When should you call an electrician for assistance? Learn what signs to look for that indicate it's time to call in a professional.
Signs Your Home or Business Needs an Electrical System Upgrade
Electrical System no longer sustains your establishment? Here are a few things to consider before contacting an electrician for an upgrade.
We’re more dependent on electricity today than ever before. We rely on a wide range of appliances in the home and office, and they all require a reliable, consistent connection to a power supply. However, many homes and businesses lack the modern electrical wiring and panels necessary for reliable, safe operation.
Do you have too few outlets? Are you tripping circuit breakers regularly? Is your electrical system straining to keep up with the load? You could need an electrical system upgrade. We’ll explore everything you need to know below.
Electrical System Upgrades Are Necessary
Your home or business electrical system must be up to code. Trying to power too many devices could put you in danger. If your system is outdated, it could lead to serious ramifications, including:
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Breakers that trip frequently
- Buzzing sounds
- Burning odors
- Damage to appliances/devices
- Sparking or even charred electrical outlets
- Scorch marks on walls from hot wiring
- Electrical fires
Regular electric maintenance can help to identify these problems before they become dangerous and ensure that you’re able to upgrade your electrical system in time.
The Benefits of Upgrading
- Improved safety
- Peace of mind
- Reduced costs
- Protection for expensive devices/appliances
- Improved value for resale
- Better usability
Signs Your Home Needs an Electrical System Upgrade
Unless your home is brand new (and sometimes even then), chances are good that it was not designed with today’s power-hungry devices and appliances in mind. Even 20 or 30 years ago, we did not have the same incredible range of electronics – HDTVs, computers, smartphones, smart assistants, and all the rest. Your home’s electrical system was not designed to deal with the load these devices place on it, and that can result in dangerous situations.
Some of the most important signs your home needs an electrical system upgrade include the following:
- Your lights dim or flicker when turning on appliances or devices.
- You sometimes smell an acrid, burning odor.
- You notice that switches or outlets are hot to the touch.
- You notice sparks when you plug in or unplug a device/appliance.
- Your circuit breakers trip often.
- You hear a buzzing sound.
The Electrician Will
- Check your service panel to determine if it is up to today’s electrical code and signs of damage/danger
- Inspect the number and type of outlets to determine if there is a threat and to recommend upgrades
- Inspect any areas of concern, including scorch marks, blackened outlets, or buzzing noises
- Inspect the type of wiring present to ensure it is up to today’s code and residential power demands
- Recommend a home electrical plan of action to improve your home’s system that includes upgrading your electrical panel, wiring, and outlets
Signs Your Business Needs an Electrical System Upgrade
Electrical problems are not limited to residential properties. If your commercial building was constructed more than a few years ago, chances are very good that your business needs an electrical system upgrade, as well.
Some key signs your business needs an electrical system upgrade include the following:
- Loose outlets
- Sparking at outlets when plugging in or unplugging devices
- Lights dim when using devices
- Lights flicker
- Outlets and light switches are hot to the touch
- Your employees are forced to rely on multiple extension cords
- Your electrical panel is hot
The Electrician Will
- Inspect your commercial electrical panel for signs of overloading or danger
- Inspect all outlets, including type and number, to help improve safety but also productivity in the workplace
- Investigate any sparking or burning smells to ensure employee safety
- Investigate the type of wiring present in your business to make sure it is up to code and capable of providing a consistent, uninterrupted flow of power
- Recommend a replacement and maintenance strategy to modernize your business’s electrical system
Out with the Old, In with the New Outlets
Outlets allow you to power devices and appliances in the home or office. However, old, outdated outlets can be safety hazards and must be replaced as soon as possible. Today’s outlets offer protection and security and come in a wide range of types designed for specific uses and needs, whether that’s installation in an area like the bathroom where moisture will be a problem or in a home with young children.
Outlet Types That Must Be Replaced
- Two-pronged, non-grounded outlets
- Non-GFCI outlets in wet or outdoor areas
- Unprotected outlets in homes/areas with small children
- Non-AFCI outlets
Modern Outlet Types
- GFCI Outlets – Designed for use in outdoor areas, kitchens, and bathrooms where moisture can be a safety threat, these outlets automatically turn off when moisture is present. They also include a test and reset button for additional safety.
- TRR Outlets – Designed to help prevent small children from tampering with outlets and improve the safety within homes and businesses, these outlets have a special cover that prevents little fingers from accessing them.
- USB Outlets – Designed to help make charging devices simpler and easier, these include both three-pronged electrical connections, as well as one or more USB charging ports.
- LED Outlets – Designed to provide both light at night and access to electricity, these can be installed in bedrooms, hallways, and other areas where a little extra light is necessary.
- AFCI Outlets – Designed to help prevent overheating and the threat of fire, these outlets shut down before any damage can occur.
- Recessed Outlets – Designed to keep cords from dangling and causing dangerous situations, these outlets are set deep into the wall.
Residential & Commercial Electrical System Maintenance in Las Vegas
Both residential and commercial power demands have changed a great deal in a very short time. Power-hungry devices and appliances have proliferated, but most homes and businesses lack the electrical system required to operate them safely. Overloading an outdated electrical system can result in serious hazards, including the risk of fire.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve discussed here, it’s time to act. Contact Bell Solar & Electrical today to learn more about upgrading your residential electrical system or commercial electrical system. You can also schedule a preventative maintenance inspection and we’ll work to develop a maintenance strategy and upgrade schedule that fits your needs and budget.