Is your electrical system stressed, failing or as old as your grandmother? Your system may be struggling with the demands of modern appliances and electronics and a weak system.
Mid-century modern homes are a good example and Needham Electric & Construction has a lot of experience with this. Many still have systems that are 50+ years old and require service upgrades because they are all beginning to fail or break. You know – flickering lights, sparking outlets, fuses that blow or breakers that repeatedly trip, and ungrounded outlets are all indicators of potentially bigger issues. Check out this article in CA Modern for more details.
Exposure to moisture creates corrosion and grounding issues. Too much demand with today’s appliances and too little power can eventually wear out an electrical system as well as damage expensive electronics.
BIG PICTURE - Your utility company feeds the main electrical panel with big wires that have some form of protective coating. These wires can go through attics and basements, but others may be embedded in channels under building slabs or roofing materials. Circuit breakers should be sized for the demand of the electrical load they need to handle.
UPGRADES - Homes now typically need a 200-amp panel but home appliances dictate the size of electrical panel upgrade needed with some room to grow. New codes require that outlets in water-prone rooms be 20-amp circuits and protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to prevent shocks. Pulling a ground wire from the circuit through an exterior wall and driving a copper grounding stake into the ground outside typically resolves the issue.
Upgrades are also done when a new roof is being installed, so electrical wiring is hidden from view and protected from the elements. Hiding electrical under a foam roof requires advance planning, since spray-on foam takes on whatever shape it encapsulates. For example, a trench with a box housing new electrical wiring may be built in the roof, and then foam goes over the box. Once a new roof is in place, electrical upgrade options are significantly reduced.
Upgrading electrical systems first require authorized building department permits, which we routinely apply for. When the work is completed, a building inspector approves it. Service upgrades vary from house to house. The majority of the cost is tied to labor, which involves tracing and running new wires, connecting outlets and switches, and closing holes.
So whether you are thinking about a residential upgrade or new construction, call Needham Electric & Construction first. We know how to handle all your electrical needs.
Photo credits: Kay Voyvodich
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