Residential Electrical System: When to Perform an Upgrade
Generally, the electrical system in your home will require maintenance, repair and replacement of some faulty components in the building. This keeps the electrical energy flowing with efficiency. However, you might require a complete upgrade of the entire or most of the electrical network. This will improve energy efficiency, enhance the performance of attached components and reduce potential electrical hazards. Here are some of the situations in which you should consider hiring an electrical contractor to perform an electrical upgrade.
Absence of GFCI
The conditions around electrical receptacles in your residential structure can increase the risk of electrical shock and fires. Therefore, it is important to upgrade the outlets in the entire house or at least in the high risk areas by fitting them with a GFCI to mitigate the hazards. The GFCI is an acronym for Ground Fault Interrupter Circuit, and it is an electrical device designed to shut down the errant flow of electrical current. For example, if there is water on the kitchen floor and the conduit comes in contact, the GFCI will shut off power circuit immediately.
There are numerous materials that can be used in creating wiring systems in residential electrical networks. Copper is favoured due to its high electrical conductivity, high melting point and general reliability. If you own or have purchased a relatively old building, you might find unsuitable wiring materials. For instance, some of the older houses have aluminium wiring as part of the system. This is a theoretically acceptable choice, but it is not an ideal material for wiring.
Generally, this aluminium wire connections are prone to loosening over time due to the lightweight nature of the material. This can result in generation of heat at the receptacles in the house and consequently, fires can start unexpectedly. An inspection will help you design whether you should replace all the wiring in the house. In some cases, the addition of high quality copper connectors which are commonly known as pigtails to reinforce the network will resolve the problem.
Increased Electrical Load
The invention of new devices and appliances has led to a significant increase in the demands for household electrical power. Therefore, if you are planning on purchasing new electronics which will draw significant amounts of energy, it is prudent to upgrade the system now, before overloading the wiring. This will reduce the strain on the wiring, circuit breakers and the appliances and prevent the subsequent damage.