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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Important Electrical Safety Advice for an Older Home


Although most homes in Southern California would be considered “new” compared to those on the East Coast (where there are still many inhabited homes built at the beginning of the twentieth century), there are still a significant number that are more than 40 years old. That’s considered an older home when it comes to important home services, such as electrical safety. 

We’re older home specialists when it comes to electrical and HVAC needs, and we’ve helped many homeowners with the improvements they need for better, safer living in a vintage house. If you are living in a vintage home, you’ll find this list of safety advice a great help. We’re the electrician in Van Nuys, CA you can count on to meet all your electrical needs, from general to highly older-home specialized.

Schedule an electrical inspection

If you have never gotten an electrical inspection for your home since you’ve owned it, this is the most important step to take. This inspection carefully examines the wiring, electrical panel, circuits, grounding, outlets, and more to see if the house meets the current standards of the electrical code. Our electricians will be able to tell you what work you need done to bring your home up to the best safety standards. 

Replace older outlets

If you still primarily have two-prong outlets in your house, we strongly advise you to upgrade most of the outlets. (Three-prong adapters aren’t a solution, only a quick workaround.) Your house may not be grounded if it only has two-prong outlets. Even if you have three-prong outlets, we recommend upgrading several key outlets to GFCI and AFCI versions—the outlets that have the “test” and “reset” buttons on them. These help prevent electrical shocks and other hazards in your house.

Break free of using extensive cords

Older homes often have fewer outlets than necessary to meet the current number of electrical devices in a home. Using extension cords to provide more reach is an option people often take to overcome this, but it isn’t something any electrician recommends. Extension cords are for temporary use only. If you don’t have enough outlets to manage without electrical cords, then that’s a great reason to contact us to make upgrades to the electrical system.

Upgrade an older electrical panel

First, if you still have a fuse box rather than a circuit breaker box, put this high on your list for replacements! Fuse boxes cannot handle modern home electrical loads unless they use extremely large fuses, and these are fire hazards. Have our team put in a breaker box panel. If you have a breaker box that’s more than 10 years old, call us to inspect it and see if it needs an upgrade.

Rewire out-of-date wiring

This is the type of problem we’ll discover during an inspection. We advise replacing aluminum wiring in your house—commonly used as a cheaper alternative to copper wires during the 1960s and ‘70s—because it heats up more than copper and easily corrodes at connection points. Replace any wiring that has started to lose insulation with age. 

Call our certified service technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service! Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical serves Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

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