(Photo: Peter Means) The demands of modern technology can exacerbate the situation, and they’re at risk of doing so all the time.
Older houses were built at a time when 60 amps was considered plenty of electricity for a single residence.
Failing to get permits can result in having to pull out finished work.3.
Numerous companies offer hardware that matches the appearance and the feel of almost any era, while providing a far greater margin of safety than older equipment does.
New wiring systems often can be run near the old—as in this vintage house that’s been successfully rewired, with a new box placed near now-defunct ceramic knobs on the basement ceiling.
Creating a “balanced” system will make life easier as your load expands and you put new wiring to use.10.
Integrate switches and plates into the historic look and feel of the house.
Do an "electrical inventory," creating a list of all the devices you’ll be using in the house, and where.
Your electrical system needs to match your needs; figuring out where and how you’ll be using power makes it easier to frame the parameters of the job.2. Codes set standards for everything from how many outlets you’ll put in each room to what kind of wire you’ll be using.
And our electrical work to date has left uneven holes punched in our walls and ceilings, which have proved difficult to repair.
Creating a clean cut via a hole saw or careful work (bottom) will make it easier to make walls or ceilings whole again.
Modern wiring doesn’t just carry electricity, and wireless systems are getting increasingly cheaper and more sophisticated.4. Once you’ve done your initial homework, sit down and create a punch list that focuses on what you want done and when you want it completed; the list should be the basis of your relationship with your electrician.
Breaker panels with a jumble of old wires (top) need to be checked carefully by an electrician for intact coatings, burn marks or signs of arcing damage, and solid connections. (Photos: Jon Roberts/Courtesy of Perfect Electric Services, Inc.)5. Part of avoiding damage is making sure nobody punches holes in plumbing or existing wiring.
This kind of awareness needs to be a top priority in any rewiring job.