Home Wiring Update Services in Birmingham, AL
The Benefits of Updating the Electrical Wiring in Your Home
Approximately 20% of all home fires are related to faulty wiring or circuit breakers. With all the routine maintenance a home requires, it's no wonder that home wiring upgrades get neglected so often. No matter how easy it is to forget about, updating electrical wiring in an old home is an essential matter of safety. Most homeowners have never updated the wiring in their homes unless they needed to for a specific reason, like installing a new major appliance. Luckily, you have a local team of electricians standing by to help you update your home's wiring. Mr. Electric of Birmingham offers trustworthy home wiring update services in Birmingham, Alabama. Learn more about updating a home's electrical wiring.
The Top Signs That You Need to Update Your Electrical Wiring
When you are trying to decide if it is time to update your home's wiring, you first need to figure out how long it's been since the wiring was installed. If you're in an older home and you don't know the answer, you can assume that your wiring is outdated. Not only will updating your wiring reduce the chances of fires and electrocution but updating your wiring can make a noticeable impact on your monthly energy consumption. The following are the top six ways to know you need a home wiring update.
1. Your Wiring Is Outdated
The National Electric Code updates its standards and practices for safe wiring every three years. When you compare that to the lifespan of a home, your wiring can actually become outdated relatively quickly. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, modern Americans use 15 times as much electricity in their homes than they did in the 1950s. If your home's wiring is old, it's likely that the materials used are less safe and efficient than the modern conductive materials used in wiring. Homes from the 1970s often have aluminum wiring, which is considered a safety hazard now. You might be surprised that some homes still use pre-1930s knob and tube-style wiring.
2. You have two-Pronged, Ungrounded Outlets
For the average homeowner, it's hard to know what type of wiring you have or whether you have AFCIS and GFCIS. However, there is one sign that your wiring is dangerously old that anyone can quickly notice: two-pronged outlets. If your outlets only have two prongs instead of three, then they lack a ground wire to redirect power surges. Ungrounded outlets like these are much more likely to cause electrocution when there is a power surge.
3. Missing GFCIs
You may have noticed that certain outlets have “Test” and “Reset” buttons. These are ground fault circuit interrupter outlets (GFCIs). The current electrical code requires these outlets in especially damp, wet, or moist rooms, like kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and laundry rooms. Installing GFCI outlets protects you from electrocution in the event of a power surge. The GFCI is triggered by the slightest fluctuation in electricity going through it. When triggered, it interrupts the circuit immediately, redirecting excess electricity through a ground wire instead of letting it flow through your appliance and into you.
4. Missing AFCIs
GFCIs protect you from electrocution, but AFCIs protect your home from electrical fires. An arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) is a type of breaker that is usually located in your breaker box. Inside an AFCI is a tiny microprocessor that constantly monitors the voltage and current. If an arc occurs within the system, the AFCI will interrupt the circuit to prevent the arc of electricity from continuing and causing a fire.
5. You Need Special Outlets for Appliances
Specialized appliances in your home, like ovens, refrigerators, and clothes dryers, need especially powerful outlets. Most homes have standard 120-volt outlets, which can handle the average light fixtures, vacuum cleaners, and laptop chargers you plug into. However, larger appliances use more power and, as a result, need special 240-volt outlets. The most modern versions of these 240-volt outlets will have four prongs. If you don't have any 240-volt outlets in your house, it is a sign that you are overdue for a home wiring update.
6. Your Home's Electrical Panel Is Underpowered and Outdated
Your home's main circuit breaker is designed to handle a specific amount of electricity. In the past, 60-amp breakers were standard. As our power consumption has increased, 60-amp breakers have become insufficient for most homes. When a breaker is made for 60 amps, that means that it will shut off your electricity if more than 60 amps flow through your electrical system. Modern homes simply need more power. Today, most electricians recommend a breaker that can handle 100 to 200 amps, which will allow enough run into your home to power all your appliances and devices at the same time.
Request a Home Wiring Update Appointment Online!
Whether you need to upgrade your home's electrical wiring or you need 24/7 emergency repairs, Mr. Electric of Birmingham is here for you. We have been the premier team of electricians in the Birmingham, Mountain Brook, and Chelsea areas since 1994. We always meet with you to explain the cost to update the electrical wiring in your home ahead of time because we strive to make all our services as transparent and upfront as possible. On top of all that, we put the power of setting up an appointment in your hand. Request your home wiring update appointment online now!