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5 Common Electrical Wiring Issues - Stafford Home Service Inc.

5 Common Electrical Wiring Issues

A remodeling project can add value to your home in more ways than one. In addition to the dollar value, a remodel can give your home a fresh, new feel and better utilize available space. Before you get started, be sure to consider all aspects of the project. This especially includes electrical safety when tearing down walls, moving appliances, or relocating outlets. Keep reading to learn about common electrical wiring issues and how to avoid these circuitry missteps.

Wiring Updates for Older Homes

Depending on the age of your home, the wiring within its walls may be outdated. Worse yet, some of it might be unsafe and may even violate national or local electrical codes. Many homes built in the 1970s used aluminum wiring that, by itself, could be fine. But aluminum wiring connected to copper wiring, however, creates a safety concern. If you have an older home or are simply concerned that the wiring is properly installed, it’s best to have it inspected by a trained professional.

Installing the Right Circuit Breakers

Circuit breaker switches are designed to turn off — or “trip” — if the electrical current passing through is more than a particular area can manage. Each type of breaker has a specific purpose and a limit to the amount of electricity that runs through it:

  • Standard breakers monitor electricity to ensure connected devices — such as wiring systems, outlets, or appliances — can handle the load.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GCFI) for smaller appliances or anywhere that’s near water, such as in bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) protect against electrical discharge within a circuit or damaged wiring and terminals that could cause a fire.

Knowing which circuit breaker to use for a given appliance or area can violate safety codes and put your home and family at risk. So, be sure you know what you need and where. If you have questions, the electrical experts at Stafford Home Service Inc. can help.

Having Enough Outlets

When remodeling or adding on, be sure your new space is equipped with enough outlets to power all the devices you may need. When lacking ample plug-ins, homeowners will often use — and usually overload — power strips or extension cords. This can cause the circuit to overheat and potentially cause a house fire. If you notice things like constantly tripped breakers, flickering lights, or shocks when plugging in appliances, you may have an overloaded circuit.

Having enough outlets in a room, whether or not it’s newly remodeled, can help prevent circuit overload and keep your home safer. Check with US National Electrical Code to determine the correct number of outlets for any room in your home or contact a professional for assistance.

Be Sure to Have Neutral Wires

Switches for LED or other lighting devices under 20 watts require a neutral wire. Neutral wires return a circuit to the ground at the original power source. This completes the circuit by providing current distribution throughout your electrical system.

Without a neutral wire, your devices may stop working. You run the risk of unsteady voltage, power surges, or accidental electrocution.

Electrical Panel Set Up

Breakers in your home’s electrical panel correspond with necessary electrical loads and wire sizes. If you’re replacing a breaker that repeatedly trips, be sure you’re substituting it with the correct size and brand. Breakers may look the same, but there may be small differences that can cause big problems.

In addition, using a larger-capacity breaker allows more electricity to flow before turning off. Replacing a standard breaker with a larger one may cause the wires to overheat and increase your risk of fire. Be sure to replace faulty breakers with those of the same size and amperage.

Call the Professionals at Stafford Home Service Inc.

Home remodeling is a big task. So is making sure your electrical system is up to code and working properly. If your home improvement project involves removing walls, adding outlets, updating old wiring, or changing the location of sockets, be sure to keep your home and family safe. Call the professionals at Stafford Home Service Inc. and avoid these common electrical wiring issues. Our residential electrical installation, upgrade, and repair services can help ensure safety and satisfaction. Contact us today with questions or to schedule an appointment to meet with someone from our team.

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