The Older Home: 6 Reasons to Update Your Home’s Electrical System

February 23, 2016
Ross and Witmer

Historic homes are beautiful examples of fine craftsmanship; they grace our neighborhoods and add a special value to our communities. Charlotte, North Carolina has a great range of historic houses, such as the ones you’ll find in areas like Mecklenburg, but if you own one of these homes, you might want to update your home’s electrical system. Here are a few reasons.

Your System Doesn’t Meet Requirements of the National Building Code

Building codes serve the primary purpose of making sure a building doesn’t pose safety risks for the inhabitants in a particular area. The electrical systems in older homes were installed long before the newer safety measures and policies adopted by current building codes. Because of this, they pose a serious fire risk. The National Fire Protection Association’s latest published statistics reported 47,700 electrical fires in 2011. Many of these were caused by faulty wiring systems.

Older Wiring Systems Are More Susceptible to Damage

If your fuses keep blowing, or you’re having issues with flickering or dimming lights, warm outlets, or loose plugs and switches, your electrical system is likely deteriorating and needs some attention. Loose wiring connections can cause an electric current to run off its path. Simple vulnerabilities, such as overloading circuit breakers, can cause a fire. Never take these conditions for granted in an old home. Let an electrician investigate the problem and help you choose the best course of action for safety.

Many Old Wiring Systems Use Risky Aluminum Wire

Is your house is more than 40 years old? It might have aluminum wiring, which is considered a safety hazard since it is now linked to electrical fires. Aluminum is known to loosen more quickly over time and become corrosive, which creates conditions for overheating and igniting a fire.

Your Insurance Won’t Cover Outdated Systems

Some insurances may not want to cover older electrical systems. If they do, the electrical system might be considered a liability, so your insurance might charge you a high premium. On the one hand, you will be left without adequate coverage for electrical mishaps or fires. On the other hand, you have to pay more out of your pocket to cover the premium of a system that isn’t giving you the best performance, which is a lose-lose situation.

Your System Doesn’t Support Modern Needs

If your older home has many two-pronged outlets, you’ve probably had to use adapters to accommodate many of the appliances and electronics in your home. Today, three-pronged outlets are a standard in new homes because they are grounded. This means they allow electricity to flow in the ground and trip a fuse if there is a short circuit, which is an important safety mechanism.

Another inconvenience could be that your home, like many other older homes, can’t meet the power demands of modern life. Many were set up to supply as little as 30 amps of power. Some can supply up to 100, 125, or 150 amps. Today’s modern home, outfitted with modern appliances, microwaves, large televisions, gaming systems, and air conditioners, can easily require about 200 amps.

Your Wiring System Isn’t Energy-Efficient

With all the new technology we use on a daily basis, we need smarter options to offset our energy expenditures. Older wiring systems are simply not built with the preparation to deal with our modern consumption. Contemporary advances in electrical construction include wiring systems that are stronger, more sustainable, more versatile, and adaptable. They also include better energy control, better energy supply, and dependable insulation, built with stronger, more practical materials. This all adds up to a home that is both safer, smarter, and much more energy efficient.

If your gorgeous old home is in need of an upgrade, it’s important to call in an expert right away. The smallest electrical mishap can have a disastrous result.

Give Ross & Witmer a call today at 704-392-6188 so we can help you decide what measures to take to ensure a healthy home for you and your family. Whether your home just needs a few upgrades to make it safe, or whether you want to install a new wiring system altogether, we have you covered.

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