Rises in power consumption presents risk for older homes

Posted on April 24, 2014 by ngce

IF you compare a home from the 1970s to a modern home of today, not only have house sizes increased but the number of appliances and energy consuming devices has drastically increased. From air conditioners, dishwashers, personal computers and charging mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, there are significantly more pieces of power consuming equipment in our homes today than in decades past. While new homes are built to keep up with increasing demands, wiring and power outlets in older homes

If you live in an older home, or are a property investor renting an older property, it’s essential that you home is equipped with electrical safeguards to ensure electrical safety throughout the home to prevent overloaded circuits, electric shock and the chance of overheating which can lead to house fires. We explain exactly what some of these safeguards are in this post.

Older Switchboards

Switchboards in post war homes typically consist of five ceramic fuses, one light circuit, two power circuits a stove and a hot water circuit. While this was sufficient for home running on 60w globes and less lighting fixtures, this is not sufficient for new lighting trends and options. Its essential that older switchboards are upgraded to accommodate extra power points for additional light fittings and devices. If you’re planning on renovating an older home with new electrical features and new fixed appliances, it’s essential that an older switchboard is also upgraded.

Aging Wiring

Another concern about the electrical safety in older homes is aging wiring, too much consumption can cause overheating and when combined with older wiring the protective coating can degrade. If outlets and circuits have been added to accommodate new equipment used, sometimes the usage can be far more than what the circuit was designed to originally accommodate.

How much power is enough?

If you’re resorting to using overloaded power boards for all your home theatre and lounge room technology, it might be worth considered extra power points being installed. Depending on the number of people in the house, and the equipment used will determine how much power is sufficient.

Are you in doubt? Inspect and Assess

Before you buy an older property it’s worth bringing the help of licensed electricians to inspect the wiring and electrical safety of the property to know what you are dealing with. This can influence your purchase decision, and if repairs are needed it could allow you to negotiate a better price. Sparks also known as ‘arc faults,’ are a growing issue in older homes and you need to know what you are dealing with. If you’re renting the home to tenants it’s your legal obligation to make sure the property is electrically sound.

With our changing power consumption patterns, coupled with the well documented risks of aging wiring, if you own an older home and haven’t had the electrical systems inspected, don’t wait or bury your head in the sand.

Our electricians at North Gold Coast Electrical can advise you on the best course of action to take, in line with your budget. Call us today on (07) 5500 0222