June 4, 2017
Struggling with the electric bill? Appliances like your air conditioner, heater, and water heater, can cost anywhere between 40 cents to $1.50 per hour. Trying to cut down on energy consumption helps, but sometimes unplugging an appliance after use, or taking shorter showers, is not enough to keep your bills down. Something to consider is how old the electrical wiring is in your house or rental property. Aging electrical wiring means your home is likely not capable of performing the electrical service needed by today’s standards. Worried this might be you? It’s not just costly having out-of-date wiring, it’s hazardous, which means it could be time for electrical rewiring.
Is it Time for Electrical Rewiring?
If your home is at least 10-20 years old, then there’s a good chance the wiring is a little outdated, meaning it’s not designed to handle several appliances running at once constantly, which means there’s a danger of overloading. If the wiring can’t handle the workload, then this either means you have to deal with the frustration of playing with the circuit breaker, or worse, that the wires will overheat and possibly start a fire. Until more recent generations, electrical wiring was protected with a rubber coating, which over the years can gradually deteriorate and expose the wires- this also causes a fire hazard. If you ever plan to sell your home, any out-dated electric wiring means you won’t pass the house inspection.
Luckily, There Are Options
Safe is always better than sorry, having a qualified electrician come in to inspect your home is crucial and best to do once every year or two. But if it’s time to rewire your home, don’t fret. Depending on the age of your house, the solution could be as simple as updating your electrical service panel, or the much more challenging task of an electrical rewiring for your entire house.
- Upgrading Your Electrical Panel
Let’s say you just had the electrician inspect your home, and you figure out your house has only 100 amps, but you have a big home, a family, and lots of appliances, so you want 200 amps. Upgrading the electrical panel is generally the first step toward rewiring your home, and generally at most, will cost at most, $2,990. Electrical rewiring for your entire house, however, can be expensive and can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $15,000 to rewire a 1,500 – 3,000 square foot home. If you don’t feel comfortable entirely rewiring your home, a brand new electrical panel can still help with your electrical problems. But let’s say the electrician discovers your house has some faulty wiring, an upgraded electrical panel won’t fix that problem.
If your home is 40+ years old, it’s definitely time to rewire your house. The idea is to remove as much of the old wire out, before installing new non-metallic wires, which is safer, easier to work with, and won’t heat up with the insulation. Sometimes walls need to tear down in order to get to the wires before they can place the new wires in and patch seal everything behind new drywall. You may, however, luck out, and not have to tear down entire walls, but cut into select places for electricians to get at the wiring. Electricians can even fish wires through the walls using rods and a thin metal line, called fish tape.
Typical Requirements for a Rewired Home
Keeping within the recommended specifications can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure whether your home needs to be rewired. Here are a few standards to keep in mind:
- If any of your rooms (usually kitchens and bathrooms) have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), this helps protect you from high currents and electrocution.
- If your home has a grounding wire. Electrical systems are safest when grounded, but older homes usually don’t have a grounding wire. Grounding wires offer a path for electricity to flow whenever there’s an electricity malfunction, so instead of an electric shock, the electricity flows straight to the earth.
Signs the Your House Needs Rewiring
Safety is a top priority, and outdated or faulty wiring is a serious threat to homeowners. It’s important to keep a watchful eye for any signs that would indicate the need for an electrician to inspect your home. Luckily, there are some distinct clues as to when rewiring your home is a serious option.
- Flickering Lights
- Charred or discolored outlets
- A constant burnt smell (plastic or vinyl), usually accompanied with a sizzling sound
- Frequent tripped circuit boards or blown fuses
- Visibly damaged wires
Of course, it’s also important to note, that it’s never a good idea to try rewiring your house yourself, unless you’re a trained professional electrician- as inexperienced homeowners trying to fix the wiring themselves can lead to faulty wiring. Since electrical rewiring for your home is first and foremost, an issue of safety, it’s paramount to have a licensed electrician fix the wiring in your home.
Once Rewired, You’re Set for Life
Understandably, the task of upgrading your electrical panel or rewiring your entire house can be overwhelming. The good news is once your home is upgraded with new wiring, if properly installed, can last up to 100 years. Of course, there are several factors that determine how long even brand new electrical wiring will last- it all depends on the type of wiring, how it’s used, and what kind of house you live in (especially if your house has proper insulation). It’s also important to note that updated electrical wiring improves the property value of your home, as functional, up-to-date wiring is a big priority for future homeowners. Keeping the house up-to-date is critical for any homeowner, as it’s always better to be proactive versus reactive. Keeping a watchful eye on your electrical wiring, and knowing when it’s time to call a licensed electrician can save money and lives.
Don’t wait until you actually smell fire, update your home and schedule electrical rewiring with Reliable Electrical Services today!
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