You flick a switch and your light turns on obvious to the complicated serious of events that transpired to illuminate your room. Your electrical system isn’t magic. It’s brilliantly designed and like anything mechanical, prone to malfunction.
If you’ve neglected to have your electrical system inspected, you might be surprised to learn how outdated it is.
Here are three reasons why it could be due for an upgrade.
1. Your Home Has Aluminum Wiring
If your home was built between 1965 and 1972, there’s a very good chance that it was wired with a problematic type of aluminum. That’s a real safety hazard. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, homes with this type of aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to have electrical fires than homes with copper.
The problem with the aluminum wiring produced during that period is that it expands and contracts, failing at the connections to the switches, outlets, circuit breakers and lights. Fortunately, the industry wised up and began making a safer aluminum wiring used in homes today.
Have your home inspected by a professional electrician to determine the type and condition of your home’s wiring. In some cases, completely rewiring your home is not necessary. An electrician might be able to slice copper wire between the connections and the aluminum wire for a safer electrical system.
2. Your Electrical Panel Can’t Keep Up With Demand
Think of all of the appliances, TVs and devices you’ve added to your home over the years. As a result, your home is demanding a lot more power than your electrical panel can provide.
Many older, single-family homes have 100 amp circuit breaker panels. This isn’t enough amperage for your central air system, Sub-Zero refrigerator, hot tub and other major appliances.
Here’s how to tell if you should upgrade your panel:
Breakers frequently trip: Breakers trip when a circuit is drawing more power than it can handle. The breaker switch then intervenes, cutting off the power to the circuit. If this is a recurring problem, you need a larger capacity electrical panel.
Lights flicker: Your AC demands a lot of power when it starts up. When not enough energy is available, it will borrow power from other sources, i.e. your lights. A momentary flickering isn’t a huge concern but if they continue to flicker long after the AC starts up, you’ve got a problem.
Upgrade to a 150 to 200 amp panel. This will sufficiently power your current appliances while allowing for room for growth.
3. Your Appliances and Devices Are Unprotected From Power Surges
A power surge is a momentary spike in voltage in your electrical lines. It can cost thousands of dollars in damage in milliseconds. Your TVs, computers and appliances can only handle so much power. Too much electricity can fry sensitive components.
A variety of things can cause surges such as lightning, power outages or transitions. Even re-engaging a tripped circuit breaker can introduce a hazardous influx of electricity.
A whole-house surge protector regulates the voltage coming into your home to safeguard your appliances and plugged-in electronics
Bottom line: With smart home automation, a growing collection of expensive electronics and power-hungry appliances, your home’s electrical system has its work cut out for it. Turn to the experts at RR Electric, Heating & Air to ensure that it’s in good working order. To schedule your appointment, call (805) 900-0123.