Many homeowners put off electrical upgrades to avoid the costs and inconvenience involved in the process. However, neglecting electrical upgrades can create the potential for safety issues that put your loved ones and home at risk.
Fortunately, there are many telling signs that something is amiss with your electrical system. Here’s how to identify the need for electrical upgrades.
You Have a Fuse Box
If you still have a fuse box, it’s time for an upgrade to breakers. Fuse boxes are outdated and not built for the modern draw of our large appliances and enhanced electrical needs. Most insurance providers charge significantly more when you have a fuse box, and some deny coverage altogether. While the increased stress on your electrical panel may be so incremental that it’s unnoticed, your system could be struggling if the demand is too great (source: jenningsheating.com/copley/). Talk to a trusted electrician to take a look at your panel and provide a quote to upgrade it. The panel’s pricing is contingent on the size you need; the bigger your home, the more it will cost.
You Upgrade Your Appliances
If you finally bite the bullet and upgrade your old appliances to newer models, you might have to make some electrical upgrades as well. While most modern appliances are far more energy-efficient, they’re also larger and more elaborate. That means they’ll use more power over time. Before you replace your old faithful fridge, check the outlet amperage limits and confirm that the existing outlet is enough for your new smart fridge. Additionally, if you do major renovations and upgrades, you should also have an electrician double-check the panel.
You Never Have Enough Outlets
If you’re continually frustrated that you don’t have enough outlets to plug things in, adding more is a simple job. A skilled electrician can add new outlets in an afternoon, making your home more functional and accessible. Keep this option in mind if you’re planning on selling. Outlets are one of those small, subtle things that potential buyers look for. While it may not be a deciding factor in whether someone buys your house, it could be a push in the right direction.
Your Lights Flicker
If your lights flicker, start by checking the lightbulbs to ensure you don’t need to replace them. If you replace the lightbulbs and still experience flickering, it’s time to call an electrician. Sometimes this issue indicates a faulty connection or wire in the light itself, and sometimes this shows insufficient energy and the need for an upgraded panel.
Your System Short Circuits
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to use two countertop appliances at the same time. If you can’t make a morning smoothie in the blender while your spouse is making toast without flipping a breaker, it’s time for an upgrade. Call an electrician and determine the best solution for your home.
Outlets or Panels Feel Warm
Your electric panel and outlets should always be cool to the touch. Call an electrician immediately if an outlet ever feels warm while in use, or if your electrical panel emits heat. This issue indicates that the system is overloaded, and it can lead to an electrical fire. Electrical fires tend to start slowly and build within the walls. When they catch — after going undetected for some time – the results are disastrous.
Your Panel Shows Signs of Degradation
Finally, if your electrical panel shows any physical signs of wear and tear or degradation, it’s time for an upgrade. This issue is another severe electrical fire risk. The most common sign of degradation is rust, which indicates contact with moisture. As everyone knows, water and electricity are not a good mix. If you have any of these issues, call a trusted electrician to inspect your home and advise on the best corrective steps to ensure your home is safe for you and your loved ones.