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When Do I Need To Hire An Electrical Contractor?

by Sara Cook

Many electrical services can be performed by an average handyman. However, unlike other handyman projects, faulty electrical work can kill you or cause a fire that can destroy your home. Assuming that you decide to hire a professional electrical contractor to perform your electrical work, when do you need to call them?

When your present electrical system needs to be updated

Sometimes when you move into an older home that has been occupied for many years by the same family, you may be surprised to find one power outlet in some rooms. Some rooms may have no power outlets. Many years ago, there was no need for multiple outlets because people owned fewer electrical appliances than they own today.

An electrical contractor can install additional outlets onto the present lines or run additional lines from the fuse or circuit breaker box. In older homes, this relatively simple job becomes more complex because additional wiring has to be installed in a hidden and unobtrusive manner.

Older two-pronged outlets may also be prevalent in older homes. An electrical contractor can replace them all with modern three-pronged outlets that are more compatible with new appliances.

Older or defective light switches are somewhat simple to replace but are often connected to older poorly insulated wiring. A professional electrical contractor, like Conway Electric, can assess the problem to be sure it is the switch that is defective.

When you are having power issues

Repeated blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers could be a sign that you are overloading the circuit. If you are using multiple power strips to handle all your electrical needs, you may need to have additional lines added to avoid overloading the lines. (Side note: Never run power strips from other power strips. This can create overheating and a fire hazard).

Similar problems occur when you use an electrical appliance that draws too much power on the same line as other appliances. Hair dryers, microwaves, and air conditioners often must be used on a separate line. An electrical contractor can add additional lines for high-powered items such as these.

Special lines must also be added for new additions, such as electric clothes dryers or stoves. These require extra thick wiring and outlets designed for their unique plugs.

When your electric service panel needs updating

As an older home may have too few outlets, it may also have an under-powered or outdated service panel. In order to perform other electrical services to update your home, the service panel where your fuses or breakers are located may need to be updated first.

Electrical services can be costly, depending on the services performed, but are necessary to enjoy the benefits that we take for granted until we lose power.