An ever-increasing number of electronic devices may eventually exceed the wiring in your home. Many homes were designed and constructed for a less power-intensive era and simply don’t have the infrastructure of circuits, wiring and outlets to service the requirements of 21st-century life. In addition to inconvenience, the lack of adequate wiring can cause circuit overloading. Tripped breakers, lights that dim and warm outlets are a few signs of possibly hazardous overloads. Inadequate outlets also cause increased reliance on extension cords and power strips. A professional electrician using specialized test equipment can determine the load on your system and how it will stand up to the projected demands of the future.
Expanding the wiring in your home may be the solution. A home wiring extension generally presents three options:
Expand an existing circuit.
This is usually the quickest and easiest method, provided that the existing circuit can handle the load of additional outlets. Extending the circuitry is usually the recourse when a homeowner has no other electrical issues but simply wants to reduce the number of power strips by adding more outlets. An electrician will tap into the hot and neutral wires in the circuit at an existing location such as a switch or outlet and then extend the circuit from that point to service new outlets or light fixtures.
Add a circuit.
If additional load would be too much for an existing circuit or if you need a dedicated circuit to service a new appliance, incorporating a new circuit is the best answer. But the electrician must verify that the new circuit will not add excessive demands that the home’s total service rating can’t handle. In addition, electrical codes require that new circuits incorporate a separate grounding wire.
Install an additional subpanel.
Sometimes expanding the wiring in your home requires a dedicated subpanel with its own circuit breaker. Subpanels are wired to your main circuit breaker panel, and there’s no limit to the number you can install, as long as the home’s service rating can handle the load. Subpanels are typically installed in areas of high demand so the circuits can be routed over the shorter span to the subpanel instead of all the way back to the main service-entrance panel.
A home’s service rating can’t accommodate unlimited wiring expansions. If the total wattage demands of the home exceed the rating, upgrading the main service panel will be required before additional wiring extensions can be made.
For nearly four decades, Aqua Plumbing & Air has served Bradenton and Sarasota with quality HVAC, plumbing and electrical services. Contact us for more answers and advice about expanding the wiring in your home.