How to Upgrade Home Wiring
Extending a Circuit
While any of these options will work, it’s important to keep the total house load—the amount of electricity flowing through your home—within the total service rating of your home. (See the Home Appliance Energy Usage chart below.)
Extending an existing circuit is probably the easiest way to add to a wiring system. You might consider doing this, for example, when you find yourself depending on extension cords, which are not meant for long-term durability and safety.
Adding a New Circuit
If an existing circuit cannot handle a new load, or when a new appliance requires its own circuit, adding a new circuit is the answer. It is important, however, to calculate the total house load with the new load to ensure the total load will be within your service rating. Remember that all new 120-volt branch circuits must have a grounding wire in order to comply with code.
Your distribution center may look like it is full, but you may still be able to add new circuits. If your panel uses breakers, you have the option of replacing a 120-volt breaker with a 120-volt, two-circuit breaker designed to fit into the same space as a single breaker.
Adding a Subpanel
The last, and most extensive, solution to updating your home wiring is to add a subpanel. Subpanels are routing stations connected to your main breaker box that are wired from a two-pole breaker.
When your dream home needs an electrical upgrade
You’ve been searching for a new home for you and your family and you’ve finally found the perfect fit! You’re able to check off all your must-haves including number of bedrooms and bathroom, style and layout, outdoor space and it’s in an ideal neighbourhood. When you had the home inspected you discovered that your dream home needs an electrical upgrade.
Safety Hazards of Older Wiring
Edmonton electricians will tell you that upgrading old electrical systems is completely necessary to ensure your home is safe and protected from fire hazards. It is not a job that you should put off for later. It will have to be done right away.
Faulty wiring is the number one cause of house fires. Sometimes this bad wiring is due to age, wear and tear and sometimes it’s due to poor installation. Though simple DIY electrical projects like replacing an outlet or switch are okay for handy homeowners to do themselves, any major electrical work can be very dangerous and should be left to a professional electrician.
If the home you’re looking at was built in the 1960s or early 1970s, it might have aluminum wiring and will require an electrical upgrade. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “homes built before 1972, and wired with aluminum are 55 times more likely to have one or more wire connections at outlets reach ‘Fire Hazard Conditions’ than homes wired with copper”. It is so dangerous because aluminum wire connections can cause an increased resistance to the flow of electrical current, resulting in overheating when the current is flowing through the circuit. The hotter the wire becomes the more likely it will emit sparks from the receptacle or char materials around the connection.
Got Enough Power?
Hire a Master Electrician in Edmonton to inspect the current wiring. Sometimes old wiring isn’t inherently dangerous, but it might not be up to code or meet the electrical needs of your household. For example, 60 amps used to be the standard for household power. Now-a-days, the average home needs 200 amps to run things like televisions, computers, video games and air conditioners. If you’re running more power than your electrical system can handle it can actually damage your electronics and become a safety hazard
At worst, faulty electrics can be a serious fire hazard and can lead to injury or electrocution. This is why electrics were brought in to the building regulations under Part P. Existing wiring installations are not covered, but if you make significant alterations or new additions to the wiring in your home, the regulations come into force.
If you are thinking of buying a property more than 25 years old, it is important to check that the wiring is up to date before you buy. Ideally, you will get an idea of what work is required and an estimate of the likely cost so that you can take this into account when assessing the feasibility of the project and how much to offer.
Even if you already own the property you are renovating, it is important to know early on if any rewiring work will be necessary, as it can be very disruptive to the fabric and decor of the building, and so is best completed early on, before any re-plastering or redecorating work takes place
When is Rewiring Necessary?
If a property has not already been rewired within the last 25-30 years, the chances are it will need upgrading at least in part in order to bring it up to current standards. The wiring may be potentially dangerous and may not be able to cope with the demands of modern living.
If you plan major remodelling work that constitutes a material alteration as defined by the Building Regulations, it is likely that you will need to rewire part, if not all, of the property, including upgrading the consumer unit (fuse box).
Home Electrical Repair and Upgrades
When you run into problems with your electrical system, our experts are available to help you uncover the issues that are at the root of the malfunction. In many cases, when the issue is a simple matter, we can guide you in solving the problem without the need for major repairs
When there’s no easy fix for an electrical problem you’re facing, our specialists can provide expert electrical repairs. Whether your job is large or small – and no matter what the diagnosis – we have the right prescription for your ailing electrical system, appliance, or component. As long as the problem is repairable, our professional electricians will handle the issue quickly, efficiently, and skillfully, restoring your system to full functionality.
Some problems that can often be solved by electrical troubleshooting:
Malfunctioning downlights (recessed ceiling lights)
Bulbs that blow out repeatedly
Floor, table, or reading lamp issues
Our specialists are experts at carrying out electrical inspections, diagnosing isolated or system-wide problems, and prescribing the correct treatment to cure the ailment. An inspection is in order whenever you are planning a complete or partial home remodel and anytime significant electrical problems regularly recur.
Changing or Upgrading Your Electrical Panel
As an electric utility, we’re responsible for delivering electricity to your home or business, up to the electric meter. Once it passes the meter register, the electric service runs through an electrical panel, which divides the electric feed into circuits running through the building.
Most buildings have an electrical panel that was sized to handle the load that was intended at the time the structure was built. But sometimes changes to the building, like the addition of a hot tub or pool, or a large increase in the number or size of appliances or electronic systems will require an upgrade to the panel. The age of the electric panel may be another reason to upgrade.
Contact a licensed electrical contractor to verify the increased load and/or need to upgrade your panel. They can also answers questions about proper permits required and help you through the permitting process.
The utility will also work with you or your electrical contractor to determine if any upgrades to utility equipment, such as the service conductor and transformer, are needed.