Electrical Upgrades to your house!

Electrical Maintenance

LED Lighting

LED Lighting

A home that is thirty five years old, or older, needs electrical maintenance! Many homes that I service, on a daily basis, do not comply with The National Electrical Code. You should ask some questions, about your Electrical System. Are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters located, within three linear feet of water sources? How often does your fuse’s blow? Do the circuitry breakers trip in your current Electrical Supply Box? Is the Electrical Service installed on your property original? Does the existing Electrical Panel-board require an upgrade? Maybe the most important question is the grounding. Is the grounding for the panel-board and the service grounding good enough? Can the grounding protect the integrity of the circuitry? This covers a large scope. Just because your property has not had a letdown does not mean the system will not fail.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Ground Fault Circuit Interupters

Ground Fault Plug

Older homes did not have Ground Fault receptacles. If the receptacle is within three feet of the sink, it must be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles or ground fault breaker. Some houses have all the receptacles that are considered to be in wet locations, fed from the same receptacle. Your electrician can figure this out. You can test the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter  system by manually tripping the breaker and inspect the affected areas.
Another sign of stressed electrical systems are blowing fuses and tripping circuit breakers. One in ten is actually old breakers. More times than not, the panel or fuse box is worn out. This condition will not improve without positive attention.
At one point I had an electronics engineer argue this point. These parts break down under heat stress and time. Failure to maintain these parts could result in catastrophic damage. Is the panel or fuse box installed on the property original? Panels over thirty years old should be replaced. This is not an attempt to make unnecessary repairs. It is preventive maintenance.

 Electricians and your Home

Residential Load Calculation

Electrical Load Calculation

If you have installed circuits yourself, you may have added breakers. Your electricians should perform a load calculation on your system and appliances. The calculation will determine if your system is under strain. It will also tell your electricians if you can add circuits.
Maybe the most important question concerns grounding. Is the grounding for the panel and the service providing sufficient impedance for the system? The circuitry’s integrity is jeopardized by to small of a ground wire during power surges or lightning strikes. The system will be unable to protect the appliances or the circuitry. Don’t take the importance of this evaluation. These steps may determine your electricians ability to save you thousands of dollars. It also could prevent fire damage and total loss.

5 Indicators for Residential Electrical Upgrades

Several indicators I look for, grounding slots on the receptacle, consistency of the insulation on the secondary wiring, and are there any unusually high temperatures on the switches and receptacles. I also inquire if the homeowner have adequate circuitry to feed power meeting today’s increasing needs for receptacles, and also do the lights dim when major appliances come on.
Many times, I am called to a customers house to troubleshoot receptacles and switch’s. Even though I contract service work and installations, I am also responsible to make intelligent suggestions for upgrades. Many times, customers believe the technician is trying to increase the total of the bill.If a property has been in constant use for over twenty years, it will save the customer money and provide peace of mind.
First,outlets not having grounding slots on them aren’t safe. The extra slot increase’s the protection of the grounding system. It protects the property and it increases the chance of the circuit breaker doing it’s job. The ground is for our safety. It also helps the neutral do its job.
Second, I inspect the insulation of the wiring in the house. If the insulation is crumbling or dissipation is under process, it is time for the homeowner to consider a total rewire of the house. This may be the most important step of our technician’s assessment.
Next, I use a digital thermometer to inspect the temperature of the devices in the house. Many times, a receptacle may be shorting inside the device. A simple once over with the thermometer will indicate faulty connections. This will also expose potential fire damage in faulty switches.
Fourth,we inspector provide a load calculation. This allows us to calculate the strain on the electrical system. Excessive strain causes potential for fire. Indicators for this will be multiple power strips throughout the house. Extension cords all through the hose is also a indication.
Another warning would be dimming lights as appliances come on. In the sixties,seventies,and eighties we only had a common and a ground. Today, Electricians use wire that has a common,neutral, and a bare ground.The better grounding enables the neutral to carry the unbalanced load. This contributes to the elimination of dimming lights.
All of these improvements significantly increase the fire protection of the property. It also makes the system more efficient! Maintenance is the key to fire prevention. These steps are essential to the homeowner’s prudent savings and protective measures. Today, I suggest to my customers the installation of whole house surge protection.We also advise the implementation of grounding upgrades. This can be accomplished in a simple fashion at minimal cost to the homeowner.

Canton Electrical Grounding Commercial

Electrician In Gainesville GA explains Grounding Upgrade on Meter Base

The electrical grounding in homes are not nearly as effective as grounding on commercial or industrial electrical systems. The grounding performed by most residential electricians was not completely present throughout the electrical circuits. Recently I spent 5 hours troubleshooting a home that was in sales limbo. The property showed open grounds when the Home Inspector plugged in his receptacle tester.
~Another reason to upgrade or improve grounding in your home is the presence of shared neutrals. For years Commercial Electricians shared one neutral for up to three circuits. The grounded circuit, known in laymans terms as, the neutral, carries the unbalanced load in a Alternating Current system. Many residential electricians still perform residential electrical installations utilizing outdated practices
merely impeding the upgrades in the newer equipment produced by the electrical manufacturers today.
~Ultimately, the most important reason for upgrades are the protection of human lives. Catastrophe’s ruin lives, destroy property, and create damage that no longer is acceptable. The advances in electrical science has provided safety upgrades that must be followed. Education of the electricians in the field, the inspector’s, and the home owners will continue to improve our lives as we experience electrical upgrades in the 21st century.