If you can recall memories of your childhood playing in the house you are currently residing in, then you need to think about the electrical system in your home as you may have outdated wiring already. Outdated wiring pose danger as it may not be able to fully handle today's energy requirements. Many owners of old homes often say the phrase, "it has been fine for forty years, why change it now?" Think about the condition of the wiring after forty years and the number of possible patches and repairs that has been done on the electrical system throughout those years. Yes, it is a little scary when you think about it. Nevertheless, it may be time to replace the old wiring in your home. Here is a guide to help you calculate for the cost of replacing outdated wiring.
- Approximate the age of your home. Old style wiring system such as the knob and tube type as well as the aluminum wiring of the 60's and 70's were impressive in their days, but now after further review and by modern standards are considered unsafe. By knowing the wiring system and the age of installation, you will be able to decide whether a wiring replacement is needed or not.
- Size-up the job at hand. Remember that the cost of replacing the wiring system is proportionate to the size of the room or the house that you will work on. A house-wide wiring replacement may be more expensive than dividing the job into sections. However, since most electricians include a service call fee for every job, it may be beneficial in the long run to have the replacement done for the whole house as a single job contract.
- Labor preference. In replacing the electrical system, decide whether you will hire out for this job or make it a do-it-yourself project. You can save money if you decide to make it a personal project but you have to make certain that you have the correct tools and materials for the job and that would add cost to your project. Materials such as junction boxes, cables, grounded receptacles, breakers, conduits and more are needed for the installation. Add the tools to your cost estimate such as needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, voltage tester, wire stripper and more. An approximate labor cost of $60 per hour for a professional electrician can make a big dent on your budget. However, if you know nothing about replacing outdated wiring system then hiring a professional to do the job is the safest option for you.
- Voltage System. Verify first which voltage system you currently have in your home. You can do this by looking for the wires that goes to your house from the utility post. If you see a two-wire system, it indicates that you only have a 120-volt capacity. It is recommended that you coordinate with your electric company for updating the available voltage to 240 volts.
- Professional estimates. It would be best if you could call several electricians for cost estimates on the wiring replacement of your home. This will give you the option of choosing the most affordable help in your area. Keep in mind though that charges apply for a service call. Some electricians may waive the service call fee especially if the service call will result in a service contract.
Updating the wiring system of your home is an investment worth making. The foremost rule of thumb in wiring is to err on the side of caution. Electrical malfunction will cause harm and damage to property, it may even cause you your life. Unless you are 100% sure that the electrical system of your house is updated, your house may need an overdue wiring replacement.