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Your home’s electrical wiring and equipment need to be carefully tended over the years to make sure the passage of time doesn’t cause unforeseen problems. Some of the problems are natural, like the aging of wire materials or increased power demands of modern devices, while others are avoidable, like well-meaning people installing outlets that either don’t meet code or aren’t wired using tried-and-true techniques that keep them tight and reliable. Still, others are the results of accidents such as plumbing and stormwater intrusion on your wiring, creatures in the walls gnawing on wires, or nearby heat sources melting insulation. At Mister Sparky of Wilmington, NC, our electrical services experts carefully install your wiring, appliances, and fixtures to last for the long term, and we provide inspections both formal for your whole house and informal as we work on your wiring, that helps identify developing problems from the past. Our goal is to help you enjoy the benefits of electricity in your home with our electrical services and make sure that enjoyment is safe and efficient.
Our Extensive Training Shows in Even the Smallest Details
If you’ve ever wired an outlet, you’ve probably wondered if there’s a right way that works best over the long term, or whether simply making sure the wire is held tight is enough. Is routing the wires in the electrical box important, or can they just be stuffed in there? When you remove insulation to get enough bare wire to make the connection, should you use a special tool, and if so, why? If you’d trained under the watchful eyes of a master electrician, you’d know the answers to these and many other questions, and you’d know why they are important right now, and for future safety. When you bring our electrical services team in to perform your electrical repairs and upgrades, all you have to know is that we know, and our well-practiced good wiring habits will show throughout your home’s electrical wiring.
Electrical Inspections During Home Purchases and as the Practice of a Careful Long-Term Homeowner
When you have a home inspected for electrical issues before purchase, or as part of your planning as the new owner, our experienced electrical services team can help you identify both existing issues that need attention and correction, or ways that your home could catch up with current practices in code compliance, current capacity, electrical power availability, and circuit distribution, and future needs planning. Many homeowners like to have a rough sketch of their property in a few years, five years, ten years, or more, with notes about where changes, upgrades, and key maintenance items fall over time and in the budget. Seeing priorities from an electrical services perspective can be eye-opening, as you might find that, for instance, a charging station for a future electric vehicle based on current circuits would be painfully slow to charge your car, while upgrading your home’s overall electric capacity and then installing a faster charging station might make more sense. We can provide the practical, electrical framework for some of your future imaginings. Your new kitchen, a new HVAC system, workshop, and home theater system may all have our electrical services team offering ideas and suggestions to make each plan work out better with the right power design.
Ferreting Out Hidden Electrical Issues
Sometimes you’ve been living with what would now be code violations, situations that government inspectors wouldn’t accept in new wiring for renovations or new construction. For people who don’t work in the electrical services field, it’s pretty reasonable to think these things are normal, or at least acceptable, and in fact, they’re often grandfathered and considered acceptable until major work is done. Some examples include:
- Limited outlets available in each room: Forces risky alternatives like power strip and extension cord nests
- Loose, older wiring in your incoming power line: Shorts and causing power glitches in windy weather, very dangerous
- Old, high-wattage bulbs in lower-wattage fixtures: Plenty of lower-wattage equivalents available these days
- No GFCIs where they would be required in modern wiring: Sometimes, not even grounded wiring available for protection
- Too many circuits in your breaker box: Tricks like tandem breakers can be used to “overwire” the box
- Junction boxes with the insides visible: They should be covered for shock protection and to meet code
- Aluminum wires: Though it’s grandfathered, problems like corrosion when mixed with copper make it risky, there are simple solutions available for the short term in addition to rewiring
- Wiring the “easy” way using slots on the back of outlets and switches: Wires can come loose much more easily than when placed under screws, even though it’s an acceptable practice the extra effort to wrap around a screw is worth it
- Old, ungrounded receptacles: For ongoing use with unmodified plugs, it’s considered ok but polarized and grounded plugs shouldn’t be defeated just to work with these old outlets
- Loose outlets that don’t grip the plug tightly: Not officially a problem, but in a practical sense it’s risky because arcing from a loose plug can ignite material nearby
- Older wiring styles like knob and tube or armored BX cable: Like aluminum wiring, the problems start to crop up when they’re modified, also knob and tube doesn’t like to be insulated and may be soldered which can melt with high current draw
A tour around your home’s wiring may reveal some of these issues or other similar ones that, if you’re in the electrical services business, can stick in your mind as “what ifs,” wiring that works, may even be legal, but in some situations could be risky. As expert electricians, we prefer to improve where possible for our customers’ safety.
Your Skilled Electrical Services Provider in Wilmington, NC, Keeping An Eye Out for You
At Mister Sparky of Wilmington, our team is always looking for ways to put our high standards of quality to work for you. Call for safety inspections.