Save on Homeowners Insurance
SAVE ON HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE!!
- Electrical equipment – Do you need to upgrade your electrical service, panel or add a subpanel. Are your breakers sized correctly? Have your panel connections been tightened recently?
- Homeowner Insurance – are you having trouble obtaining homeowner insurance, is your existing wiring causing your rates to go through the roof ? “upgrades to your electrical system will help you save on your insurance premiums and energy costs.”
Electrical demands created by modern technology put more pressure on older electrical systems. Insurance companies have begun to deny renovations to homes equipped with electrical panels that are known to cause electrical fires and they have not been replaced by an electrician.
Many former electrical panels are now insufficient, creating safety hazards. The electrical has a lifespan of between 20 to 25 years.. In some situations panels deteriorate to the point where circuit breakers burn. Waiting too long to replace an old system threatens the electrical panel to shut down or possibly causing a fire. . (see the video of a Zinsco panel burning on our website). www.northernlighting.biz
Replacing or rebuilding your present electrical service panel will avoid many problems in the future. In most situations, a complete replacement will cost less than constantly doing repairs. Homeowners should check with their insurance company to learn about the requirements to reduce your premiums for electrical upgrades. It is very likely that once the upgrade is complete, you can persuade them to give you a modest discount on your premiums because the modernized wiring makes the premises safer from fire and hence less of a risk to insure.
Electrical upgrades are governed by the local building codes. Many electrical repairs and installations must be inspected and approved. Our licensed electricians will assist with this process.
Top Causes of Home Electrical Fires
1. Inadequate electrical capacity. Today’s homes have an increasing number of devices that consume electricity including clothes dryers, water heaters, electric ranges and ovens, frost-free refrigerators, dishwashers, even media centers. In warm climates, air conditioning is a major power drain. As you add appliances to your home, the power supply may become inadequate. Anytime you add a major appliance you should have your electrical system checked by a qualified professional. Don’t ignore warning signs like fuses or circuit breakers tripping or lights dimming!
Here are the primary causes of inadequate power in your home:
o Overloaded circuits
o Limited service panel capacity
o Insufficient number of outlets
Adding receptacles (or even worse, using extension cords) does not increase the available power. If you find that you are plugging in multiple appliances into one outlet, you need to increase the power supply directly from the distribution panel.
2. Obsolete equipment or electrical systems. Thirty years ago, domestic power use was much less, even in warm climates. The average new home required 60-amp electrical service, which was connected to a screw-in fuse panel with two fuse blocks. Ten years later the average home required 100-amp electrical service and circuit breakers had become standard equipment.
Today, the average new home is equipped with 200-amp electrical service and a distribution panel handling up to 40 fifteen-amp circuit breakers. The kitchen may be equipped with receptacles capable of supplying more than 60 amps to the countertop appliances alone. The air conditioning or HVAC system may take more power than an entire home did 30 years ago.
If your home is even twenty years old, chances are it needs to be upgraded! The thirty-year-old distribution panel in your basement or garage the one with the screw-in fuses is almost certainly a fire hazard. Over time, the contacts deteriorate. The point of contact between the buss bar and the base of the fuse oxidizes or charcoals. As current flows, increased heat is generated, leading to failure or fire. In California, if a home is equipped with an electrical distribution panel that uses screw-in fuses, many insurance companies will not renew homeowner insurance.
When you upgrade your home’s electric systems, you’ll rest easy knowing that you have greatly reduced the chance of a devastating fire.
“Some insurance companies are requiring that Federal Pacific panels (FPE) be replaced before they will insure them. FPE breakers are notorious for not tripping when they are supposed to. We call them ‘Federal No-Trips’.” Over the past 50 years, many technologies have come and gone when you are talking about residential circuit protection. Some of these technologies present a fire and safety hazard if present in the home. The Dallas Morning News brought attention to the dangers of one of these technologies, Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panels, in a recently published article; “The suspect Stab-Lok circuit breakers were manufactured beginning in 1960 and used through the 1980s by Federal Pacific Electric. Experts first began saying in 1980 that a high percentage of the circuit breakers failed to trip. In recent years, engineers studying them independently have found that the circuit breakers can overload and cause fires.”
Zinsco Panels may leave homes and homeowners at risk to both fires and electrical shock if the panel cannot trip due to age and buss bars scorching behind the breakers.