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Electrical Wiring 101: Do You Need to Update It?

Even though your home’s wiring may be the last thing on your mind, it’s important to stop and consider whether or not it’s time to update your electrical wiring. It’s easy to cover that your wiring may be out of date if your lights come on when you flip a switch. No one wants to update their wiring since it can be a costly and extensive job. However, you can minimize the pain of such a project if you get ahead of it with a bit of planning.

Why Update Your Electrical Wiring

Materials and building codes change with time to improve safety. Keeping your wiring up to date can keep your home from going up in flames given that faulty wiring is the number one cause of residential fires. It may be time to update your electrical wiring if:

  • Your home is 40+ years old
  • You don’t have GFCIs in your kitchen or bathroom
  • You repeatedly trip a breaker
  • Your lights flickering dim on their own
  • You have a lingering burning smell
  • Your outlets are warm or discolored
  • You get a light shock or tingle when using appliances
  • Your insurance refuses coverage or charges a higher premium for older wiring

Older Wiring

Older homes simply weren’t designed for the technologically advanced appliances that fill our homes today. This means that wiring in older homes is often only for 60amps, whereas newer appliances, like ACs, require upwards of 200amps. Not having enough voltage can actually damage your appliances, computers, and other electronics.

In addition to not having enough power, aluminum wiring was the standard wiring for homes built in the ‘60s and ‘70s. However, today we understand that this type of wiring is a safety hazard since it is prone to overheating and catching on fire. Older wiring is also subject to deterioration of materials such as wire insulation and damage from haphazard housework and rodents. To keep both your home and your appliances safe, it is advisable to upgrade to modern copper wiring. An inspection by one of the skilled electricians at WireCraft Electric can help determine whether your home needs its wiring upgraded.

Missing GFCIs

GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, are designed to automatically cut off power if there is a spike in current. This helps prevent fires and electrocution. These outlets must be used with any outdoor electrical outlets, as well as in any other areas of the home where water is nearby. GFCIs are required in any home built in 1971 or later.

Tripped Breakers

Tripped breakers or blown fuses can quickly leave you in the dark. While it can be a pain, it can be especially problematic if it happens repeatedly. Breakers can trip for many reasons including electrical circuits overload, short circuits, or ground fault surges. This could indicate a loose wire, which if not addressed could cause a fire in your home. You want to get breaker issues looked at right away to keep your home and your family safe.

Voltage Trouble

Old wiring or damaged wiring can cause voltage trouble throughout your home. If you find that your lights are flickering or dimming when using a nearby appliance, it could be that your circuit is becoming overloaded. On the other hand, if you have a lingering burning smell in certain rooms of your home, you want to call an electrician right away to check your wiring. Even if you cannot physically see damage from your electrical outlets, your wiring could be close to causing a fire. The same is true if you feel a tingling sensation when using appliances. .

Home Insurance Coverage

It’s also important to carefully look at your homeowner’s policy regarding electrical issues. This applies especially if you are selecting a plan with a new provider. Many insurance companies will not provide coverage if your home has wiring that is 40+ years old. If they do offer coverage, they often do so at a premium. While upgrading your wiring can be an intensive job, looking long-term it can save you both time and money.

Planning to Update Your Home’s Electrical Wiring

Do you get overwhelmed at the idea of upgrading your home’s wiring? Take it as an opportunity to install wiring that will be long-lasting. With that, you can support the increasing electricity demands of our appliances.

The professional team at Wire Craft Electric will help make sure your home is safe and ready for the future. Call 206-542-0208 today to discuss your home’s wiring and to set up an appointment with one of our trusted electricians.

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Safety Tips When Using Extension Cords

Can you imagine a world without extension cords? These electrical accessories have evolved as indispensable tools in any home.

Although extension cords provide better distribution of electricity throughout your home, it’s important to keep them in tiptop condition. Make sure that you follow these safety tips to prevent accidents and property damage:

Check for signs of wear and tear

Exposed wirings or evidence of burned sections are telltale signs that something is bound to go wrong when you use the extension cord. Either address the issue immediately or replace it with a new extension wire.

(If you need help in checking your extension cord and your home’s wiring system for potential risks, give us a call at Wire Craft Electric, and we can do the work for you.)

Choose a safety-certified product

Although some extension wires may be more expensive than others, choosing a premium product may prove to be a wise financial decision. Having said that, look for a seal or certification to prove that the extension cord has been tested by a laboratory and labeled safe to use.

Protect the cord from moisture

Wet electrical accessories automatically invite short-circuiting, which may increase the risk of electrical fires in your home or facility. Make sure to use extension cords away from water sources.

If you need to use cords in moisture-prone areas such as the bathroom or kitchen, never use the extension cord when you observe that it is sitting on a water puddle.

