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Electrical Updating Tips For Older Homes

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As a first-time homeowner in an older home, you probably expect there to be a few things that need to be updated or repaired. What you may not be aware of are concerns with the electrical systems in the home. The following are a few things you will want to check out to ensure everything is safe and working properly.

Tip #1: Schedule and inspection

You may have had a cursory inspection of the electrical system before you bought the home, but now is the time to bring in an electrician to do a more thorough job. First and foremost, you need to make sure the breaker box is up to the stresses of the modern home. Chances are there are many more electrical gadgets in use in your home compared to when the house was built. The electrician can update the box so it can handle your electric needs for the technology you use.

Tip #2: Install circuit interrupters

Often, older homes do not have safety outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other room that has both running water and electrical outlets. These outlets are known as ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), but you probably recognize them as the outlets with the small "test" and "reset" buttons on them. GFCI outlets shut off the electrical current automatically if they detect a shock hazard, such as moisture in the outlet. They are required on new homes, but you will have to have an older home updated.

Tip #3: Switch out ungrounded outlets

Another issue you may run into are outlets that only take two prongs because they are not equipped with the third grounding receptor. Unfortunately, most modern appliances and techno-gadgets require three-prong outlets of safety reasons. Instead of using an adapter, which does not offer grounding, have the electrician switch out the old outlets for modern grounded versions.

Tip #4: Update for usage

Modern building codes usually require plenty of outlets so you typically end up with at least four wall outlets per room. In an older home, one per room could be all you are provided with. Overloading the outlet with power strips isn't the answer, as this poses a major electrical hazard. If you don't have sufficient outlets for your electrical needs, then have more added to the home.

For more help in updating your home's electrical systems, contact an electrical contracting company like Williams Electric Supply in your area.