How to Recognize When Your Home Needs an Electrical Upgrade

As our families rely more and more on technology, the need for electricity and a well wired home becomes even more prominent. Houses that were built in the 1970’s and 80’s are still in good shape structurally but the electrical systems may need work and only the services of a professional will do.

There are certain signs to watch for, all indicating clearly that your home needs an electrical upgrade. Not only will your home be safer, but it will also run more efficiently which will bring your utility bills down.

Signs of Age

Often electrical upgrades are necessary due to the age of your home and the services within it. If you are noticing any of the following occurrences it’s likely a good time to call in an electrician:

  • Are you regularly blowing fuses or tripping the breakers?
  • Are your lights flickering? (This is especially a problem when that flickering cannot be connected to a heavy load coming onto the system, like a pump or appliance turning on.)
  • Can you hear a crackle from the panel box?
  • Is your home still equipped with two-pronged outlets (non-grounded)?

Your home insurance company may actually demand that the electrical service be upgraded when it poses a hazard based on the age or style of the wiring. In that case you really don’t have a choice, but if any of these other conditions occur you should give serious thought to an upgrade project.

Changes to Your Home

Home improvements can often create the need for electrical upgrades. From simple renovations to full scale home additions, these projects will put a heavier load on your system.

You can hire an electrician to upgrade your wiring and panels or add outlets when any of the following occur:

  • Basement, kitchen or main floor renovations
  • Home additions or out building construction (sheds, pool houses, etc.)
  • Installation of a sauna, hot tub or heated swimming pool
  • Addition of a second kitchen or any other areas that will require a 240v circuit
  • Solar panel system installed, especially when tying this back to the grid
  • Establishment of a generator back up power system

Maybe you use too many extension cords in the garage and could benefit from a GFI outlet or two. Or perhaps your appliances are not running at full power some of the time… or all of the time. These conditions are a clear indication that an electrical upgrade is needed, not just for safety but also for convenience and common sense.

These could be smaller upgrades (such as putting in a new outlet or sub panel) and don’t usually require the budget that a project upgrading older wiring will. You may be able to do some of these jobs yourself, but more often than not for the sake of speed, efficiency and safety, a trained electrician is the best person to call.

The families of today have different needs than they did 30 years ago. And those needs mean that the electrical systems in our homes may be substandard and in need of an upgrade. Whether your breakers are constantly tripping or you’re renovating the basement, there are certain circumstances and signs that indicate an electrical upgrade is most likely in your future. Recognize those and react promptly to maintain the maximum levels of safety and efficiency in your home.

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