Electrical Upgrades for Older Homes in Virginia

Electrical Upgrades for Older Homes

Our Alexandria Electricians Explains Why and How

The average age of homes in the Alexandria area is 64 years old, which means many of us live in homes that were built in the late 1940s and early 1950’s. Back then, only 9 percent of families owned a television, and there were still many families that did not even have refrigerators, to say nothing of blow dryers, stereo systems, video game systems and computers. Since many of these homes were built, the proliferation of electrical appliances and devices has skyrocketed, but the electrical systems in many homes still have not been upgraded to handle the constant demand for electrical current. Our Alexandria electricians warn that these outdated systems can and do pose serious dangers ranging from fires to electrocution!

So if you live in an older home and have noticed any problems with your electrical system, please call Root Electric Services. Homes in Alexandria, VA are some of the most wonderful in the country, and we’d like to help you keep your home and your family safe. We can start with a home electrical safety inspection and then make recommendations for any necessary upgrades:

Electrical Service Upgrades

Many older homes need a complete electrical service upgrade to switch them over from lower amperage to either 200 or 400 amps. Some indications that you may need an upgrade like this are frequently flickering lights (especially when turning on major appliances), breakers trip, fuses blow, you use a lot of extension cords and surge protectors, and you have a bunch of two-pronged outlets that do not accommodate today’s three-pronged plugs for most electrical appliances. Our Alexandria electricians are pros at these types of jobs, and it is important that homeowners do not try to do a job like this on their own. It’s very complex, can be quite dangerous and absolutely requires the services of a professional electrician. Homes without “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter” (GFCI) outlets in the bathrooms, kitchens or garages also need to be updated.

About Your Outlets

Speaking of GFCI outlets and three-pronged, grounded outlets… many older homes need to have these updated. Outlets are some of the most taken-for-granted objects in our home, but when they don’t work, or when there is a problem, it can be dangerous. Changing outlets may seem to be a simple task, but again, to avoid danger and get the job done right, call us for assistance.

NOTE: It is particularly important that GFCI outlets are installed in any area of the house where water flows (bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor areas). These outlets are equipped to sense when there is a potentially dangerous imbalance in the flow of electricity from the outlet to whatever is plugged in and will shut off power to prevent a person from being shocked, burned or electrocuted.

Aluminum Wiring Issues

During the 1960s and 1970s many homes (including many here in Northern Virginia) were constructed with aluminum wiring. The aluminum wiring has aged badly in many cases, particularly where it connects to outlets, light switches and splices, making it a serious fire hazard in many homes. During an electrical safety inspection, we can evaluate whether or not this is a problem in your home and take steps to repair the wiring (replacing it with copper wiring) if necessary.

If you live in an older home, call our Alexandria electricians at (703) 494-3989 to schedule an electrical safety inspection. We are anxious that all of our neighbors have safe, electrically efficient homes. Never attempt to undertake any electrical upgrades or repairs on your own as this can be very dangerous! We can help!


Satisfaction / Safety First Since 1986

About the Author

During my tenure at Root Electric, I lead the transition of Root Electric from a primarily sub-contracting based business model to a prime-contracting based business model. Accomplishments have been made by developing a team based approach to researching and implementing a service-specific client management system. My goals for the next five years are to fine tune Root Electric's brand strategy and to diversify its scope of services, while remaining true to the discipline of electrical work.