When someone buys an older house, it may need some improvements. If no electrical upgrades have been completed, the new owner should hire an electrician to inspect the system. Some upgrades may be advisable for safety, and repair work could be necessary. Additional electrical features might be required to bring the home into the current century.
The Electrical Panel
The electrician most likely will recommend replacing the fuse box system with a circuit breaker panel. Circuit breakers became standard in the mid-1960s. Although many homes still run their electrical system with fuses, today's power usage causes fuses to blow from time to time. Fuses must be replaced, whereas breaker switches can simply be pushed back into place after they shut off power to an area of the home.
A new panel redistributes the load more evenly, so breakers should not trip. This would typically only happen when someone tries to run two high-watt devices in the same area at the same time. An example would be a space heater and a microwave oven.
Electricians also add wiring for later use because people tend to bring more electrical devices into their homes over time. The household residents will call when they want an extra breaker or two installed. They might plan to add a chest freezer to the home, for instance. The installation of a garbage disposal could require another breaker, to prevent tripping. A sub-panel can be added in the garage to accommodate devices like an electric vehicle charging station and power tools.
The homeowners may have discovered that some wall switches no longer work or only work sporadically. An electrician fixes this problem by replacing the wiring behind the switch panel. Some light bulb sockets could be corroded, making the removal of bulbs difficult. That issue can be fixed as well.
Additional outlets will assuredly be needed. Some households keep extension cords plugged in all the time. However, those devices are intended for occasional temporary use and not as permanent features. Electricians also recommend replacing two-hole outlets with three-hole versions instead of using adapters for three-prong devices. Doing that is a safety hazard.
Homeowners can start by choosing a licensed electrician and scheduling an inspection. During the appointment, the electrician recommends modifications to the system and answers questions about future expected power use. After the replacement, repair, and new installation work are complete, the household residents can operate all of their equipment while feeling confident about safety and avoiding inconvenience.
For more information about residential electrical services, contact a local electrician.