Many homes built in the 1970s and even 60s and 50s were not designed to handle the power needs of modern families. Whether you are running multiple computers, a washing machine and dryer, or even a refrigerator, the electrical demands of your current lifestyle may put stress on the wiring in your older home, increasing the chance of blown fuses and electrical fires.
Rewiring your home can bring it up to date and offer a solution to sub-par power capabilities. However, not every effort to upgrade an older or historic building ends well; many cause damage to the building if undertaken without proper guidance and the right tools.
If you are rewiring your home yourself, the following tips will get and keep you on the right track. Be sure to contact Prairie Electric with any questions you may have!
Inventory Your Electrical Needs
In order for your new electrical system to meet your needs, you must first make a list of all the devices/ appliances you will be using and where they are located. This allows you to map out the areas that need rewiring.
Consult Local Codes and Permits
Electrical standards exist to maintain the safety of your home. They govern how many outlets you need per room, the type of wire you’ll be using, etc. Obtain all the necessary permits before beginning work.
Choose Your Applications
Will you be running electrical appliances exclusively, or fire, security, and data systems as well? Determining this before installation can help you plan out what to include and where.
Find a Qualified Electrician
Even if you intend to undertake this rewiring as a DIY project, be sure to find an electrician who understands older buildings and can deeply assess your home’s structure. You will need an expert to help troubleshoot any issues that arise and be sure you can safely accomplish your rewire.
One Appliance Per Breaker
When a wire runs directly from a circuit breaker to an outlet, with no other devices active on the breaker, you reduce the load carried by the power system and decrease the incidence of blown breakers. If more than one outlet is involved, be sure to monitor which areas feed into which breakers in order to balance your system and prevent overused breakers as you begin to use new wiring.
Update Switches and Plates
You can have your cake and eat it too! It is possible to maintain the historic look of your home while upgrading your electrical wiring. Simply purchase hardware that matches the appearance and style of your home while offering safer function than your outdated switches and plates. Many hardware sellers offer vintage-inspired outlet covers to match your home’s unique look.
Only Replace What Is Truly Necessary
Replacing every part of your old wiring can do more harm than good and takes more effort than is necessary to create a safe, well-wired space. A licensed, expert electrician can help you determine what elements are working well and which require replacing, saving you both money and excessive changes to your space.
Rewiring your home can be a large task that requires time, resources, and planning. No matter what your goal, be sure to take inventory of your electrical needs and contact a professional who can guide your process from start to finish. Here at Prairie, we’re happy to help!