Down to the Wire: Upgrading Your Home’s Electrical Wiring
Do you know if your electrical wiring is contemporary? Do you know how heavy your electrical load is? Do you know your electrical panel load capabilities? These important questions determine the efficiency of your home’s electrical wiring.
If you are demanding more from your home’s electrical wiring than it is designed to handle, you are increasing overall cost, risk of fire, and electrical failures. Your electrical wiring may be out-of-date if you need to unplug devices to plug in another, or if you experience flickering lights and tripped breakers. However, electrical load issues are not always visibly detectable. It’s important to know the size of your home, the age of your home, and the amperage capacity of your electrical panel when making any changes to electrical wiring.
Understanding the power demands of the electrical devices in your home can help you mitigate overloading your electrical wiring system. The combined power requirements for the sum of these products is called the electrical circuit load capacity. Electrical failure and hazards frequently develop when a service panel is overloaded, or when users exceed the electrical circuit’s load capacity.
To determine the amperage capacity of your electrical panel, locate the main circuit breaker. The total amperage is printed on the breaker. Breaker boxes range from 100 to 200 amps. Homes smaller than 3,000 square feet may not require more than 100 amps of electricity to effectively run the home. Homes larger than 3,000 square feet and homes with central air conditioning are best outfitted with 200 amps of electrical service.
Your home’s age is another important factor to consider. Homes built before 1990 typically cannot facilitate the load requirements of a modern home. This is due to technological advances in appliances and other wired devices. Collaborate with a locally licensed electrician to enhance the electrical load capabilities of your home. Revising your home’s electrical wiring can help mitigate expensive costs and hazardous conditions.