How Do You Know if Your Home Electrical Should be Upgraded?We live in an older home and we are concerned that our electrical should possibly be upgraded. Are we living with a fire hazard?
-John and Sally, Prescott
The electrical box is the “brain” to the house almost like arteries. The electrical box channels electrical current to various locations and rooms in your home. Most of us know how to “flip” the breaker back on when it trips, but few homeowners really understand the significance and importance of the age of the wiring that is currently in their home. It is possible to lose ones home to fire caused by old wiring, faulty wiring, or inadequate wiring that was installed several years ago. Not knowing the age of your home, but if it is more than 15 years old, and has not had any electrical upgrades, there is possible cause for concern. If your home has the 2 pronged outlets vs. the 3 pronged, that is a red flag that your home wiring is outdated.
Statistics state that the average home across the county is 44 years old, so you can see that the majority of homes need an electrical upgrade to carry all of the new technology that our families use today. With multiple TV’s, computers, appliances, sound systems, CD players, DVD/VHS, game systems, shredders, hair dyers, garage equipment, and so much more on the inside of the home, not to mention the outside, electrical sprinklers, spas, patio lights, and security systems, you can see that older homes were not designed to carry the high level electrical loads we are using today, because families did not have all of these electrical gadgets. It is critical to upgrade your electrical box because with our modern lifestyle, all of these new modern super fun, time saving gadgets challenge old outdated electrical panel wiring. If your home has aluminum wiring and/or knob and tube wiring, you have outdated wiring and it should be replaced and updated. If you have knob and tube wiring, you have no ground and this is cause for concern. You can have current wiring and an outdated electrical panel. If you are always tripping breakers, then you have overloaded your circuits and should consider upgrading to a 200 amp service. If the wiring is the wrong size and the breakers are too large, this is a potential fire hazard. There is possibility of an overload to the wire, causing the wire to become hot, melt and create a fire without the breaker tripping.
Our electrical provider APS requires that all homes have a minimum 100 amp service panel. We love conveniences, we love power gadgets, we love our coffee grinders and more and more electrical items are being brought into our homes yearly. We must consider important factors in keeping our homes safe especially when using electrical devices. Men, if you have to unplug the freezer to use your power saw, then you need an electrical upgrade (not you personally, but the garage service). Ladies, before you install the low voltage track lighting and spend money for new lights in the living room or buy that spa, make sure the electrical circuit can handle the increased load. Keep your home safe and leave the dangerous electrical work to the electricians.