Old homes are great for a lot of reasons. They carry a unique sense of history and charm; however, they can also come with an array of issues. Due to the older structure, problems may not be visible at first glance.
Prior to renovating an older home, you should call an electrician to identify any problems that may need attention. Since majority of the electrical systems in your home are concealed behind walls, they can be easily overlooked during renovations. Rather than experience issues later, work with your electrician when planning your home renovation to maximize efficiency.
Here’s how your electrician can help with your home renovations:
1. Update Old Electrical Wiring
Depending on when your home was built, you may have outdated electrical wiring. With the many advances to modern technology, your home needs updated circuits to safely power today’s electronics and appliances. While older homes rarely feature these modern circuits, a quick inspection from an electrician can tell you for sure.
Signs to Update Your Wiring
How can you tell if your wiring needs an update? The old wiring in your home may be experiencing strain from trying to power modern electronics. Therefore, you can look out for the following signs of electrical strain:
- Frequent fuse blows
- Flickering lights
- A messy or over-fused panel
- Hot cords, plugs, or switch plates
- Unexplained buzzing sounds
- Burning smell
- Smoking from outlets or wires
- Electrical shock when in contact with a cord
Regulations for Older Homes
Depending on where your old home is located, there are provincial regulations in place that require regular electrical inspections. The following are some examples of what could constitute a phone call to your local electrician:
- Age of home. If your home is more than 40 years old, it’s about time you have your electrical wiring checked.
- Extension cords. Homes that use several extension cords to power their home are outputting more power than they were built for.
- Addition of appliances. If you’ve added large appliances to your home, this required a new level of power. New appliances could cause strain on your wiring, especially in older homes.
- Aluminum wiring. If your home is wired using aluminum instead of copper wiring, you could be at increased risk of experiencing an electrical fire.
- Ungrounded outlets. If your home is suited with ungrounded, two-pronged outlets, you’re missing an added layer of electrical protection. Consider updating your outlets to the three-prong style for increased security.
When updating your wiring, your residential electrician will be able to:
- Upgrade the main service panel to host the proper amperage
- Install circuits capable of handling power-hungry appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, etc.
- Replace ungrounded two-prong outlets with three-prong outlets
- Switch your wiring from aluminum to copper if needed
2. Install New Lighting Fixtures
Are you planning on installing new light fixtures to your old home? If so, you may want to consult your electrical contractors. Your electrician can not only help plan the rewiring for your new fixtures, but they can ensure that they are installed correctly.
When working with an older structure, location of the light fixtures is very important. For example, ceiling lights may be connected to an electrical box located in your ceiling. This is difficult to access and if a rewiring is needed, it can be highly dangerous and technical.
Additionally, electrical boxes contain live wires that can cause severe electrical shocks if mishandled. Furthermore, improper installation increases your risk of issues arising, such as inefficient power or electrical fires.
3. Increased Safety
Outdated electrical systems are unsafe for many reasons. One of the most prevalent is the increased fire risk that comes with outdated wiring. Whether it be from an overloaded circuit, mis-wiring, improper amperage, poorly located outlets, or more, there are many factors that could be the source of an electrical fire in your home.
While there are many aspects of home renovations you can DIY, electrical services are not one of them. Wiring a home involves highly dangerous handling, intricate detail, and precise work. Therefore, it should only be handled by a certified professional.
Contact Your Electrical Contractors Vancouver
Renovating your old home is the perfect time to invest in some updated electrical services. It protects your well-being and safety, increases your home’s value, and provides more efficient power sources. BPM Electric serves Vancouver’s surrounding areas such as Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, Surrey, Cloverdale, and Prince George. Get a quote today on your next electrical service.