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Electricity is one of the most important aspects of our homes in Myrtle Beach, SC. However, the electrical system that powers modern life can be very complex. Homes used to have rather basic wiring that carried enough electricity to power lights and a few appliances. Modern homes use a lot more electricity. Very few homeowners are really qualified to fix electrical issues when something goes wrong. The likelihood of problems rises when amateurs attempt to repair existing wiring or install new wiring during remodeling projects. It’s much safer to hire a professional electrician.
Electrical systems are installed in the early stages of construction and remodeling projects. This protects electrical wiring and components from damage and reduces the risk of accidents among other workers or a home’s occupants. However, it can also make it harder to access wiring at a later date. Experienced electricians know what they’re looking for and understand how the wiring is installed. Some areas of a home use more electricity than others. Home offices, kitchens, workshops, and garages may require more power than other rooms. An electrician takes these factors into account while updating or installing wiring.
Many homes built over 30 to 40 years ago aren’t well suited to modern electrical needs. Most residential homes and buildings need a system of at least 100 amps, but this is the bare minimum. Remodeling offers a good opportunity to upgrade your home’s electrical system if you haven’t done so before. A common upgrade increases electrical systems from approximately 200 amps to 400 amps.
The entire electrical system should be replaced, including the electrical panel, load side service entry systems, meter bases, and other components. Older homes may have breakers capable of providing 60-amp service, but newly installed breakers can handle over 200 amps. Repairing or replacing components of existing electrical panels is probably not sufficient. An entirely new replacement minimizes tripped fuses and problems with power.
Technology has reached the point where almost everything can be remote-controlled or automated through ‘smart’ features. Although features of a smart home in Myrtle Beach, SC, may be convenient, they aren’t always easy to install and set up. An electrician can help.
Smart features to consider include remote-controlled blinds, smoke alarms, lights, video surveillance, and other security systems. A smart refrigerator can even let you know what groceries need to be replaced. Automated or remote-controlled sprinkler systems make lawn maintenance easier and may even improve water efficiency, while smart thermostats save energy by heating and cooling your home according to daily routines.
Outlets and Receptacles
Outlets, receptacles, and light switches need to be replaced as well. Appliances that use a lot of electricity need appropriate receptacles. A malfunctioning outlet can cause problems that affect other parts of the home and may even create sparks or start fires. Traditional outlets in neutral colors are popular because they’re familiar and fit in with almost any interior decorative scheme, but there are more stylish covers available. Some types of outlet covers imitate stone, iron, wood, or even detailed engraved designs.
An electrician can install outlets properly and make sure that every room in your home has at least one ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, breaker. A GFCI is a small button in the middle of an outlet with two sockets and provides additional protection from certain electrical hazards.
GFCI outlets are designed for potentially high-risk areas where electricity and moisture are present, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or pool areas. Moisture can accelerate erosion inside an outlet that could go completely undetected in a regular outlet until a problem occurs. GFCI outlets contain built-in sensors that detect changes inline source current and trips a breaker if irregularities exist.
Most GFCI outlets have one black and one red button. The black button is used to test the outlet, while the red button resets the internal breaker after a trip. Pressing the black button should produce an audible snapping sound if the circuit is broken. You can also plug something into the outlet to see if it has power or not. Pressing the red button should restore power after a reset.
Some ground fault interrupter outlets manufactured after 2006 lack exterior test buttons. These outlets have plug-in circuit testers instead. Sporadic GFI trips can occur for many reasons that may have nothing to do with the outlet itself. Faulty appliances or power surges may be responsible. Contact an electrician to determine the cause of frequent trips.
GFCI outlets have a functional lifespan of 10 to 15 years, but consider calling an electrician to inspect your outlets if they’ve been exposed to moisture, high temperatures, chemicals, or extended periods of UV light. All of these things could potentially damage the ground fault interrupter. All GFCI outlets should be tested once a month, especially outlets on the home’s exterior. Outlets near outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas may benefit from more frequent testing.
It’s also important to remember that many power strips sold in stores don’t have GFCI outlets and may simply be extension cords with extra outlets. They aren’t able to protect your home and appliances from power surges. You can ask an electrician for help finding quality surge protectors and GFCI outlets.
Remodeling and renovations also offer an opportunity to improve interior and exterior lighting. There are many options available, such as ceiling fans, chandeliers, ambient lighting with dimmer switches, sconces, pendants, or recessed lighting. Interior lighting is necessary for practical reasons and complements your home’s aesthetics. Outdoor lighting, such as porch lights or motion-activated floodlights, improve security and help you safely move around outdoors at night when necessary.
Contact Mister Sparky Myrtle Beach to protect your home in Myrtle Beach, SC, and explore remodeling options that fit your personal preferences and budget. Call 843-894-0898 to schedule an appointment or talk to professional electricians that can answer any questions you may have. Mister Sparky also offers emergency services.