Upgrading the electrical system of your home can be messy as it includes things like opening several walls, installing new wiring, setting up switches for the new power lines, installing new outlets in appropriate places, and closing the walls. You may want to add some diagnostics, to make sure everything is alright with the existing wiring as well. After all of that, of course, there’s the cleaning. To make the whole project easier on your nerves and wallet, keep these things in mind.
Know the warning signs
First, differentiate between a nice-to-have home update and a safety problem. These are the signs that your electrical system is hazardously inefficient or potentially faulty and should be urgently addressed:
- Fuses blow regularly
- Light switches are hot
- Lights get dim when appliances are on
- Light bulbs often blow out
- Outlets are broken
- The electrical panel is warped from heat
- Your electricity bill is too high for the home size
Time your upgrade
Considering all the mess and effort involved, try to plan your electrical upgrade for when you have some other big home project to do. Including it in renovations or large-scale repairs will spare you some inconvenience.
If you’re already planning to knock down some walls, having new wires added along the way won’t be as much of a bother. Coordinate schedules with your chosen electrician to make sure you’ll both be available throughout. Agree on the best time for your project and make sure to inform them of any other professionals on-site so they can adapt.
The right person for the job
One smart approach would be to look for someone who operates in your location. For example, if you live in Northern Sydney, look for a reliable residential electrician in Artarmon or Northern Beaches. A local electrician will be more affordable, plus know all the little quirks that might be typical for the home electrics of the area.
Not all electricians provide the same services, though, even if they’re equally certified professionals. Before you start calling handypeople, do some reading on the different types of electrical services.
When you find a few likely prospects, take some time to review their portfolios. What kinds of projects have they done before? What do past customers say about them? Are they mentioned on any review websites? What experience and certifications do they have? How do they handle problems on the job? Have a well-rounded idea of who you might be trusting with your home.
Review power requirements
Take this opportunity to figure out the amount of power your home will need on a daily basis. Take stock of all of your appliances, big and small, and check them for power specifications. This includes your:
- Laundry machine
- Entertainment consoles
- Electric kettles, smoothie blenders, bedside lamps…
How often do you use each of these and for how long each time? It stacks up.
Since modern home appliances draw a lot of power, if your home is of an older build, it may not be able to keep up for much longer. An insufficient power infrastructure poses a risk of fires due to overload, not to mention the perpetual inconvenience of tripped breakers.
Update your meter
An electrical meter is an essential troubleshooting and diagnostics component because it tells you just how much power your home consumes.
Some modern appliances eat up more electricity, and your upgrade will probably result in more amperage for your house. You’ll need a meter that can keep up. Opt for one of the newer models, the so-called smart meters. These are more energy-efficient and can help you cut down on utility bills in the long run.
Take a good look at where exactly the current meter is positioned. If it’s difficult to access safely, located inconveniently high, or stowed away in a cramped basement corner, you may be faced with increased costs on account of accessibility issues. Consider that and plan your budget accordingly.
To wrap up, an electrical upgrade of the home is a big and expensive project but well worth the investment. It can save you money in the long run, increase appliance efficiency, and contribute to your and your family’s safety. To minimize hassle, time it with a renovation or other repair, and do your research before calling in the pros.