If you’re in any doubt that the electrical system in your home is outdated, you’re running the risk of overheating wires and sparking a fire.
Most of us take our electricity supply for granted or simply don’t give a second thought to what powers our lights, appliances and devices. It’s good to know then how to avoid a dangerous situation by understanding your electric power system.
In simple terms, your system is analogous to our body’s circulatory system. The heart is the electrical panel from which the circuits carry the electric current throughout the home to the lights, appliances and devices. The circuits therefore are like the arteries and veins.
The electric panel determines the amount of power that is available to the circuits. Each circuit distributes the power to different parts of the home, the circuit’s on-off mechanism controlled by a circuit breaker. The size and number of circuit breakers determine how the power is used in the home.
Often a problem occurs in an older property in which the system has become outdated. A large proportion of such homes were built for purpose with only 30 to 60 amps powering the whole, utilising only a few circuits.
So what are the symptoms of a home in need of an electrical system upgrade? Do any of these things apply?:
• Your circuit breakers trips (i.e. switches off) frequently;
• Your lights dim when you switch on other appliances;
• You’re using adapters or extension cords to create more electric outlets in the home.
If you answered yes to any or all of the above, you need your system checked out. In the case of the breakers, these should trip and cut the flow of power to the circuits. The circuits are a single wire connecting a series of outlets that can otherwise overload and overheat.
What will need addressing?
• Your panel will need upgrading to bring more power to your home. Or the panel or circuit breakers replaced if they are obsolete, damaged or dangerous;
• The existing meter and circuit breaker box replaced so the panel can handle more power;
• Additional circuits installed to distribute the power to your rooms and appliances and new electrical outlets provided, replacing the old receptacles.
Be extremely cautious about upgrading your system unless you’re qualified to do so. If you’re local, do call us for a professional consultation. We are Swindon electricians ready to help you.