Modern homes require an efficient electrical system for lighting, air conditioning, and cleaning, among other tasks. The circuit distributes power throughout the building. If the electrical load does not match the circuit’s capacity, you may experience electrical problems. In such situations, you may need to upgrade the system to accommodate the load. Here are some of the issues that indicate it’s time for an upgrade.
1. Dimming or Flickering Lights
Dimming lights are the most common sign of an issue with the electrical load. There are several reasons why the bulb keeps flickering. It is easier to pinpoint the problem when you observe the actions that cause it.
The bulb may flicker randomly without any action prompting it. If it only affects one fixture, the wiring may be worn out. If several lights are blinking randomly, you should consult an electrician to inspect the electrical circuit.
On the other hand, if switching other lights on causes flickering, it is probably an electrical load problem. This means your circuit cannot handle the power demands from multiple devices and lighting fixtures.
A licensed electrician should assess issues with flickering lights and electrical loads. Typically, you’ll need to upgrade the electrical panel to accommodate new circuits. You can consult Huft Home Services with queries on circuit upgrades in Sacramento.
2. Your Electrical Circuit Is Constantly Tripping
The purpose of a circuit breaker is to stop electrical overloading. Without it, there is a greater risk of damaged appliances and fire hazards. When the electrical system trips, you can replace it with the flick of a switch. Usually, it is a minor issue that may not warrant repairs or an upgrade.
However, if the circuit is constantly tripping, it is a sign that there is an electrical load problem. An electrician can resolve the issue by upgrading the panel. An assessment of your system is essential to determine the power needs of your electrical system.
3. Burnt-Out Outlets and Damaged Electrical Wiring
Electrical faults can cause sparking that can quickly develop into a fire. If there are any indications of excessive heating inside the outlet, it is advisable to upgrade your electrical system.
One sign of defective outlets is brown coloration on the surface. You may also notice the smell of burning plastic and metal. When it gets to that stage, you may want to switch off the circuit and contact an electrician.
Another sign is when you experience mild shock and tingling when you touch the outlet. One of the possible sources is frayed electrical wiring. The shock can trigger electrical leakages and short circuits. If there are issues with worn-out connectors, there is a risk of electrocution and even an electrical fire.
4. You Use Extension Cords Excessively
To determine whether you need an upgrade, consider how you use extensions cords. Do you find that you have to stumble over cables to find an outlet?
Typically, it happens when the number of devices you have exceeds the available receptacles. Power strips or extension outlets allow for multiple appliances to connect to one power source.
Unfortunately, if you use extension cords for all your appliances, the draw can be too high for the circuit. In such instances, you will notice brown spots and discoloration on the power strip and receptacles.
You can upgrade your panel to increase the number of outlets in your home. Not only are power cords messy, but they can raise the risk of a hazard.
5. You Live in an Old House
Another reason you may want to upgrade the circuit is if the electrical system is outdated. Houses with electrical systems installed before 1970 have a fuse-based system rather than electrical panels.
A fuse-based circuit is not as efficient as one with a circuit breaker. Fuses can cut off the electrical supply, but they are prone to failures. They can generate heat when you replace them with a fuse with a higher rating.
The pre-1970 electrical systems may also violate building codes and regulations. The electrical panel may have fewer circuits than the code requires. Additionally, they don’t have an earth connection, and the wiring could be unprotected and dangerous in your home.
Old houses have aluminum wiring that can start electrical arcs. Aluminum does not have the conductivity of copper and can corrode rapidly. A circuit upgrade is necessary to prevent fire hazards in your home.
You may install a dielectric connector between the copper and aluminum wires in the circuit. The device prevents corrosion and addresses problems with conductivity. You can call Huft Home Services electricians to perform quality upgrades in Sacramento.
Additionally, the NEC (National Electric Code) requires Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters on certain outlets in your home. The purpose of the device is to minimize the risk of electric shock.
A GFCI outlet stops the current from arcing out of its path. It is installed in areas where there are water fixtures, such as an outlet near the bathroom sink or kitchen counter. During an electrical assessment, our electricians will identify areas that need a GFCI outlet.
6. You Have Done Extensive Renovations Recently
You should also consider an electrical upgrade if you have recently completed renovations in your home. A new circuit is necessary if you have additional appliances that draw considerable amounts of power.
Refrigerators, HVAC systems, dishwashers, and washing machines are some of the equipment that consumes the most power. If you’ve acquired such appliances recently, your circuit may not handle the additional load.
After a renovation project, an assessment is crucial to determine the condition of your electrical system. During the process, some parts of the wiring may have frayed. An electrician will check for frayed wiring and ensure wire connections are secure.
Benefits of Upgrading Your Circuit
Upgrading your circuit will require the install of a new electrical panel. The panel increases the load that each connection can handle, reducing fire hazards in the process.
According to statistics, there are more than 50,000 electrical fires in the United States. Arcing faults are responsible for around 28,000 fires annually. Approximately 5,300 of those incidences are from electrical outlets.
Therefore, a new panel will allow you to use multiple devices without worrying about exceeding the electrical load. It is essential for safety systems to continue working reliably to minimize accidents in the case of a fire.
An electrician can also troubleshoot and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In winter, the sensors should be working without problems. Faults within the electrical circuit can damage critical safety devices.
When the electrical system is working optimally, the power consumption is low. However, short circuits and electrical arcs force the outlet to draw more electricity from the system. As a result, your electricity bills will keep rising.
You also risk damaging valuable appliances in your home if the electrical system is faulty. Therefore, upgrading the circuit can cut down your household energy expenses.
Unless you have experience handling electrical circuits, you should consult a qualified professional. A licensed electrician can walk you through the options and provide insights on upgrading the electrical system.
If you are experiencing electrical issues, you can depend on Huft Home Services for repairs in Sacramento. We can replace or install outlets, fans, and lighting fixtures. If you are remodeling, our team can assess and rewire the circuit if necessary. Our team has a reputation for unrivaled craftsmanship and quality customer service. Contact our friendly help desk today for more information.