JD’s Blog | Is Your Home in Need of An Electrical Wiring Upgrade?
The U.S. Fire Administration attributes nearly 26,000 residential fires a year to faulty home electrical wiring. These fires result in millions in damages, thousands of injuries, and hundreds of deaths. If your San Diego home’s electrical system is made up of knob and tube or aluminum wiring, then you should strongly consider electrical upgrading or rewiring services.
Knob and tube wiring, for example, is potentially dangerous and can cause major problems if present in your older home. This type of electrical wiring system lacks a ground conductor and electrical switches were often placed on neutral wiring, which turns off the circuit but not the electrical current, and can result in an electrical fire causing damage. Many an electrician has been severely shocked, me included, when he thought the switch had turned off the current, but had only turned off only the neutral.
Knowing whether rewiring is needed in your home is important and a simple electrical inspection would be essential in determining exactly what your home’s wiring needs are. Options may include a whole house rewiring or partial rewiring, each of which is discussed below, along with some signs that you may need an electrical upgrade.
Whole House Rewiring
An electrician would first perform a safety check to evaluate whether a whole house rewiring is needed. Some of the factors that would be considered include the condition and age of the wiring and how safe the house is with the current wiring.
The number one benefit of a whole house rewire relates to safety. As long as the national electrical code is followed by a professional electrician, whole house rewire eliminates any doubt of existing electrical issues. Plus, insurance companies may offer you better rates due to the whole house rewiring. Another benefit to a complete rewiring is the peace of mind you will receive due to a complete rewiring. With a whole house rewiring, your older home will be given all of the conveniences of a newly constructed one, including grounding, three-prong outlets, and GFCI outlets. In fact, my own personal requirements often go over and above how a newly wired home is completed. We wire for longevity. New homes are often wired as quickly as is possible, taking short-cuts as to how splices are made & how devises are connected to wires. Electrical inspectors do not remove wire nuts to check if splices are twisted firmly together. These short-cuts are not code violations. They simply lack quality in the methods used. We do not take any short-cuts.
Quite often, complete rewiring can be avoided, provided that the wires present are sound and able to handle today’s electrical loads. A 15 amp circuit on an older system is still capable of carrying up to 1800 watts before becoming overloaded. A 20 amp circuit, most often found in kitchens and used for larger appliances like clothes washers, can carry up to 2250 watts. However, you may wish to add dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuits for other uses as well, maybe just for grounding related issues. Newer appliances require a grounded outlet to operate properly. However, many existing outlets without grounded wire are in areas of the home where no 3 prong cords are needed. These wires can often remain if they are in good shape. Still, it’s best to have a ground wire present in all of your home’s wiring.
Warning Signs That You May Need an Electrical Upgrade
- Flickering or non-functioning lights
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses
- A persistent burning smell, sometimes accompanied by a sizzling sound (Not a “may”. This is a definite!)
- Charred or discolored outlets and switches
- Loss of power in one part of the home or building
Electrical Wiring Upgrade Experts
We have specialized in providing electrical services and rewiring older homes in San Diego since 1988. We are the experts when it comes to electrical upgrades in older homes. Whether your home needs a complete or partial rewiring to eliminate those old aluminum or knob and tube wires, or if you need a service panel upgrade, our professional San Diego electricians can professionally satisfy all your electrical needs. We offer multiple upgrade options for your consideration that suite your budget.
Contact us today to schedule an inspection or a complete electrical upgrade.