Electrical systems can be quite complex. While you don’t have to go to school for years like an electrician to master how everything comes together in your home’s electrical system, it’s important to understand the basics. This information will help you make an informed decision regarding system repairs, smart upgrades, and replacements.
Risks of Neglecting Residential Electrical Wiring
There are several dangers to neglecting your home’s electrical wiring. Whether it’s a new home with a first-time installation or you’re rewiring an older home, getting your home’s electrical wiring checked can help mitigate against several risks.
Faulty home wiring can result in electrical shocks, which have short-term effects, such as muscle spasms and irregular heartbeats, as well as long-term effects, such as permanent seizure disorder due to brain damage. In extreme cases, faulty wiring can lead to fatal electrocutions.
Electrical faults from improper wiring are among the top causes of home fires. Electrical fires are especially hazardous because they spread quickly and can be difficult to put out. If not contained, electrical fires can damage your home and pose a serious safety risk to the members of your household. These electrical faults can also result in severe damage to your electronics and appliances. When this happens, you will be forced to spend money repairing or replacing the damaged household items.
Additionally, faulty wiring can cause frequent circuit breaker tripping, leaving you without power. This can be more than an inconvenience, especially if you work from home.
Types of Home Electrical Wiring Systems
There are several types of wiring systems used for residential homes, some more commonly than others. Some systems have become completely obsolete and are no longer in use. Here is a look at the two common types of home residential wiring systems.
1. Lead Sheathed Wiring
Conductors used in this wiring scheme are covered with an outer sheath made of lead aluminum alloy. The sheath offers protection against moisture ingress, mechanical damage and atmospheric corrosion. Lead-sheathed wiring looks good and is long-lasting. On the other hand, the cables can be quite expensive due to the lead sheath.
2. Conduit Wiring
There are two categories of home conduit wiring systems depending on the pipe installation. With surface conduit wiring, the conduits into which the electrical wires are laid are installed on the roof or walls. A strap and base clips fixed at regular distances attach the conduits to the walls or roof.
On the other hand, the conduits in the concealed conduit wiring type are concealed inside slots chiseled in the wall. Concealing the electrical conductors preserves your home’s aesthetics and reduces the risk of wear and tear. While installation can be complex, concealed conduit wiring is very safe.
Electrical Codes and Permits
Compliance with electrical codes and regulations ensures the safety of your home’s electrical wiring system. As a homeowner, you should familiarize yourself with these codes and ensure all electrical wiring work performed in your home meets these standards. Our licensed electricians at Finch Home Solutions strictly adhere to and comply with all codes on all jobs. Big or small, you can rest assured of our compliance with code as part of our commitment to performing safe installations.
Obtaining a permit for home electrical wiring from the local authorities is also important. The permit enhances safety and compliance with the code, as a certified electrical inspector must inspect and approve the work performed by your electrical conductor. The electrical inspector is a third party who will be sent from your local authority.
Wiring Basics: Understanding the Service Panel and Wiring of Circuits and Outlets
The main service panel, also called the breaker box, is the central hub of your home’s electrical system. It distributes power safely to all the circuits throughout your home. As a homeowner, you should know where your service panel is located. You will typically find the breaker box in the basement, garage or utility room.
In addition to the panel’s location, the electrician who installs your electrical wiring system will also guide you on how to operate the main power switch in the event of an electrical emergency. The electrician will also guide you on the precautionary measures to observe as you work around the service panel during an emergency, such as wearing rubber gloves and boots.
You should also understand the wiring of your home’s various outlets and circuits. Know how many outlets are on each circuit and the location of the corresponding circuit breaker. This information will help you avoid plugging too many devices into a circuit and overloading it. Overloading can trip the circuit breaker and disrupt service. In some extreme cases, overloading can result in an electrical fire that can cause physical injuries and damage to your home.
Safety Precautions to Observe
That you should leave all electrical wiring repairs to a qualified professional cannot be overstated. The risk is too great with DIY electrical work. You can, however, enhance your home’s safety by observing some precautions.
Be careful not to overload your home circuits. Avoid excessive use of extension cords and replace any cords that show obvious signs of damage such as burn marks. Also ensure that you keep your home electrical wiring away from water, and don’t cover the wires with flammable fabrics.
A reliable electrician will be a call away. Be sure to reach out for further guidance on what safety precautions to take when you notice what may look like signs of trouble with your home’s electrical wiring system.
The Importance of Regular Inspections and Maintenance
When you hire trustworthy, licensed electricians to wire or update old wiring in your home, you can confidently expect quality work as a result of using only quality electrical products, quality workmanship and compliance with code. It, however, doesn’t stop there.
Scheduling an annual inspection of your home’s electrical wiring by a licensed electrician will help to enhance your system’s integrity, safety, and longevity. The electrician can identify potential problems with your system early on and perform timely repairs.
As a homeowner, you need to understand the various signs that may indicate the need to call a professional to inspect your home’s wiring. Such hard-to-miss signs include buzzing sounds, burning smells, burn marks on outlets, and frequent circuit breaker tripping. At Finch Home Solutions, we guarantee prompt response and will quickly come out to inspect your system and undertake any needed repairs.
Understand Your Home Electrical Wiring Better With a Licensed Electrician
Understanding the basics of home electrical wiring is essential for every homeowner. Knowing the potential safety hazards and electrical codes and regulations will help you recognize the need to choose the right people for your project. Knowing the layout of your home’s electrical system will also help you avoid common mistakes, such as overloading, that can otherwise jeopardize your safety.
The team of licensed electricians at Finch Home Solutions is dedicated to helping improve your understanding of residential electrical wiring. Get in touch today and get all your questions answered. We provide high-quality home electrical wiring installation, rewiring, maintenance, and repair to ensure your system runs smoothly and safely. We are proud to be the trusted electrical services provider in Shakopee and the Twin Cities Metro area since 2017.