Struggling with the electric bill? Appliances like your air conditioner, heater, and water heater can cost anywhere from 40 cents to $1.50 per hour. Trying to cut down on energy consumption helps, but sometimes unplugging an appliance after use or taking shorter showers isn’t enough to keep your bills down.
Something to consider is how old the electrical wiring is in your house or rental property. Aging electrical wiring means your home is likely cannot perform the electrical services needed by today’s standards. Worried this might be you? It’s not just costly to have outdated wiring — it’s hazardous, which means it could be time for electrical rewiring.
Is It Time for Electrical Rewiring?
If your home is at least 10 to 20 years old, there’s a good chance the wiring is a little outdated. This means it’s not designed to handle several appliances constantly running at once, which means there’s a danger of overloading. If the wiring can’t handle the workload, this either means you have to deal with the frustration of playing with the circuit breaker, or worse, that the wires will overheat and possibly start a fire.
Until more recent generations, electrical wiring was protected with a rubber coating, which over the years can gradually deteriorate and expose the wires — this is a fire hazard. If you ever plan to sell your home, any outdated electric wiring means you won’t pass the house inspection.
Luckily, There Are Options
Safe is always better than sorry. It’s crucial to have a qualified electrician inspect your home, and it’s best to do so once every year or two. If it’s time to rewire your home, don’t fret. Depending on the age of your house, the solution could be as simple as updating your electrical service panel or as challenging as an electrical rewiring for your entire house.
- Upgrading Your Electrical Panel
Let’s say you just had the electrician inspect your home, and you learn your house has only 100 amps, but you have a big home, a family, and lots of appliances, so you want 200 amps. Upgrading the electrical panel is generally the first step toward rewiring your home and will typically cost $2,990 at most. Electrical rewiring for your entire house, however, can be expensive and can cost between $8,000 and $15,000 for a 1,500–3,000 square foot home.
If you don’t feel comfortable rewiring your entire home, a new electrical panel can still help with your electrical problems. But if the electrician discovers your house has some faulty wiring, an upgraded electrical panel won’t fix that problem.
- Rewiring Your House
If your home is 40+ years old, it’s time to rewire your house. The idea is to remove as much of the old wire as possible before installing new non-metallic wires, which are safer, easier to work with, and won’t heat up with the insulation. Sometimes walls need to be torn down to get to the wires before they can place the new wires in and patch seal everything behind new drywall.
You may luck out and not have to tear down walls, but instead cut into select places for electricians to get at the wiring. Electricians can even fish wires through the walls using rods and a thin metal line called fish tape.
Typical Requirements for a Rewired Home
Staying within the recommended specifications can be tricky, especially if you’re unsure whether your home needs to be rewired. Here are a few standards to keep in mind:
- If any of your rooms (usually kitchens and bathrooms) have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), this helps protect you from high currents and electrocution.
- If your home has a grounding wire. Electrical systems are safest when grounded, but older homes usually don’t have a grounding wire. Grounding wires offer a path for electricity to flow whenever there’s an electricity malfunction, so instead of an electric shock, the electricity flows straight to the earth.
Signs Your House Needs Rewiring
Safety is a top priority, and outdated or faulty wiring is a serious threat to homeowners. It’s important to watch for any signs that would indicate an electrician needs to inspect your home. There are some distinct clues as to when you should seriously consider rewiring your home.
- Flickering lights
- Charred or discolored outlets
- A constant burnt smell (plastic or vinyl), usually accompanied by a sizzling sound
- Frequent tripped circuit boards or blown fuses
- Visibly damaged wires
It’s never a good idea to try rewiring your house yourself unless you’re a trained professional electrician, as inexperienced homeowners trying to fix the wiring themselves can lead to faulty wiring. Since electrical rewiring for your home is first and foremost an issue of safety, it’s paramount to have a licensed electrician fix the wiring in your home.
Once Rewired, You’re Set for Life
Understandably, the task of upgrading your electrical panel or rewiring your entire house can be overwhelming. The good news is, once your home is upgraded with new wiring, if properly installed, it can last up to 100 years. Several factors determine how long new electrical wiring will last — it all depends on the type of wiring, how it’s used, and what kind of house you live in (especially if your house has proper insulation).
It’s also important to know that updated electrical wiring improves the property value of your home, as functional, up-to-date wiring is a big priority for future homeowners. Keeping the house up-to-date is critical for any homeowner, as it’s always better to be proactive versus reactive. Keeping an eye on your electrical wiring, and knowing when to call a licensed electrician, can save money and lives.
Don’t wait until you smell fire — update your home and schedule electrical rewiring by contacting Reliable Electrical Services today!