Electrical service upgrades and your house.
We love the architecture of the past and the quality of building materials used unrivaled by modern building standards. The state of the electrical service in your home is important as they codes have changed over time as technology evolves. These homes present a unique challenge with regards to building code. Often upgrades can be as simple as taking one fixture or switch off and installing the new fixture/switch. However, what a lot of homeowners do not know is that the electrical codes are very specific for safety reasons. Things like correct grounding, properly rated wire, the mounting of electrical housings and junction boxes are very important to account for when making these electrical service upgrades.
Home repairs are things we all know must happen and usually we do not look forward to the inevitable invoice for labor. What many people neglect to realize is that there are many ways to reduce these costs down the road by doing preventative maintenance. Periodic upkeep tasks can help reduce large maintenance projects and do not always come with a scary cost or as an emergency. Maintenance tasks can be done at your own leisure and in parts so that costs can be managed over time.
What do you do about it?
Let’s start at the beginning, when you buy a house it is always a good idea to have the trades look over the major systems to ensure that they are in fact in safe. There are many times in the electrical industry homeowners will call a licensed contractor because they thought it would be an “easy switch of a plug” and now they are missing power in half their house. I will tell you from experience 90% of the time the homeowner who had their house before them was trying to maintain the home systems themselves, unknowingly creating hazards in the wiring. Down the road when things are opened for upgrades, ultimately causing larger issues. Below is a list of common issues encountered by those buying an older house with potential for unsafe upgrades.
- Ungrounded outlets
- Improperly added circuits
- Power draw on circuits exceeds the limits of the infrastructure. (this is an issue caused by time and technology advancements)
- Outlets or switches have been improperly terminated and there are lose or hot wires in the walls.
- Incorrect screws used to secure the switches and receptacles.
- Improperly mounted panel board or meter on the exterior of the house.
- Water intrusion on the panelboard, which can damage the circuit breakers.
- Open or inadequately supported electrical junction boxes.
- Inaccessible junction boxes or too close to eaves in the attic.
Don’t worry, we can help!
The list above are all things that can be spotted easily by a trained knowledgeable eye. We can all acknowledge that having someone who is a professional ensures the safest way to make changes to your electrical service. However, when buying a house with a past, it is better safe than sorry. When making a new house purchase it is a good idea to know the state of your electrical, HVAC and plumbing so you can schedule preventative service in advance. Many times, on average preventative service is cheaper and you can work more on your own time schedule. It also allows you to move forward as your budget allows, which we all love. Call us today or fill out our estimate request form to come look over your new dream home so you know exactly the state of electrical service.
Happy Holidays from the Apex Family to yours! Stay safe!