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Electricity use is at an all-time high due to the influx of technology—whether we're warming up leftovers in the microwave or plugging in our cell phones to charge at the end of the day, we are using electricity. These increased power demands can be taxing to the electrical systems in homes built prior to the 1990s.
Beyond demands on your home's electrical system, there are plenty of reasons why you might need the services of a qualified electrician. Adding on to your home? Updating light fixtures? Adding a ceiling fan? A licensed, professional electrician is key to a job that is done safely and correctly.
Regardless of the age of your home's electrical system, there are a few common issues to look for:
In most cases, the occasional power surge or tripped breaker isn't cause for major concern. Take note of it, and if it happens again, your best bet is to call in the pros to take a look. Even though you can safely reset a circuit breaker in your electrical panel, for example, needing to do so regularly definitely signals the need for a professional inspection.
Electrical companies offer a wide range of residential services, including upgrades, repairs, and installations. Here is a list of some of the most common services offered:
GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) and AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupter) receptacles and breakers are important safety devices. Depending on the age of your home and whether or not it has been renovated, you may already have some GFCI and AFCI protection. A licensed electrician can install the appropriate devices where they're needed to make your home safer.
Power outlets should be inspected regularly, especially in older homes. Old or degraded wiring in power outlets can cause electrical shorts and arcs, which can spark a fire. If the outlets in your home have only two prong slots instead of three, having an electrician upgrade them is a smart idea. Two-prong outlets aren't grounded, so they aren't as safe as their three-prong counterparts.
If you routinely use power strips and extension cords to avoid outdated outlets, call an electrician as soon as you can. For your safety, you should update the outlets in your house sooner rather than later.
Having your home's electrical system inspected every five years is a good rule of thumb. You'll need additional inspections if you do any remodeling or if you notice a specific problem.
Unless they've undergone major renovations, older homes typically have electrical panels that provide 100 amps of power. With modern power needs, 100 amps isn't enough. This limitation can lead to double-tapped breakers and general overcrowding in the panel, both of which are fire hazards.
If your home's main electrical panel provides only 100 or 150 amps and doesn't have any empty spaces for additional circuits, a panel upgrade is one of the best investments you can make.
Unfortunately, the beauty of older homes isn't enough to overlook the potential fire risks of original wiring. Older wiring, especially knob-and-tube and aluminum, can fray, melt, degrade, or corrode and pose a serious risk of fire.
Seattle electricians often provide more specialized services, such as landscape lighting installation, electric vehicle charging station installation, and standby generator installation and maintenance.