Making Sure Your Fixer-Upper Is Wired For The Twenty-First Century

When you are in the market for a house, there are a lot of things to think about. For example, if the home you are considering is older, there may be things on the inspection report that need to be corrected in order to make the home safe. One very important thing that may need to be updated is the wiring. Here are some things that you need to know in order to make sure that your new (to you) older home is wired for the twenty-first century.

Be aware of wattage ratings.

If your home was built more than 30 years ago, there may not be a recommended wattage listed on the light fixtures. This is important to keep in mind, because using a bulb that has a higher wattage than what the fixture is rated for can be a serious fire hazard. The good news is that today's high efficiency light bulbs can use significantly less wattage, and still produce a bright light. In order to keep your home safe, use bulbs that are less than 60 watts in any fixtures that do not have a clear wattage rating label.

Outlets need to be updated.

In older homes, two-prong outlets can be annoying as well as unsafe. Not only do many modern devices require three-prong grounded outlets, some rooms, such as basements and kitchens, also require GFCI outlets. These specialized outlets are designed to stop working if they come in contact with more voltage than they are supposed to, like in the event of a power surge or ground fault. The great thing about these outlets is that rather than throwing the breaker for the entire room or portion of the house, there is a breaker built right into the outlet that can be reset and tested at the press of a button.

Consider the cost of rewiring.

If the home that you are considering has other wiring problems such as lights that dim unexpectedly, exposed wiring, or a significant lack of electrical outlets, it may be necessary to have the entire house rewired. This can cost between $8000 and $15,000, depending on the contractor and the extent of the work that is necessary to get everything up to code. However, if the savings on buying an older home versus a newer one is substantial, this may be a worthwhile investment.

Electrical problems do not have to keep you from purchasing your dream house. Being aware of things that need to be corrected and the cost of having them fixed can help you to budget for turning your fixer-upper into the perfect home. To learn more, contact a business like Action Electric.