and replace old cable wires and receptacles to distribute the electricity to your rooms and appliances safely and to increase convenience, enabling you to rearrange your appliances more freely. You know it is time to upgrade your electrical system if you see these signs:
Circuit breakers trip frequently
Fuses blow repeatedly
Constant flickering or dimming of lights
A tingling sensation when you touch an electric appliance
Warn or sparking outlets
A burning smell in a room or from an appliance
Lights dim when you turn on other appliances
A buzzing sound from wires
No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets in areas exposed to moisture
Two-prong ungrounded outlets throughout the house
Extension cords or adapters used to create extra electric outlets
Electrical system upgrades are commonly performed with home renovation or remodelling because it’s often easier to carry out these updates when parts of the property are already being taken apart. If you are planning a home remodel or renovation in future, you may want to have an electrical upgrade done at the same time. It is never a good idea to go down the DIY route when it comes to handling electricity so don’t put your life at risk by trying to do it on your own. Have a licensed electrician like Kronos Electrical Contractors Ltd which offers a wide range of electrical components and cable types inspect your property to help identify common electrical issues, fix them and update your electrical system overall.