Making electrical installations the right way, RonOvations Experts Tips
Your home’s electrical system is more than just a bunch of wires – it’s a complex system, carefully designed to deliver all the power you need for modern life in the safest way possible. Knowing how your home’s electrical system works will help you be a more “empowered” homeowner.
Electrical System Components
The electrical system consists of the line from the pole, a meter where electrical usage is tallied, a main circuit breaker panel (sometimes called “load centers” and, in older homes, fuse panels), separate wiring circuits to all the rooms in the home, outlets, light fixture boxes, and various hard-wired appliances.
Installing a New System
Because of the potential, inherent risks involved in installing and servicing of electrical systems, they are subject to rigorous national and international regulations through building electrical codes. Systems should always be installed by trained professionals, adhering to the most current codes. System plans are subject to approval by city building codes offices. An electrical inspector will also inspect the system twice during installation: once after wiring, just before the walls are closed in, and once when the home is completely finished, after outlets, switches, lighting, and hard-wired appliances are installed.
That said, it’s important that you are involved in making decisions about your new electrical system. While things like minimum number of outlets and distance between them are stipulated by codes, there are still many decisions to make. Once installed, it’s difficult to change key elements of your system, so you will want to indicate things such as the number, type, and placement of outlets, light fixtures, switches, and hard-wired appliances. Many decisions will depend on how you intend to use each room, and where things like furniture, appliances, and electronics will be located. Once the walls are up for your new home, but before the wiring has begun, it’s okay to walk through the unfinished rooms with the electrician and change the plan. It’s often easier to visualize an electrical plan when walking through the unfinished rooms than on paper architectural drawings.
It’s also important to communicate any special electrical needs you may have. Here are a few things you may want to consider in your home’s electrical system design and communicate to your architect or electrical engineer who is helping to plan your system:
A well-thought out lighting design is vital. Lighting affects not only the aesthetics and ambiance in a home, but also the safety and security of its occupants and the home’s overall energy efficiency. Be sure to create a lighting design that considers all of these aspects
Will you have a home office or complicated home theater system in your new home? If so you may require an advanced wiring system to handle loads, potential surges, or power conditioning.
Do you have family members who are children, elderly, disabled, or who have special needs? Electrical systems can be designed for enhanced safety and/or universal access.
If you plan to use super-efficient LED lighting in your home, tell the electrician. Special dimmers are required for these types of bulbs.
Energy use monitoring and automation can help a homeowner see their energy use and then automate parts of the system for maximum comfort, energy efficiency, and safety. Think about integrating both into your system during the design process.
Include other wiring requests like telephone, data, cable and satellite TV, and security systems during the design process. Many times, this wiring can be brought into a central “hub” which then distributes each of the services throughout the house.
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December 13, 2018
October 25, 2018