Electricity can be dangerous! A home or business that is not wired properly can burn to the ground. The resulting loss can be devastating. Things that can never be replaced are lost forever. This is true whether you are dealing with a home or a business. This is why it is so important to deal with a qualified electrician whether you are building a new home or performing electrical renovations on an existing home.
There are many reasons why you would want to consider renovating an electrical system. If a home is older, the wiring may not be up to code. Frequently, the plugs are not grounded, which creates an unsafe situation. Grounded plugs were invented because so many homes burned down when the current did not have an alternative location to pass to.
Old wiring can especially be a concern in Florida's climate where cockroaches can hide out in walls. They seem to have an affinity for wiring. And while we would all like to think that we do not have any mice or rats in our home, it is a common problem.
Identifying the Need for Electrical Renovations
When plugs start falling out of receptacles, it's time to replace them. Armored cable insulation can become frayed and cause damage to the wire. When two-wire cables supply electrical outlets, they need to be replaced with three-wire cable so any stray current has a way to leave the home. And obviously, if something isn't working, it's time to have some electrical work done.
One of the signs that you need electrical renovations is a breaker that trips frequently. Anytime a wire carries too much current, it starts to overheat. This causes the breaker to trip to prevent the insulation from melting and starting a fire. If this occurs repeatedly, damage will still occur and eventually the wire will become a fire hazard.
Another cause of tripped breakers is a short somewhere in the electrical system. This is caused by a hot wire (one carrying current) touching a neutral or ground wire. The breaker trips because the flow of current is coming in hot on both wires. Unfortunately, current can still be flowing, so it is important to identify where the wire is and replace it. Even a ground-fault switch isn't effective if it occurs after the problem.
If you find yourself getting shocked when you touch light switches, plugging in appliances or even just touching objects in your home, it could be a sign your body is providing a path for a faulty wire. Call in a qualified electrical company to test your electrical wiring.
The main electrical panel is another area you need to look at. The wire coming into your home may be able to supply adequate current for all your modern appliances but the fuse box or breaker box may be inadequate. If your home was built before 1950, it could still have a 30-amp fuse panel. This is far from adequate for today's toaster ovens, microwaves, hair dryers, computers, etc. At the very least, the service panel needs to handle at least 100 amps.
Homes built between 1950 and 1965 often have 60-amp service panels with cartridge fuse blocks. This is also insufficient for today's homes. Generally, it is well worth the investment renovating your home to a 200-amp circuit breaker. This allows you to add additional electrical outlets without creating a dangerous electrical situation in your home.
How to Hire an Electrician for Electrical Renovations
First, make sure that the electrical contractor is licensed and has the insurance coverage mandated by your county. Then, find out how long the contractor has been in business. It's also a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints lodged against the contractor.
Ask for a quote, and proceed only if the contractor is willing to sign a contract that itemizes the work you are hiring them to do, how much labor and materials costs, when you are to pay, when the job is going to start and when the job should be completed.
At Baker & Sons we have 23 years residential and commercial electrical experience. We help Sarasota, Manatee & Charlotte County property owners renovate their electrical systems with minimal disruption to their lives.
Call us today at (941) 377-3602 for an evaluation of your electrical system. We'll give you an honest assessment and tell you whether we can save you money through an electrical renovation. We will explore all solutions and help you as a Florida property owner find the best short and long-term option for your budget.