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Is it Time for an Electrical Upgrade?


The South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz area may be well known for technology, but that doesn't mean our electrical systems are all up to date. An electrical upgrade can benefit you whether your wiring is worn out or you've just outgrown the system.

Know the Signs

Homes build in the 1930s and 40s were typically fitted with 60-amp electrical service, while those built in the 1950s and 60s were provided with 100-amp service. With today's greater demand for electricity, though, most homes need 150- or 200-amps service. When your old electrical panel isn't big enough for your needs, you'll notice certain signs.

  • The lights flicker or go out when a large appliance is switched on.
  • Breakers trip frequently.
  • Appliances shut themselves off for seemingly no reason.
  • You've had electronics or appliances overheat.
  • You run extension cords around your house trying to power everything you need.
  • There's corrosion or deterioration in your electrical panel.
  • Some of your wiring has melted.

Some older homes can benefit from an electrical upgrade because they still have knob-and-tube (KandT) wiring, which is prone to overheating and lacks a ground wire.

Plan Ahead for Your Upgrade

Before contacting an electrician, list the electronics, appliances, lights, and other electrical devices you have now and those you plan to buy in the future. If you're planning to build an addition, also consider the electrical demands of this space. Your electrician will need this information to calculate your home's electrical load. Also note the places you'd like more outlets to help with planning for additional wiring.

During your electrical upgrade, your electrician will break open sections of the walls to access the wiring, so plan for a little mess and disruption. This is especially true if all your wiring needs to be replaced. The electrician will perform some clean up, but you'll need to plan for wall repair separately.

Visit our website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics, or just give us a call at (408) 868-5500 at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical for guidance anywhere around South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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