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Electrical

If you are planning a major home remodel, adding a room or garage, or finally the kitchen of your dreams, you should consider upgrading your electrical service.

Homes built 20 years, 30 years ago - or even earlier - typically featured 60 amp to 100 amp electrical service, some with fuse boxes. Today, with computers, central air conditioning and other high-power consuming appliances, most homes need 220 amp electrical service.

Electrical   Electrical

Not only do most of your home's appliances need additional power, but distribution panels with screw-in fuses are generally considered fire hazards. In many areas, insurance companies will not renew your homeowner's insurance your home has an electrical distribution panel with screw-in fuses.

If your current electrical service to your home is less than 220 amps - and especially if it has a distribution panel that uses screw in fuses -- you should consider replacing it a top priority.

Electrical     Electrical

Here are some other reasons to consider upgrading your electrical service:
Electrical
  1. Kitchen appliances -- if you regularly use a food processor, blender, coffee grinder, cappuccino maker and bread machines, you'll need plenty of electrical outlets to accommodate these must-have appliances.
  2. Computers -- which rooms do you have your computers and modems? Consider adding additional electrical outlets or a phone or modem line.
  3. Ceiling fans -- if you add extra wiring in your home, you can control the lights and fans separately from the wall switch, to adjust the fan speed, as well as turn off the light while leaving the fan on.
  4. Garage -- Can you use a power tool in the garage without unplugging the spare freezer? If not, upgrade the electrical service to your garage to reduce the possibility of a circuit overload.
  5. Home entertainment centers - wide-screen televisions, VCRs, stereos, CD and DVD players and home theatres all place large demands on your home's electrical capacity.
  6. Outdoors -- adding a pool or spa, automatic sprinklers or outdoor lighting will require more electricity.
Safety Precautions
Whenever you're working with anything electrical, you should always observe the following guidelines:

Electrical
  • Shut off power to any area before exposing or working on wiring.
  • Never work on the wiring inside your breaker box yourself - have an electrician work on this because these wires continue to be live, even with the main switch shut off.
  • Use a circuit tester to make sure there is no residual current still flowing to the circuit.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes.
  • Only use wood or fiberglass ladders.
  • Never work on electrical projects with wet hands, shoes or feet.
  • Never touch metal while you work, including pipes, faucets or appliances.
Remember: all electrical work requires review by your local electrical inspector to make sure the changes conform with local codes. If you fail to have the proper permits and inspections, it can cost you time - and money in penalties and possibly having to have the work redone. A licensed electrician will ensure that the work is done to code and that all the permits and inspections are taken care of.

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