If you're planning to fix up an old house and put it on the market to sell, you may need to replace the entire electrical system if it hasn't been upgraded over the years. Older electrical systems can't keep up with the high demand for power in today's homes. Plus, the older system may not pass current codes, which it may be required to do before the house can be sold. Here's why it's likely you'll need to bring in an electrician to install a whole new system.
Old Aluminum Wiring
It's possible the home has aluminum wiring. It was standard practice to use this type of wiring at one time, but now it is against the electrical code in many places because aluminum wiring isn't safe. While a home that has it doesn't have to replace it as long as the original owner has the home, if you upgrade the electrical system, you'll probably have to replace all the wiring. Even if it isn't required, you'll probably want to do it for safety's sake. Since you'll need to upgrade the electrical system anyway, it won't be that much of a problem to replace all the existing wiring, especially if you plan to tear off the drywall during the renovation.
Overloaded Circuit Panel
Older homes didn't need nearly as much electrical power as modern homes do today. Old systems powered appliances and the TV, and that's about it. Even old ovens and refrigerators didn't need as much power as modern versions. If your old home hasn't had the electrical system upgraded over the years to keep up with the demand, it's highly possible the circuit panel is overloaded. You can tell it is if the power goes out when too many appliances and gadgets are plugged in at the same time. Home buyers want a home with enough power to keep everything going without constantly fighting with the circuit panel. An electrician can install a panel that handles the demand for a dishwasher, clothes washer, computers, and multiple televisions at the same time.
Not Enough Outlets
Because older homes didn't have as many electrical appliances and equipment, electricians didn't install very many outlets. There may only be one or two outlets per room. That is a dangerous situation for a large household where kids want various gadgets plugged in at the same time. In order to accommodate everything, it is necessary to add power bars so an outlet with two spaces for plugs can be expanded to six or more, which could create a fire hazard. Also, when there aren't enough outlets, it is often necessary to use long extension cords which is not a safe situation. These problems can be totally eliminated by making sure the home has ample outlets in each room, and particularly in the kitchen.
When you're planning the renovation of the house, it's a good idea to bring in an electrician early on. He or she can explain modern codes and let you know what has to be done to the home so it passes the electrical inspection when it's put on the market. You may even want to exceed what's required by making sure the electrical system of the home is ideal for an active family that loves to cook, spend time on computers, and binge watch TV. Having a new electrical system installed by a professional electrician that is up to code and designed to meet the demands of modern living makes your home more appealing so it might sell faster and at a higher price. For more information, talk to a professional like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc.