When your dream home needs an electrical upgrade
You’ve been searching for a new home for you and your family and you’ve finally found the perfect fit! You’re able to check off all your must-haves including number of bedrooms and bathroom, style and layout, outdoor space and it’s in an ideal neighbourhood. When you had the home inspected you discovered that your dream home needs an electrical upgrade.
Should you walk away or buy and deal with upgrading the electrical?
Photo Credit: Panason Electric LTD.
Safety Hazards of Older Wiring
Edmonton electricians will tell you that upgrading old electrical systems is completely necessary to ensure your home is safe and protected from fire hazards. It is not a job that you should put off for later. It will have to be done right away.
Faulty wiring is the number one cause of house fires. Sometimes this bad wiring is due to age, wear and tear and sometimes it’s due to poor installation. Though simple DIY electrical projects like replacing an outlet or switch are okay for handy homeowners to do themselves, any major electrical work can be very dangerous and should be left to a professional electrician.
If the home you’re looking at was built in the 1960s or early 1970s, it might have aluminum wiring and will require an electrical upgrade. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “homes built before 1972, and wired with aluminum are 55 times more likely to have one or more wire connections at outlets reach ‘Fire Hazard Conditions’ than homes wired with copper”. It is so dangerous because aluminum wire connections can cause an increased resistance to the flow of electrical current, resulting in overheating when the current is flowing through the circuit. The hotter the wire becomes the more likely it will emit sparks from the receptacle or char materials around the connection.
Because of these potential fire hazards, some insurance companies will not insure your home if it has older wiring or they’ll charge higher premiums.
Got Enough Power?
Hire a Master Electrician in Edmonton to inspect the current wiring. Sometimes old wiring isn’t inherently dangerous, but it might not be up to code or meet the electrical needs of your household. For example, 60 amps used to be the standard for household power. Now-a-days, the average home needs 200 amps to run things like televisions, computers, video games and air conditioners. If you’re running more power than your electrical system can handle it can actually damage your electronics and become a safety hazard.
Scope & Cost of an Electrical Upgrade
Photo Credit: Scorpion Electrical Solutions
A complete electrical upgrade is not inexpensive, but could be worth it if you’ve finally found the home of your dreams. It is costly because it’s a massive job. Since all of the wires are behind the walls the job will require a lot of labour. An electrician will have to get to the wires and remove them, run new wires, connect them to all of the switches and outlets, close up the holes and then clean up.
The cost will generally depend on the size and style of your home as some will require more or less work than others. Depending on the home and the situation the process can take anywhere from one to two weeks to complete and could cost thousands of dollars. Contact a Master Electrician in Edmonton to get a quote on the electrical upgrade.
Benefits of Investing in Upgraded Electrical
If you choose to go ahead with the purchase and are upgrading the electrical system, you can plan ahead for future electrical needs. Investing in structured wiring will enable the latest features of home theatres, stereo equipment, televisions, computers, security systems and other electronic systems. You can even install a home automation system and control things like your home’s climate, window coverings, lighting and appliances from a touch of a button.
A standard electrical upgrade is crucial to your home’s safety, convenience and can maintain the value of the home, but upgrading to structured wiring can actually increase your home’s value and might be something worth considering.