A Complete Residental Electrical Service Upgrade in Northern Virginia
Many people in Northern Virginia live in homes that were built more than 35 years ago, which means that many of these homes have electrical systems that were not built to handle today’s electrical needs. This makes an electric service upgrade not only desirable, but a safety necessity. An obsolete home electrical system trying to handle modern electricity needs is not just inconvenient for home owners who constantly struggle with flickering lights, tripping breakers and too few outlets for too many modern appliances—it can be downright dangerous. Electrical fires account for almost half of the home fires in the United States in any given year, which adds up to over 26,000 fires, $1 billion in property loss, as well as hundreds of people killed and thousands injured.
An electric service upgrade to increase the amount of power coming into the house is a big job that requires professional help from an experienced team of electricians.
What an Electric Service Upgrade Involves:
A complete electrical service upgrade to your home is a complex job that, for safety and quality reasons, requires an experienced electrician. It usually involves upgrading electrical service in the home to 200 amps, which is the standard in today’s homes. In some cases, however, an upgrade to 400 amps or more may be necessary.
An electric service upgrade normally involves the complete replacement of electrical service around the house. This includes the line side service entrance cable, meter base, weather head, load side service entrance cable, the grounding and bonding system, and, of course, the electric panel itself. Sometimes, we are able to update the electrical meter and the new electric panel in their original locations, if the layout of the house has not changed much over the years. This situation is generally easier and costs less.
In cases where the structure of the house has changed over the years, however, we may need to relocate the electric panel and/or the meter. While this type of service upgrade is more expensive due to the labor and material involved, the main concern for any electric service upgrade is to ensure your home and family’s safety, as well as making sure that your home can easily handle the electrical demands of modern life.
#1: Meter mast
Your electrical meter mast is the pole that leads out of your electrical meter towards the overhead or underground service wire. Homeowners are responsible for repairs or upgrades of the mast, and your electrical utility owns the overhead or underground lines.
#2: Electrical meter
You’ll typically find your electrical meter outside the home. It attaches to the mast (either above or below ground to the utility line). For a service upgrade, often the meter needs replacing. In older homes, the meter might be inside. In this case, your electrician will move it to the exterior.
#3: Electrical panel
Older homes typically have a 100 AMP service panel, but mid-century homes could even have a 60 AMP service. Mr. Electric recommends upgrading to a 200 AMP electrical panel so you’ll have the capacity for modern needs. Sometimes, the electrical panel might be relocated or amalgamated with extra panels simultaneously.
Why Invest In An Electrical Service Upgrade?
#1: More Power
Modern homes consume more power than an older electrical system can handle. Operating modern appliances, electronics, and devices on an older system can overload it. As a result, you might experience frequent circuit tripping or more hazardous issues. Upgrading the system will ensure your home has the electrical capacity it needs to run safely and conveniently.
#2: Upgrading The Home
During a home renovation, you might upgrade things requiring higher electrical service. For example, installing hot tubs, a second kitchen, or an electric vehicle charger will require an electrical system with more capacity.
If your breakers are constantly tripping, or you’ve noticed heat, buzzing from your electrical panel, or flickering lights, your home could be at risk. Faulty electrical equipment is a leading cause of house fires. Protect your home and family by calling the best electricians in Northern Virginia for an electrical service upgrade.