Queens NY Residential Electricity Rewiring – What Consumers Should Know
The electrical system is one of the most vital components of a residential, commercial, and industrial building. Without the system, there would be no electricity to power your appliances, electronics, central heating, and air conditioning unit, and lighting system. Instead of walking into a comfortable environment after returning home from a long day standing on your feet, you would be met by a cold gush of air.
Living comfortably in the modern world would not be possible with electricity. Nearly every home in Queens is installed with a residential electric panel. This is the heart of an electrical system. It consists of multiple fuses or circuit breakers and wires of varying colors.
When To Replace Residential Electrical Panel?
Homes dating back to 1949 and earlier are installed with electrical systems. However, these electrical systems have long since been considered dangerous and no longer meet the current electrical building codes. While it is not necessary to update the home’s electrical system at this point, it is highly recommended. In order to make the house eligible for resale, the electrical system will need to be updated.
The outdated residential electrical system consists of cloth-covered wiring that is only guaranteed to last 50 years at best. This type of wiring poses fire risks due to the deteriorated cloth covering, which can break off and come into contact with electrical wires that are exposed to the elements.
Know The Signs Of A Failing Electrical System
Every homeowner should be aware of their electrical system. They should at least know the basics of functionality, capability, and limitations. It is also important to know the signs of a failing electrical panel. These signs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Unexpected power surges not associated with the provider.
- Unexpected power outages not associated with the provider
- Unexplained blown electrical fuses
- Unexplained tripping of electrical breakers
- Visual signs of damage caused by years of service
It is recommended to make routine inspections of your electrical system. Look for the aforementioned signs and visually inspect the electrical panel and breakers at least once a year. If your home was constructed before 1950, routine electrical panel inspections should be conducted bi-annually.
Inability To Shut Off Main Breaker
(Inability to shut off the main breaker in an electrical panel has been linked to outdated electrical systems. It is recommended to test the main breaker during the annual or bi-annual electrical panel inspection. This is a simple task that will take only about 15 minutes, depending on how many electrical outlets are in the home.
Flip the main circuit breaker to the Off position. Utilizing a voltmeter, test each outlet in your home. This will help determine if the main breaker is doing what it is supposed to. If the main circuit breaker is off, there should no power running into the home.
During the main circuit breaker inspection, the voltmeter (multi-meter) should not detect an electrical current. In this case, the voltmeter reading should be 0.001 or just 0. If an electrical current is detected, the reading will measure higher. This is a sure sign there is a problem with your main circuit breaker.
Residential Electrical Rewiring – What Is It And How Does It Work?
A residential electrical rewiring entails the replacement of all the electrical wiring, electrical panel, and circuit breakers. This is a complex process that can take days or weeks to complete, depending on the electrician and the size of your home. Multi-story home electrical rewiring takes twice as long as a single-story.
When Is Time To Rewire A Home?
All homes built in 1949 and earlier need to be rewired. Other factors that can help homeowners determine if their electrical wires need to be replaced include the following:
- Installed with cloth-insulated electrical wiring
- Installed with knob and tube electrical wiring
- Installed with electrical aluminum wiring (see below)
- Malfunctioning main circuit breaker
- Unexpected, frequent circuit breaker tripping
- Unexpected, frequent power outages
- Missing ground wires
- Missing electrical copper ground rod
- Non-working electrical outlets
Electrical Aluminum Wiring
While residential electrical system rewiring is not recommended for homes built after 1950, there is one exception to this rule. Between 1960 and 1970, electricians oftentimes utilized aluminum electrical wiring to minimize installation costs. At the time, electricians thought it was good to utilize the aluminum electrical wiring in residential settings. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
Aluminum electrical wiring has long since been deemed “unsafe.” Experts have deemed this type of wiring a “fire hazard.” It has been determined that aluminum electrical wiring has the potential to “contract and expand” in a different manner than the modern electrical wiring system. This variance increases the risk of fire by at least 55 percent.
Are Deteriorated Electrical Wires Dangerous?
When electrical wiring is guaranteed to deteriorate over time, decades of normal wear and tear will still put a strain on your electrical system. A U.S. Fire Administration report revealed 67,800 house fires were linked to electrical issues. These house fires claimed the lives of 485 people and left $868 million in damage to impacted properties.
What Kind Of Electrical Wiring Does My Home Have?
The only way to determine what type of wiring is installed in your home is a visual inspection of the electrical panel. Before starting the electric panel inspection, it is important to know what you are looking for as far as the electrical wiring goes.
There are several types of electrical wiring that can still be found in homes. These include:
- Aluminum wiring
- Cloth-insulated wiring
- Knob and tube wiring
- Modern electrical wiring with grounded neutral wires
How Much For A Full Residential Electrical Rewiring?
A residential rewiring project will vary from one home to another. There are several factors that will help determine the final cost. These factors include home size, electrician fees, and cost of labor. As one of the top electricians in Queens, New York, we offer free in-home electrical wiring inspections and quotes.