Electrical systems are obviously one of the most important parts of homes, and they are also by far the most dangerous. Damaged wires and other electrical issues cause more than 24,000 house fires each year in the U.S., resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths. This can also lead to more than $1 billion in damages and property losses. The best way to avoid these issues is to have your entire electrical system inspected routinely and have any repairs and upgrades performed as soon as possible. In some cases, it may be necessary to partially or completely rewire your home, and this article will explain the benefits of rewiring and some of the signs that can help you know when it’s necessary.
Benefits of Rewiring Your Home
The biggest benefit of having your home rewired is that it will make your electrical system safer. Electrical wires slowly degrade over time, which can result in bare, exposed wires. This can easily start a major electrical fire when an arcing fault occurs. This is when the electrical current jumps across the bare wire to another wire. This produces sparks that can catch the insulation or wooden studs inside the wall on fire. It also causes a huge amount of current to flow through the wires, leading to them becoming hot enough that the insulation around the wires begins to melt.
The wire nuts or electrical connections in your outlets, lights, and light switches can also become loose over time, so that the wires are no longer tightly connected. This can lead to a short that causes the outlet or switch to start smoking or catch fire. Loose wires can also cause a ground fault, which is when the wire comes into contact with metal. Ground faults also cause a huge amount of current to surge through the circuit. This can again lead to a fire or electrocution if you plug in or unplug a cord or touch the outlet.
Rewiring your home will also make your electrical system more energy efficient and help lower your electricity bills. Upgrading to a new electrical panel and having your home rewired will often save you anywhere from 10 to 20% on your energy bills. This is because modern panels are more efficient and better at channeling the power where it needs to go.
Rewiring an outdated electrical system will also increase the value of your home and make it much more attractive to potential buyers due to the improved energy efficiency and increased safety. If your electrical system is outdated and not up to the current code requirements, you may not be able to sell your home until all of the necessary upgrades are performed.
How to Know If Rewiring Is Necessary
One obvious sign that you should have your home rewired is if it is more than 40 years old and still has original wiring. In the past, many homes used aluminum wiring because it was much cheaper than copper wiring. The issue is that aluminum continuously expands and contracts as it heats up and cools down. This can lead to loose connections and an increased risk of fire. Aluminum is also much more susceptible to corrosion. Corrosion causes the resistance in the circuit to increase, which can lead to the wires overheating and potentially starting a fire.
Another obvious sign that you need to have your home rewired is if you have a fuse box or old knob-and-tube wiring. Both of these details indicate that your electrical system is extremely outdated and should be upgraded and rewired as soon as possible.
The type of outlets your home has can also help determine if you need to have everything rewired. Modern electrical systems use three-prong outlets with a live wire, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. If you have old two-prong outlets, it means that your electrical system isn’t grounded and should be rewired. Grounding is an important safety measure that prevents the risk of fire and electrocution that result from overloading, power surges, faults, and short circuits. When any of these issues happen, the ground wire will safely redirect the current back to the electrical panel. It will then pass through the grounding rod and into the soil outside. This not only helps to prevent fires, but it also protects your appliances and devices from damage.
You should check to make sure that you have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets at every point near a source of water. The National Electric Code requires GFCIs for every outlet in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and garages, as well as all outdoor outlets. If water or moisture gets inside the outlet, the GFCI will activate within milliseconds to cut power to the outlet. Otherwise, the water could conduct electricity, resulting in a serious or even fatal shock.
GFCIs look like a standard three-prong outlet, but they have a Test and Reset button in between the two plugs as well as a small green light in one corner. If you don’t have GFCI outlets in all of the places we mentioned, you should have an electrician install them. When performing the install, they will also check the condition of the wires to determine if rewiring is necessary.
If you experience frequent electrical issues like tripped circuit breakers, flickering lights, or power outages, it’s also a sign that you need to have your electrical panel upgraded and possibly some or all of the circuits rewired. Other issues to watch out for include outlets that spark, start smoking, or feel hot to the touch. A loud buzzing or humming sound coming from your electrical panel is also a sign that it needs to be replaced and rewired.
Understanding How Electricians Rewire a House
Rewiring some or all of a home does require a fairly substantial investment. This investment is worth it since it will keep your home and family safer. The good news is that it is usually possible to completely rewire a house without needing to do any major construction or renovations.
A team of electricians can typically remove all of the old wiring and rewire all of the circuits in the attic or crawlspace. As they rewire each circuit, they will then pull the new wires through the inside of the wall and connect them to all of the outlets, switches, and fixtures. Once all of the circuits are rewired, the electricians will then need to install a new electrical panel, and wire all of the circuits into the panel, and connect all of the breakers.
Finch Home Solutions is your top choice if you need rewiring or any electrical repairs or upgrades in Shakopee or the Twin Cities area. Our team of highly experienced, licensed electricians specializes in electrical inspections and a full range of residential electrical repair and installation services. We also offer car charging ports, surge protection, and smoke alarm installation. For more information on the benefits of rewiring your home or to schedule an electrical safety inspection or any other service, give us a call today.