- Major Systems >
- Electricity in the Modern Home
Electricity in the Modern Home
Some old homes were designed to run off less power than the modern home. Most states have a 100 amp minimum requirement. Homes running under that service could consider an upgrade to bring them to between 100 and 200 amps, which could run upwards of $2,000. Homeowners should evaluate their power demands first. “A homeowner can have an electrician test the system with an amp meter while all the big loads are on,” says Holt. “If the draw is over 75-80 percent of the service size, you might consider an upgrade. Otherwise you should be fine.”
Routine Maintenance and Testing
Both GFCIs and AFCIs come with test switches and should be tested every thirty days. Testing a GFCI is straightforward: Press the “reset” button on the receptacle. Plug a lamp into the outlet and turn it on. The light should be on. Press the “test” button. The “reset” button should pop out and the lamp should turn off. Push the “reset” button once more; the lamp should turn back on. If the test does not work like this, the receptacle is faulty and should be inspected by a professional.
Homeowners should also make routine checks of their receptacles and switches. Loose receptacles and switches, as well as burn marks around outlets and receptacles, should be addressed immediately. Prompt repairs are also necessary if a receptacle is glowing or hot to the touch, or if a homeowner feels a tingle or similar sensation when touching something metal inside or outside the home.
Appliance cords, extension cords, and rarely used lights, like Christmas or patio lights,should also be inspected. “If a cord is worn, or the ground is broken, throw the cord away,” insists Holt.
One indicator of a potential wiring problem is if certain lights dim or brighten intermittently and for no apparent reason. “Lighting that flickers or acts erratically is a sign,” says Holt. Lighting can experience a momentary decrease in brightness when a large load has just started, or when a cycling appliance (an iron, for instance) is in use. If this is not the cause, homeowners should seek professional help.
- 10 Popular Driveway Options to Welcome You Home
- 12 Hobbit Houses to Make You Consider Moving Underground
- 12 Wow-Worthy Woods for Kitchen Countertops
- 15 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Big
- 20 Clever Ideas for Repurposed Storage
- 10 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities
- 12 "Expert Picks" for Fail-Safe Colors
- 10 "Neat" Garage Storage Solutions
- 10 Reasons to Love Architectural Salvage
- 10 Design Inspirations for Mudrooms and Entryways
- Painted Cabinets: 10 Reasons to Transform Yours Now
- Kitchen Flooring: 8 Popular Choices
- 10 "Dream-Worthy" Swimming Pools
- Paint Guide: 10 Essentials for Successful House Painting
- Murphy Beds: 9 Hide-Away Sleepers
- 10 Low-Cost Ways to Improve Your Home Security
- 12 Ways to Put Your Home on an Energy Diet
- 13 Easy Ways to Repurpose Antique Armoires
- Bob Vila's Guide to Historic House Styles
- 10 Things to Do with... Cross-Cut Trees