Electricity Tips for New Homeowners of Old Homes

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Electricity Tips for New Homeowners of Old Homes

Hi, my name is Henry. I grew up in an old home and saw my parents frequently tackle projects such as rewiring the home or installing new garage doors to meet updated safety standards. As a kid, it just felt like a lot of busy activity, but as I got older and began working in real estate, I could see how essential these tasks were to owners of old homes. If you are a new homeowner with an old home, you are in for a treat, but you will also face challenges inherent with owning a home with old wiring. To help you, this blog has tips on repairing, rewiring and assessing the electricity in old homes. Thanks for reading!

Is Your Old Electrical Switchboard up to the Job?

If you have a home with an old electrical switchboard, are you sure it's up to the task? Older switchboards can easily become overworked when they need to regulate the power supply for many modern electrical conveniences. Sometimes switchboard maintenance is required, and in the case of some particularly old units, a total replacement might be necessary. So what are some things that you need to look out for?

Signs of an Overworked Electrical Switchboard

Do any of these things happen in your home on a regular basis?

  • Your ceiling lights flicker.
  • Fuses blow and need to be replaced.
  • Your circuit breaker triggers itself for no obvious reason.

Working Beyond Its Capacity

These things can be symptoms of a switchboard that is working beyond its capacity. There's a certain logic to this. Switchboards safely distribute electricity around your home as needed. Older switchboards simply cannot cope well with modern electrical usage. This becomes even more pertinent when an older home has been renovated over the years. Additional electrical outlets might have been installed, increasing the amount of required electricity in your home when these outlets are in use. You might have more modern conveniences than existed when the switchboard was installed. Your outlets might be constantly in use for your various appliances, not to mention all the charging that some gadgets require. Some high-use appliances can also stretch an old switchboard to breaking point, such as air conditioning. If you have installed solar panels, the required metering and switch gearing is certainly beyond the capacity of some older switchboards. So what can you do if you are concerned that your electrical switchboard is overworked?

Inspection and Maintenance

First, contact an electrician to have your switchboard inspected. They will assess the age and state of your switchboard and will determine what is needed. If the problem is simply that your switchboard is working beyond its capacity, then a newer model will need to be installed. While this might seem like an inconvenience, it's much better than the alternative. When a switchboard is unable to efficiently regulate and distribute electricity, then an overcurrent can pose a fire risk. There's also the possibility of cable damage, which will require rewiring throughout your home. A fluctuating power supply to an individual appliance can also cause damage due to unexpected power surges.

So if you have noticed any of the signs of an overworked switchboard, it's important to arrange an inspection as soon as possible.