Unplug unused cords

Precaution is always welcome in terms of electrical safety, and one simple but effective way of achieving this is by cutting off the power in unused items. The same goes with electrical cords – if you’re not using the extension cord, unplug it from the power socket.

Don’t use extension cords permanently

It’s easy to disregard the use of extension cords, which may lead you to use it on the same set of appliances for long periods of time. If you notice that you’re using a particular electrical appliance regularly and on the same spot, you might as well install a wall-mounted electrical socket.

Note that extension cords are meant for temporary connections only.

Never overload an extension cord

The convenience that extension cords bring to any home is vast. The effect is that you may find yourself plugging in too many electrical devices into the same cord. This is a big no-no, as extension cords can only accommodate so much electrical resistance.

Avoid “octopus” connections to the extension cord, where you plug in 4 or more appliances into a single extension wire. You may be inviting danger into your house!

Final Word

The extension cord is an extremely helpful tool to widen the scope of electrical supply in your home. Just make sure that you’re using it safely and effectively. This is so that you can get the most out of this handy electrical accessory.

Need help with any electrical concerns? Wire Craft can help you out. Reach out to us now.

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Home Wiring and Tools

home wiringA lot of homeowners are now getting into DIY projects. Apart from the savings that they can get from doing away with contractors, starting a home improvement project is an exciting activity that tickles the creativity of anyone who does it. However, wrong decisions may lead to accidents and safety risks – especially when it comes to home wiring.

If it’s your first time to encounter the term “house wiring diagram”, you need to read this short guide on home wiring basics!

What You Need To Know About Home Wiring Diagrams

A home electrical wiring diagram is a visual representation of the electrical wires and power sources inside the house, laid out in a document complete with labels. When a house is built, the construction blueprint needs to come with an electrical wiring diagram in order to determine where the wires are running, where to place electrical sockets, and which power sources are near the rooms.

A typical home wiring diagram should include the following details:

Service head: This represents the entry point of wires from the outside of the home going in.

Main service panel: Also called breaker box, this device is responsible for distribution of power throughout the building circuits.

Electrical box: This represents the endpoint or connector of wires to provide electricity via an electrical outlet or a switch.

Electric meter: This device measures the amount of power used by the home.

Ground: This serves as an electrical safety precaution by directing the electrical system to the earth or ground.

Tools Needed for Home Wiring

Here are some of the tools that you need to prepare, when planning to install or reconfigure the home electrical wiring circuitry:

Fish tape: This device pulls the wire to a conduit (either metal or PVC).

Voltmeter: This allows you to check if the circuit is “live” or not.

Wire stripper: This tool removes the wire insulation, with other variations able to cut through wire.

Linesman pliers: This all-purpose tool can twist and cut wires, and provide gripping action.

Allen wrench set: Most electrical panels use Allen screws and so this wrench set will come in handy.

Electrical tape: This adhesive tape can join two wires together or affix them on surfaces.

Safety Precautions When Handling Electrical Wires at Home

There’s nothing too safe when it comes to handling electrical circuits, and so here are some tips to make sure that safety is maintained during a home wiring DIY project:

Turn the power off: Don’t attempt to work on wires without shutting off the breaker.

Check the diagram: It’s a good practice to review the wiring diagram before diving into any circuitry modifications.

Replace old items: If you see corroded breakers and torn wires, replace them immediately.

Consult an electrical professional: When in doubt, seek help from an electrical contractor. We at Wire Craft Electric are more than happy to help.

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Dangers of Aluminum Wiring in the Summer

aluminum wiring in the summer

Summertime and the living’s easy…right? That’s not necessarily true if you have aluminum wiring in the summer at your home. There’s a lot of reasons why aluminum wiring has become outdated, but many older homes still have it in their homes. The summer adds even more concerns for your wiring – especially if you’re living in an older home. It’s important to know exactly what those issues are and why it’s important to make a change. We walk through some of them below and give you direction on what to do next.

Summer Heat Expands Wiring

In general, aluminum wiring in the summer will always expand more than the new standard of copper wiring. So when the summer rolls along and heatwaves come in, your home’s aluminum wiring is going to feel it maybe even more than you do. As the wiring expands, it closes in the space between the wire and the connectors. This is a major fire hazard, especially if it comes into contact with any flammable materials that might be within your walls.

Wiring Working Overtime to Keep You Cool

Aside from the external factors of the weather, you and/or your family might be putting strains on your wiring as well. Running A/C or fans means your wiring is working overtime to keep you cool. The more work you’re putting on your wiring, the hotter they’ll get and, well, you now know what that can lead to. There are steps you can take to more efficiently use electricity in the summer months, but if you’re using aluminum wiring then even the best habits can still lead to disastrous results. What do you do then?

