Tips And Tricks For Upgrading Your Home Electrical System
The electricity requirements of electrical devices and appliances have changed considerably over the period of time. However, it is a fact that the electrical infrastructures of most of the homes have not been upgraded yet to meet this increasing demand. This has resulted in an increase in electrical load that later leads of safety issues in homes. Under such situation, it is imperative for the homeowners to make special arrangements in this regard. Seeking professional’s help is mandatory so that the certified profession can assess your home and determine if the home’s electrical system meets your family needs or not.
The amount of electricity a home needs is measured in amperes usually called amps. An ampere is a total amount of energy that flows through an appliance at a specific given time. According to a research, it was found that in past only 60 amp electrical services were required by the home owners to perform their daily chores. This has increased to hundred amps over the period of ten years. This is because of the new electrical appliances and devices being introduced in the market. When the home owners overburden their circuits, there is a high possibility of tripping a circuit breaker, overheating the wires in the walls and blowing a fuse.
If you are planning to upgrade your home’s electrical system, here are some tips and information that you may find useful:
• Electrical re-wiring is not a job that every homeowner can tackle himself. It is not a DIY activity at all. If you have no idea about how this system works, do not even try to poke your nose. It can be fatal. What you can do is to know a little bit about what is needed before you consult a contractor.
• A large electrical wiring project tends to add a significant load to the main electrical service. There are some homeowners who have to get their old 60-amp electrical service with a new service rated for hundred amps or more. You need to look for a licensed electrician in this regard.
• When you plan for a new wiring project, it is better if you look at your main circuit breaker. The size of the service is clearly mentioned on the breaker and is sufficient to give you an idea. If you have a service rated for sixty amps or less, then you may need to upgrade your electrical system. If there is a 100-amp service, then it is quite sufficient to meet your home requirement.
• Always look for open circuit breaker slots in the main circuit breaker panel. This is because you may require one slot for each 120-volt circuit that you may plan to install and two slots for each 240-volt circuit.
• Careful planning is very important when you upgrade your electrical system. You need to make sure that you have plenty of power available to meet your current and future needs. It does not matter whether you are wiring a remodeled kitchen, adding circuits in a room or adding an outdoor circuit, it is very important that you consider all the possible ways of how you can use the space and plan for enough electrical service that can meet the peak needs.
• When getting the new electrical wiring done, you need to make sure that the wiring is not only good enough for now but has the capacity to meet future needs as well. You simply cannot afford to get the wiring done again and again.
• Always remember to get your wiring work reviewed by the local electrical inspector. This is something that is compulsory. The inspector checks whether the changes in the electrical services meets the local electrical and building codes or not. If you do not have proper permits and inspections, you may later have to deal with various problems like difficulty in reselling your home or refusal of homeowners’ insurance loss coverage due to illegal altered wiring.
• Remember the rule of thumb that the larger the gauge number, the smaller will be the wire. 18-guage wire is smaller than the twelve gauge wire. If you have installed a large wire, it means that it has a high capacity to bear the load without getting hot or causing a fire.
• You can easily opt for 14-2 Romex cable as it can easily serve most of the outlets. This means that you can go for two 14-gauge wires and one bare wire encased in a rubber sheath. The black wire is the hot wire, the bare wire is the ground wire and the white wire is neutral wire. This can easily bear the load of fifteen amps.
The above mentioned information is quite generic but it is important that you know such basic rules. By keeping them in mind, you can easily discuss your concerns with a reputable electrician and get your home’s electrical system upgraded safely.