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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.