Transitioning out of Aluminum Wiring in the Summer

You’re left with a choice – do you keep your aluminum wiring and try to tip-toe around its faults and hope for the best or do you make a change? We’d strongly recommend the latter. No one wants to live in fear of their wiring shorting or causing a fire, especially in the summer when you should be relaxing and enjoying the warm, rare Seattle weather. However, summer is also a great time to rewire your home. Unlike the winter where the electrical downtime can leave you out in the cold, take advantage of the tepid summer and bring in an electrician to get your home set. This isn’t just an investment in getting through the season, but a longterm solution to keeping you and yours safe.

Convinced now is the time to finally rewire your home? Wire Craft can help! Our team of home electricians have helped homeowners across the greater Seattle area.

Contact us today and we’ll set up a consultation and help create a plan for rewiring your home. Summer is fun – so let us take some of the stress out of your walls.

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How To Solve Wiring Problems

wiring problems - wire craft edmonds

For many homeowners, it’s easy to think of your electricity as some magical force that flows from your outlets and powers your appliances. That is, until it stops working. That’s when you have to face the harsh reality that there’s wiring running throughout your home and it needs to be addressed. It may sound daunting, but solving wiring problems can be done easily when addressed early on and by getting the help you need.

Before Anything, Check The Basics on Wiring Problems

Instead of jumping to conclusions that your wiring is faulty, you’ll first want to check some of the basics. Check your circuit breaker and the GFIs on your outlets to see if they’ve been switched. It’s common for outlets to switch their breakers when they’re under immense strain. Also, check your lightbulbs to make sure they’re not just burned out. That may sound silly, but it’s an easy assumption to overlook.

Replace Faulty Cords and Power Strips

You also might find that the cords and power strips you’re using for your appliances and devices aren’t functioning the way they’re supposed to. This can be a real danger and something you’ll want to fix right away. Not just that, but they also can put a strain on your home wiring.

Tightening Loose Wiring and Cleaning Corrosion

Either through vibration or some other force, there’s a chance that your wiring may have come loose. This can be solved by doing some simple tightening on your terminal blocks. Take extreme caution when doing this and make sure the power is turned off from the main panel and double check this with a voltage tester. Even better, ask a professional electrician to help you do this. You also may have corrosion or moisture built up as well that needs to be cleaned off. This is another case where you’ll want to shut off the power before attempting or bring in a electrician.

Replacing Old Wiring

If you’re living in an older home, it may be time to replace your wiring altogether. We’ve talked about the issues of older homes on this blog in the past and older wiring is chief among concerns for homeowners. If you have aluminum wiring in your home, it is essential that you replace it right away. Unlike some of the other steps in this post, this one is incredibly intensive and we recommend not taking a DIY approach. Your homes wiring is crucial to your day-to-day functions and if something is done wrong you run the risk of starting an electrical fire or some other calamity.

Have you checked your outlets and cables and still don’t have answers to your home electrical problems? We can help. Wire Craft’s team of electricians specializes in mystery cases like these.

We serve areas like Edmonds, Shoreline, Seattle, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and more! Give us a call today and we’ll help you resolve your issues. Let’s get your home working properly in no time.

Need help replacing any old wiring? Contact us Today

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Wiring for the Ideal Home Technology System

Wiring for Ideal Home Technology System

Many homeowners today are turning their houses into homes where technology is seamlessly integrated into every part of their daily routine. People want to virtually do anything they want from their device, from anywhere. This includes listening to music from any room in the house from your fancy new SONOS system, hooking multiple computers to each other and one printer, turning lights off and on remotely, etc. Sound crazy? You’re not alone. For many, this sounds like something right out of the future.

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5 Steps For Wiring Your Seattle Home

If you’re looking to install or upgrade the wiring in your home, no doubt you’ve spent some time online researching the best ways to get this done. You might even be considering doing it yourself. What you need to remember, though, is that electricity is dangerous. Unlike a normal DIY construction project, where all your tools and materials are easy to see, working with electricity contains an element of the invisible; since you can’t see it, you are always at risk for hurting yourself and your loved ones.

wiring your seattle home | wirecraft electric

What you need to remember, though, is that electricity is dangerous. Unlike a normal DIY construction project, where all your tools and materials are easy to see, working with electricity contains an element of the invisible; since you can’t see it, you are always at risk for hurting yourself and your loved ones.

That alone should be enough to get you calling a professional. However, just like other housing projects, working with electricity also has legal ramifications as well. That’s why it’s important to take steps to make sure it gets done correctly. Here are five steps you need to take to ensure the proper wiring of your home.

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