As a California homeowner, you know that this is not the best time to put your house on the market, which may be why so many people are opting to upgrade their existing homes instead of seeking a replacement. One of the improvements you should consider is an electrical make over.
Electrical wiring can suffer wear and tear, and older homes were simply not built to meet today’s electrical needs, but these deficiencies can be overcome by hiring an experienced electrician. Santa Monica, CA building codes have changed over the years as well, and companies like The Electric Connection that specialize in rewiring older homes can bring your house into compliance with the latest regulations.
Replace Aluminum Wiring
If your home was built during the 1960s and 1970s, you may be living in a fire trap. During that time approximately 2 million homes were built or remodeled using aluminum wiring before it was discovered that this type of wiring poses a significant fire hazard. The problem occurs at the electrical connection points where the wiring is spliced to connect to a switch, outlet or circuit breaker. Aluminum expands and shrinks in response to temperature changes, a process which can cause breaks and frays over time. The US Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) has expressed grave concern over this issue stating that homes with aluminum wiring are up to 50 times more likely to have a fire than homes with copper wiring.
How will you know if you need to have all of the electrical wiring in your house replaced? Fortunately, you may not necessary need a complete rewire in your home or business. A licensed electrician in Santa Monica can evaluate this for you, and tell you to what extent you’ll need to go in order to make your home safe. The Electric Connection, which specializes in house rewires explains that depending on the situation, there might be a fairly inexpensive solution. For example, you may simply need to replace the connection points in your home or business with copper electrical connectors. Not every Santa Monica electrician is trained in this type of retrofit, so you when you’re searching for electrician Santa Monica, it’s important to find a highly trained and fully licensed electrician to perform aluminum-to-copper retrofits.
Replace Cloth Insulated Wiring
Older homes, those built prior to 1950, may have a different electrical safety issue. During this time many homes used cloth insulated wiring, something which can appear similar to the insulated wiring used today. The danger builds over time; as the cloth ages it dries and can begin to flake off. Once portions of the wire are exposed, they pose a serious shock and fire danger.
Another challenge presented in older homes or buildings with cloth insulated wiring is that this wiring was frequently not grounded. At the time there were a limited number of electrical appliances and no home computers, so grounding was not considered a serious issue. Today all new homes are grounded so that excess electrical charges caused by electric surges are routed out of the house and into the ground, protecting electronic devices, computers and appliances. An electrician from Santa Monica can replace cloth insulated wiring with a grounded system, making your home and belongings safe from electrical fire and damage caused by power surges.
Upgrade Two-Prong Outlets
Another problem with older homes is the lack of three-prong outlets, something that is necessary for most modern appliances. Many homeowners mistakenly think they can simply purchase the three-prong version at the hardware store and swap out their existing two-prong outlets, but doing so can create additional fire risks. Properly swapping out these outlets requires some rewiring so that the three-prong version is grounded. Your Santa Monica electrician can do these quickly and inexpensively for you, and can make certain that any existing three-prong versions have been installed properly.
So how do you determine what type of electrical wiring is in your Santa Monica CA home? The first step is to check the build date. If your home was built before 1950, you can call the Electric Connection for a free electrical estimate by a licensed Santa Monica Electrician. They will be able to quickly evaluate any electrical safety issues that you might have in your home or business electrical system.