A Guide to Understanding Residential Electrical Wiring
Unless you’re a DIY or professional, understanding your home’s needs when it comes to electrical wiring is often easier said than done. As one of the leading residential electrical contractors in Northern Virginia, the team from RD Matthews Electrical Contracting has collected some important things for you to consider here.
Below you’ll find our comprehensive guide to residential electrical wiring!
Your Home’s Main Service Panel
The service panel in your home is the piece of electrical equipment responsible for distributing power to all your home’s circuits. Essentially, it’s the heart of your home’s electrical system. This component is most often referred to as a circuit panel or breaker box. If you lose power, this is where a residential electrical contractor will begin their inspection of your home’s electrical wiring system.
It’s important to know that often, an excess of power can trip a circuit. However, some older homes may have electrical panels with fuses. In the case of a burnt-out fuse, it will need to be replaced or you may want to consider having your electrical panel updated. This panel is directly connected to your main power service lines, meaning before providing any breaker panel service, it’s important to contact your power company to have the service shut off until the issue can be resolved.
We recommend having your electrical panel inspected by a professional every 5-10 years.
Different Types of Wires
A household electrical system contains many different wires and components, each that serve a specific need. Each electrical circuit will contain several different wires including what’s referred to as a “hot wire,” which sends the electrical current from your home’s main service panel to each circuit throughout the house; these wires are often red or black. Neutral wires that are white are designed to carry any electrical current back to the main panel.
4 Common Residential Electrical Wiring Problems
Although every home is different, there are some common warning signs and problems that homeowners can keep an eye out for, such as:
- Outdated electrical wiring
- Broken light switches
- Lights that won’t dim if they have a dimmer switch
- Switches or outlets that get hot
- Frequently tripped circuit breakers or GFI outlets
- Power surges caused by faulty wiring, lighting, or damaged power lines
All of these issues are warning signs that you’re in need of the help of a residential electrical contractor.
Common Residential Electrical Mistakes & How to Prevent Them
Residential electrical systems can be quite distinct. However, it’s important to avoid connecting wires outside of a junction box or install a three-pronged outlet without a ground wire. Additionally, any loose connections or switches should be repaired immediately. Also, any wires should be cut at a minimum of three inches to ensure safe wiring installation.
Electrical Wiring in Modern Homes
Today’s most modern homes often work via an overall current, meaning that the electrical system is designed to power virtually anything you need in the common household. However, if you plan on redesigning or adding additional outlets to your home, it’s important to get in touch with a professional electrical company.
Older Electrical Wiring Systems
In the case of those with older homes, the electrical wiring system will likely be different or outdated and require some major changes to modernize it. As previously mentioned, many older homes employ fuses rather than breakers. Such things corrode and break over time, so it’s often recommended to replace such a system, as doing so can be more efficient and provide additional energy savings. Also, it’s important to note that outdated wiring systems might not have the proper power necessary to power certain of today’s modern electronic appliances.
Contact us today for residential electrical contractors in Northern Virginia!
As a family-owned and operated company, RD Matthews Electrical Contracting has become a household name in Northern Virginia due to our commitment to quality service and customer care. Whether it comes to electrical rewiring or panel upgrades, our team of trained professionals can handle it.
RD Matthews is proud to offer competitive prices, friendly services, and accurate work with a warranty. In addition to our general residential electrical services, our team is equipped to provide panel inspections, recessed lighting installation, ceiling fan installation, smart switch solutions, and EV charging station installations as well.
To schedule a service call contact us online today or call (540) 840-2933 today!