With a new electronic gadget hitting the market almost every day, it is understandable that you might wonder if your home can accommodate the rising demand for electricity. Thankfully, most of the new electronic devices have very little power. The cell phone battery draws only 10 watts, and the 50-inch LED TV draws about 100 to 200 watts. That’s not a lot compared to those with 75 to 100 watts that the average incandescent light bulb TAK requiring Electrical Services and new panel upgrades to accommodate the new energy demand. There are, however, a number of energy hogs that can tax the electrical system of the home. For example, a central air conditioning system will need between 3,000 and 5,000 watts to operate.
Having More Power
The electrical system in the house has a certain amount of amps it can support when it was installed, or at least the last time it was rewired. Houses built or rewired more than 30 years ago may have 60-or 100-amp service (amps are an indicator of the quantity of electrical power). Newer homes may have a service of 150 or 200 amp. Quite large houses could have a 400-amp facility. Over the years, the rise in amps has kept pace with the number of new electrical appliances.
The amps shown on the main circuit breaker in the panel box set the maximum number that the house can comfortably use. Amps are also rated on each circuit in the house. If the power demand for the circuit approaches the amps for which the circuit is rated, the circuit breaker will be switched on and off to the circuit because there is a danger of overheating the wiring.
If you’re talking of adding a large electrical appliance such as an air conditioner, an electrical appliance, an automatic clothes dryer or a hot tub where you haven’t had one before, you can decide if your home will accommodate the added electrical load. You should also consider upgrading the installation if you are planning to add living space and you can not meet the new electrical demand by adding additional circuits to the existing panel unit.
The best way to determine if you need an update is to address the device with an electrician at Bay Area Electrical. Better still, get recommendations and a detailed report from at least three electricians for the Electrical Services.
Upgrading electrical service involves replacing the current panel box with a bigger one. The cost of upgrading to a 200-amp panel will be $2,000 to $3,000. The job would include a licensed electrician, a utility company and a local building inspector because you will need a building permit to have the work done. Essentially, the utility must cut the power to your house from the outside so that the electrician can make the switch safely. The electrician must move the wiring from the original cables to the new box. It will also add new connectors for existing or additional equipment. He’s going to ground the box by connecting a copper electrode from the box to a water pipe or a grounding electrode buried in the ground.
When the electrical worker is out, the building inspector will test the job. If electrical work is carried out, the utility company will reconnect the external power lines. The utility company will not repair the cables until the contractor signs off on the work. Be warned that the electrical worker or the building inspector may find other issues with the electrical system once the work is underway. If the system fails to comply with the electrical code, the inspector will not allow the utility to reconnect the power lines until the problem has been fixed. Sometimes the utility has to remove the cables that extend from the utility pole to your building. You may be paid for this, so be sure to ask about this when you contact the update service.
It’s important that you work with a qualified electrician. There are a number of different people involved, and you’re going to be useless while the work is finished, so make sure you or the electrician has everyone on the same page.
Upgrading your electrical service may seem like a daunting challenge, but it’s best to make sure your home can comfortably handle the regular electrical devices you need.