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What Does Your Circuit Breaker Do?

A closeup of an electrician with safety goggles on working with an electrical outlet

Buying one of the beautiful older homes in Northeast Florida's historic district? Keep electrical safety at the top of your to-do list. Hire a professional to check outlets, wiring and circuits.

If you've ever walked through the historic districts of Northeast Florida, you've undoubtedly seen some beautiful older homes. While these are popular areas for buying a residence, the team at David Gray Electrical Services wants to make sure you know what you're getting into. Here are a few electrical elements to watch for in historic houses:

Broken Outlets

Keep a sharp eye on all the electrical outlets as you tour the home, and this includes outlets located on the outside. Outlets should not be discolored and should be at room temperature (they are dangerous if warm to the touch). What's more, you may need to upgrade the outlets to include a ground, especially when plugging in sensitive equipment.

Find out the safest way to test outlets

Flickering Lights

When lights go dim randomly or are flickering, this is a sign of a problem that an electrician should address. There are various causes, including loose service conductors that your electrician will need to investigate.

Or, if lights flicker when you turn on a major appliance such as the air conditioner, the problem may simply be that your system needs to be upgraded so it can deliver all the power you need.

Not Enough Power

Insufficient power is the bane of many older homes in Northeast Florida, as they were built before the dawn of the Internet, giant flat panel TVs, streaming videos and all the modern devices we have come to rely on.

Consider that each person in your family might be using a separate computer as well as a TV in each room, while you are also running your HVAC system, the washer and dryer and maybe a load of dishes simultaneously. Older homes might simply be unable to keep up with all the demand for electricity.

If you work out of a home office, upgrading the power could be necessary before you can "open shop" in your new dwelling.

Old or Bad Wiring

Older homes will typically have wiring that is unsafe compared to what's available in new homes. Houses constructed during the 1960s will use aluminum wire instead of copper wire. But since aluminum is a safety hazard due to the heightened potential for connections to become loose and start a fire, you are advised to fix bad wiring and replace old wiring as soon as possible.

Learn about the signs of outdated wiring

Ungrounded Circuits

As noted above, it's crucial to have grounded circuits, so whether you are replacing older broken outlets or getting your older home up to speed for the 21st century, grounded, polarized circuits are essential. Grounding keeps people safe from electrical shocks, especially when a device is defective or if a problem develops in an outlet.

Making Sure Your Home's Electrical System Is Safe and Up-to-Date

Anyone who is in the market for one of these magnificent older homes will want to make sure that the electrical system is in tip-top shape. It's best to schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable electrician with plenty of experience working on homes in Northeast Florida. For details on our approach or to arrange for service, please connect with David Gray Electrical Services today.


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