Is There a Hazard Lurking in Your Walls?
Your electrical box is the spot where electricity from the grid connects to your home. From here your breaker box divides up the electrical source to different rooms and different areas of your home. This is just the basics of your home electricity. While many people know how to turn a breaker back on when one has flipped, not very many homeowners understand the importance of the age of the wiring in their homes, current regulations, and the risk potential of losing your home because of an old fuse box.
If Your Home Is More Than 15 Years Old
The problem for insurance companies is that your home inspector is not allowed to dig into your walls for any reason, not for termites, leaks, or checking the viability of a certain material. As such, a home inspector cannot say for certain that a particular home has a particular grade of wiring. The existence of 2-pronged outlets rather than 3-pronged is a definitive sign that the wiring is very old.
However, new regulations have made it so that a home electrical box has to be attached outside the home. This regulation was imposed in part by the fire department, which has proven that it is advantageous to have the electrical panel on the exterior of the home so that when fire fighters arrive at a home that is aflame, they can quickly shut off all the electricity to the house. This was imposed all over the country 15 years ago, and as a result of how long it takes new regulations to take effect, homes that are 12-15 years old and younger have exterior breakers.
What This Means for You
No matter if your electrical box is inside or outside, what you need to realize is that the wiring and electrical panel in older homes was designed for very low loads. If you go 20 years back, the typical home had a fridge, a TV, washer/dryer, water heater, HVAC unit, a microwave, and dishwasher. If you go 35 years back, there were no microwaves. The amount of load that the typical home's fuse box could carry was enough to manage, even with the addition of more televisions and a microwave.
Jump forward to today. If your home was built 50 years ago, it not only might be struggling to handle the addition of a TV and a microwave, but your home is also struggling to handle multiple TVs, CD players, DVD/VHS players, computers, and printers, not to mention coffee makers, coffee grinders, game systems, blenders, food processors, paper shredders, and the list goes on.
Upgrading Your Electrical
Call Mike Counsil Electric, Inc. at 408-212-0230
Is Your Home Wiring a Hazard in Your Walls?