If your home is more than 40 years old and the electrical wiring has never been replaced, it's probably time to do so. Or, if your family's electrical needs exceed those that your current wiring can satisfy, you should look into an electrical wiring upgrade.
Yes, rewiring can be an expensive mess, but that's why you need to go about it strategically and thoughtfully. Here are some suggestions on for deciding if it's time for an upgrade.
Signs Your Electrical Wiring Has Had It
Even if you don't know how old your wiring is, there are some clues. Your first step is probably to hire an electrician to check out your wiring to see if it's up to code.
Also, you need to have the insulation around the wiring checked. Is it deteriorating? If so, it probably needs to be replaced.
Have any of the following issues? Any or all can be a sign the wiring is dangerous and needs upgrading.
- Lights dim or flicker.
- Appliances convey a tingling sensation when touched.
- Breakers trip repeatedly.
- Fuses blow repeatedly.
- Outlets feel warm, are discolored or spark.
- There's a pervasive burning smell in a room or from an appliance
- There are two-pronged ungrounded outlets throughout the home.
- There's a lack of ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in bathrooms and kitchens.
You also need an upgrade if you have aluminum wiring from the '70s. Aluminum wires loosen up easily and create safety hazards including fires at receptacles. Adding copper connectors at the circuit breakers and receptacles can help.
Sixty amps was once the household standard for power. These days, we need at least 200 amps to run our HVAC systems, computer equipment and other electronic appliances. Under-powered wiring can actually damage sensitive electronics when the voltage powers off.
Sometimes insurance companies refuse to insure homes with aged electrical wiring. You also might have to pay more for insurance premiums.
Visit our Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics, as well as information on upgrading electrical wiring, or just give us a call at (408) 868-5500.
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)