If you live in an older home, you might find that your electrical work can’t deliver all the power you need for your modern equipment and devices. Newer homes have at least 100 amp service, and many are rated at 200 amps or even 300, which provides all the electricity that a plugged-in family could want. But there are still older homes with only 60 amp service, which may not be enough to meet your needs. Read on to learn more.
How Many Amps Does One Family Need?
The first thing for a homeowner to consider is the difference between amperage and voltage. A common analogy is to compare electrical wiring to a garden hose -- the amps measure how much electricity can flow at a given time, similar to a hose diameter, while the volts are the equivalent to the water’s pressure. Multiply the two together and you get wattage, which is how the electricity used by appliances is typically measured.
If your family has modest electrical needs, 60 amps may be plenty, especially if you are connected to a natural gas line. Homes that have gas furnaces, dryers, stoves and water heaters don’t necessarily need a whole lot of electricity to power their electrical work. However, if you use electricity for your heavy-duty equipment, you’ll soon find that 60 amps isn’t getting the job done, particularly if you have an air conditioner. Fortunately, a skilled electrician can upgrade your service and allow you to tap into the power that you need.
Dangerous Electrical Work in Older Homes
Take note that while there’s nothing necessarily dangerous about 60 amp service, that kind of low capacity can be associated with other hazards. Older homes often have outdated wiring like knob and tube, and also might not have enough outlets, causing homeowners to set up dangerous extension cord networks. Some insurers might not even issue coverage for 60 amp homes because of the dangers that can come hand-in-hand with outdated electrical work.
One more note: Old homes with 60 amp service might also lack 220 volt service, further limiting their ability to accommodate high-powered electrical appliances like stoves and dryers. When you call an electrician or your utility company to evaluate your amperage capacity, make sure you check on your voltage as well.
Expert Electrical Work at Your Service
If you need help upgrading the amperage capacity in your house, or have other electrical work that needs to be addressed, call up a qualified residential electrician today.