Reasons to Upgrade Your Residential Wiring System and Electrical Panels

As devices become more technologically advanced, businesses must adapt to keep up. Many business’ and home electrical systems do not have the capacity to support today’s high powered devices. From the moment each employee arrives at work they are using electronic devices, such as: coffee makers, computer monitors, computer towers, laptops, printers, lamps, radios, clocks, landline telephones, iPods, cell phones and more. Commodities of modern society can be a challenge to aging electrical systems. Now is the time to upgrade your building’s circuitry to ensure that your business has the capacity to support you and your employee’s electrical needs without the risk of a fire.

Is your business or home powered properly? Call Pacific Coast Electricians, Inc. certified electricians to upgrade your circuits today. Act now to update your building or home with the appropriate circuits and be on your way to secure, care-free, and continuous electricity. Stop the unwanted electrical interruptions today!

12 Reasons You Need to Upgrade Your Circuits

Most standard home electrical circuits are on a 120-volt line. To run major appliances and heavy electrical equipment, you need 220-volt current in the house. And unless your clothes dryer runs on gas, it will require a 220-volt outlet to operate, so it’s necessary to upgrade to 220 to handle this kind of appliance.

Here are some other things to consider:

1. Appliances: With the wide variety of kitchen appliances such as food processors, blenders, coffee grinders, cappuccino makers and bread machines, there needs to be plenty of electrical outlets in a modern kitchen. Do you need more outlets to plug in electronic devices?

2. Cable/Satellite TV: Where might you want to watch TV? Consider adding cable to an upstairs bedroom or guest room or perhaps downstairs for a family recreation room.

3. Computers: Which rooms might someone want to plug in a computer and modem? A guest room could double as a home office. Consider adding additional electrical outlets or a phone or modem line.

4. Ceiling fans: Additional wiring will allow you to control the lights and fans separately from the wall switch, to adjust the fan speed, and to turn off the light while leaving the fan on. Do you want to be able to turn ceiling fans off while leaving the light on with the flip of a switch?

5. Central control stations: A variety of new devices allow you to operate many different lights and equipment circuits from a single location. Multiple-station controls can be preset for entertaining so that, with a single touch, they provide candle-like atmosphere in the dining room, tranquil lighting in the living room and activity lighting in the kitchen. Do you want to operate multiple lights from a single location? Do you want to set mood lighting in several rooms with the touch of a button?

6. Garage or Workshop: Can you use a power tool without unplugging the freezer? If not, upgrade the electrical service in your workshop to reduce the chances of overloading your circuits.

7. Home entertainment centers: Televisions, VCRs, stereos, CD and DVD players, surround sound. How about remote speakers to better utilize those purchases by allowing music to play throughout the house?

8. Outdoors: Adding a spa, automatic sprinklers, a misting system on the patio, or outdoor lighting for security or beauty will all require more electricity. Are you adding security, landscape lighting or a new sprinkler system? Do you want a place to plug in your holiday lights?

9. Home security system: Will you ever want to install an electronic security system to scare off intruders and alert the police and fire departments?

10. Specialty lighting: Gone are the days when lamps and single overhead light fixtures were our only options for lighting our homes. Now we can hire lighting designers to incorporate special “task lighting” and “accent lighting” to create a pleasing ambiance, wall sconces, or other light fixtures.

11. Emergency Generator Installation: Do you want continuous power in case of a hurricane, ice storm, blizzard, or blackout?

12. Home Office Equipment: Do you need additional outlets or phone modem connections to support your home office equipment? Do you want to add computer accessibility for your children’s rooms or your guest rooms? Multiple offices or desks? Are employees tired of unplugging and re-plugging in devices in so they can use the electronic devices required to efficiently do their job? Do they need additional outlets to feel functional?

Don’t forget about surge protection! A voltage surge (a momentary rise in voltage) can damage sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, home entertainment centers, treadmills, and other expensive equipment. Surge protection strips protect against small, daily surges to help your equipment last longer and work better.

For large surges, you’ll need to install a whole house surge arrestor at the electrical panel to protect switches/outlets, appliance motors, the circuit breaker box, as well as, all the wiring in the home

When was the last time you had to reset a circuit breaker in your house? Is your home more than twenty years old? Have you recently bought a home? Are you planning to purchase a major appliance? Now may be a good time to upgrade your home electrical system!

For homeowners, it’s not just a matter of convenience-there are significant safety issues. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), each year home electrical fires claim the lives of 485 Americans and injure 2,305 more. Home electrical problems account for 67,800 fires and $868 million in property losses.

Fires can be caused by electrical system failures, appliance defects, incorrectly installed wiring, misuse and poor maintenance of electrical appliances, and overloaded circuits and extension cords.

Top Causes of Home Electrical Fires

1. Inadequate electrical capacity. Today’s homes have an increasing number of devices that consume electricity including clothes dryers, water heaters, electric ranges and ovens, frost-free refrigerators, dishwashers, even media centers. In warm climates, air conditioning is a major power drain.

As you add appliances to your home, the power supply may become inadequate. Anytime you add a major appliance you should have your electrical system checked by a qualified professional. Don’t ignore warning signs like fuses or circuit breakers tripping or lights dimming!

Here are the primary causes of inadequate power in your home:

o Overloaded circuits
o Limited service panel capacity
o Insufficient number of outlets
o Overtaxed transformer
o Inadequate feeder lines

Adding receptacles (or even worse, using extension cords) does not increase the available power. If you find that you are plugging in multiple appliances into one outlet, you need to increase the power supply directly from the distribution panel.

2. Obsolete equipment or electrical systems. Thirty years ago, domestic power use was much less, even in warm climates. The average new home required 60-amp electrical service, which was connected to a screw-in fuse panel with two fuse blocks.

Ten years later the average home required 100-amp electrical service and circuit breakers had become standard equipment.

Today, the average new home is equipped with 200-amp electrical service and a distribution panel handling up to 40 fifteen-amp circuit breakers. The kitchen may be equipped with receptacles capable of supplying more than 60 amps to the countertop appliances alone. The air conditioning or HVAC system may take more power than an entire home did 30 years ago.

If your home is even twenty years old, chances are it needs to be upgraded! The thirty-year-old distribution panel in your basement or garage the one with the screw-in fuses are almost certainly a fire hazard. Why? Over time, the contacts deteriorate. The point of contact between the buss bar and the base of the fuse oxidizes or charcoals. As current flows, increased heat is generated, leading to failure or fire. In California, if a home is equipped with an electrical distribution panel that uses screw-in fuses, many insurance companies will not renew homeowner insurance.

When you upgrade your home’s electric systems, you’ll rest easy knowing that you have greatly reduced the chance of a devastating fire.

Call Pacific Coast Electricians, Inc. at 408-212-0230