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The electrical system your house was built with may not be the best one for your family. Older homes were never meant to carry the electrical load that modern electronics and appliances require. If you have been having problems, check this list to see if you may be in need of an electrical service upgrade for your home.
Understanding How Your Electrical Service Works
Your electrical service is rated in amperage. This is the amount of electricity that can run through your home at any one time. It is sent directly to your breaker box to be divided up into circuits. Each of these circuits has a specific limit for how much electricity can flow at the same time.
Modern homes generally contain 200 amp service. But if your home is thirty years old or more, you could have a 60 or 100 amp service. A family that is trying to power all the modern conveniences of today will have a hard time getting the service they need with an outdated, low amp service. If you have noticed any of the following signs, you may need to have your electrical service upgraded to a 200 amp.
Your Lights Are Flickering
This is one of the most noticeable signs that your home is due for an electrical upgrade. If you see your lights flicker when you turn an appliance on, your home is not equipped to handle the electrical demands of your family.
When you have an electrical service upgrade, your home will be able to supply more amperage. This means that you will be able to use multiple appliances without suffering any negative effects. It also means your electronics will get a steady supply of electrical current without causing interruption.
You Smell Something Burning or See Discolored Outlets
Any time you smell a burning odor, you should find out what is causing it immediately. Otherwise, you could have a problem that leads to a house fire. In the case of your electrical system, a burning smell could mean that too much electrical current is flowing through your wires, causing additional heat. This extra heat can also cause your outlets to turn a darker hue or brown.
A burning odor coming from your breaker box signifies one of two problems. One option is that you have a circuit that is overloaded or that your entire electrical system is overloaded. The other possible problem is that you lose connection in your box that is creating additional heat. Your professional can make sure your electrical service is upgraded to a more appropriate level for your household’s needs, creating a safer environment for your family.
Overuse of Extension Cords
Older homes were built with a limited number of outlets to use, since there were limited appliances to plug in. If you have been trying to power a modern home on an outdated electrical system, you are likely using extension cords to fill in the gap. This overuse of extension cords can cause problems with circuit overload.
Your electrical service professional can add outlets without causing an overload on the circuits. They can also add circuits, where needed. This will safely give you the additional outlets your family needs without causing circuit damage.
You Keep Tripping Breakers
Occasionally tripping a circuit breaker is not in itself a problem. But if you are experiencing repeated tripping of your breaker, there is too heavy a load on it. Your electrical system will need to be upgraded to handle the usage without overloading.
If you are having problems with your breakers, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can secure the breaker open. Trying to force the breaker with tape or other quick fix is risking the danger of fire. Your circuit breaker is designed to trip when a circuit gets too overloaded, as protection from house fire. Anything you do to hinder your breaker’s ability to cut the power to it off can affect its ability to properly protect your home.
Your Electrical System Is Old
How old is your home? Did you or someone in your family have it built or did you buy it used? The more you know about your home, the more you can do to update it for performance and safety. For instance, you may have bought an old house that had recently had its electrical system updated. If that is the case, you likely have little to do to bring it up to modern standards.
If you live in an older home that has not had an electrical service update since you moved in, you might want to give your electrical professional a call. They can inspect your system and determine what, if any, updates it has received. Then, you will have a clearer idea of what needs to be upgraded. Generally, if your home is more than thirty years old, it still has a 100 amp service. You will need to have your professional update it to a 200 amp service for it to work properly. Otherwise, you will have to give up some of your electrical appliances and electronics.
Finding a Qualified Electrician in Florence, SC
Once you have made the decision to upgrade your home electrical system, it is time to choose a qualified professional to do the work. When you need an electrical expert in Florence, SC, here are some things to look for.
First, you need a licensed professional with insurance. There is no room for anything else when it comes to your family’s safety. Your electrician should be licensed by the state and have proof to show you. With something as important and potentially dangerous as electricity, you need the peace of mind that having an expert brings.
You also need to make sure your electrician has experience. There are some things that have to be learned on the job, so make sure you have an experienced tech that can handle any situation.
Contact us today at Mister Sparky of Florence for more information about how we can upgrade your electrical service.