Tag Archives: Electrical Wiring

Could It Be Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Wiring?

ICould It Be Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Wiring?t may be the last thing on your wish list for home improvements, but electrical wiring could be unsafe, inadequate, or both and needs replacing. Even though the expense may seem high, it’s well worth doing given what’s at risk.

The signs of bad wiring include:

  • Flickering lights or bulbs that dim when you turn on an appliance. This almost always indicates that the circuit breaker for that outlet is overloaded.
  • Sizzling sounds coming from an outlet or discolored outlets. Electricity should be silent. Discolored outlets could indicate overheating.
  • Circuit breakers that trip frequently. When too much power goes through a circuit breaker, a contact point builds too much heat and it shuts itself off.
  • Burning rubber smells or excessively hot cords. Anytime you smell a suspicious odor coming from an appliance or a cord feels hot, you should turn it off or pull it immediately. The problem may be the device you’re using. If you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to contact an electrician to identify the problem.
  • Aluminum wiring. Home builders used aluminum wiring to cut costs in homes built between the 1960s and 70s. While it may not be a problem, it can be. Work-arounds may be available to reduce the danger associated with this type of electrical wiring.
  • Lack of grounded outlets or no GFIs. Any outlet that isn’t grounded should be changed, and GFI circuits reduce the risk of an appliance or device being exposed to water.
  • Overloaded outlets. If you have to use surge protectors or power strips throughout your home, you probably need more receptacles, especially when you’re plugging higher wattage appliances into them. Vacuum cleaners, space heaters, hair dryers, and some televisions use more power than others, and need to be plugged directly into an outlet for safety.

Inadequate or unsafe electrical wiring accounts for the majority of preventable home fires. If you suspect yours is inadequate or you’ve experienced any problems with it, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We provide trusted HVAC and electrical services for Portland-area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Are You Ready for an Electrical Upgrade?

Are You Ready for an Electrical Upgrade?Depending on the age of your home, you could be due for an electrical upgrade. In recent years the number of appliances and devices that people use has steadily increased, and the existing wiring may not be adequate for either safety or convenience.

Signs you may need an upgrade include:

  • Frequent circuit breaker tripping. If one or more circuit breakers trips when the electrical loads are higher, you may be overloading that particular circuit. A circuit breaker that trips when you use a hair dryer or other device that pulls a lot of power might be inadequate. Breaker failure is less common, but it does happen. Your electrician can assess the condition of the breaker.
  • Insufficient outlets. The excessive use of power strips or extension cords indicates you may not have enough electrical outlets in any particular room. Current electrical codes require one outlet for every 12 feet of wall space. Most cords are six feet long, and this outlet requirement eliminates many safety hazards.
  • Adding a major appliance. If you’re adding an appliance that has uses a lot of electricity, like a dryer, extra dishwasher, stovetop, or refrigerator, chances are you’ll need an electrical upgrade. Converting from a gas to an electric dryer or stove will require a dedicated and specialized outlet.
  • Aluminum wiring. Homes built between the 1960s and mid 1970s may have aluminum wiring. A copper shortage drove builders to use aluminum in place of copper to cut construction costs. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that homes with some or all aluminum wiring were 55 times more likely to experience an electrical fire.

    If you can access the place where wires enter your home, look for printing on the insulation that says aluminum, CL-clad, or Romex. If you see either, consider upgrading your wiring. Electricians can have developed safe ways to eliminate the safety hazard without replacing all the wiring with copper.

An electrical upgrade keeps your home up-to-date as you add appliances and devices to your home. To learn more, contact Roth Heating & Electrical, providing trusted HVAC and electrical services for Portland-area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Top Reasons to Build a Custom Home of Your Own

Top Reasons to Build a Custom Home of Your OwnIf you’re in the market for a new home, chances are you’ve been looking at pre-built or semi-custom homes. But if you want something that you can truly make your own, a custom-built home offers exactly what you’re looking for.

Top Reasons to Build a Custom Home

When you build a custom home, you can take advantage of the flexibility and creativity it offers. Here are five great reasons why opting for a custom-built home is the best choice when it comes to home ownership:

  1. You can build a home completely to your specs and unique tastes. There’s no need to worry about how to work around someone else’s blueprints.
  2. Need a bigger garage, extra storage space or an extra room for exercise or entertainment? You can incorporate all of these extras plus much more into a custom-built home. You can also add extras that account for your present and future needs, such as aging in place options like entryways built with wheelchair accessibility in mind.
  3. You can easily incorporate energy-efficient extras into a new build at a lower cost than it would take to retrofit green options into an existing home. These options can help you save hundreds of dollars each year on your overall energy costs.
  4. Custom homes require less initial maintenance than existing homes since everything is practically brand-new, from the flooring and building materials to the appliances, HVAC and plumbing systems. It’s also much easier to keep track of their condition from the start, unlike with existing homes with used appliances and HVAC systems.
  5. Custom homes offer a tremendous level of customer satisfaction that’s unmatched by already-built or even semi-custom homes. When you build a custom home, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that there are no other homes just like it. A custom home is truly a one-of-a-kind deal.

The pros at Roth Heating & Cooling can help you with your custom home’s HVAC and electrical wiring needs. We proudly serve the Portland area and have done so since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Should You Update the Electrical Wiring in Your Home?

Should You Update the Electrical Wiring in Your Home?Because it’s hidden throughout your home’s structure, it’s easy to forget about checking your electrical wiring. But if you’re making any changes to your home, or if you’ve been experiencing electrical problems, it may be time to consider an update. This can enhance your safety, increase convenience and possibly bring more value to your home.

Safety Considerations

  • A circuit breaker that trips for no apparent reason should be investigated by a licensed electrician, since this can often signal a problem with the wiring in your home. Neglecting problems associated with your wiring may result in loss of life and property.
  • If your home was built in the 1960s or 70s, there’s a risk that you could have aluminum wiring. This type of wiring can oxidize over time, and when it does, the wire can generate heat and start a fire.
  • Using multiple power strips in your home because you don’t have enough outlets for all of your appliances and devices can pose a fire hazard, especially if the power strips don’t have surge protection.

Changing Appliances

Switching from a gas to an electric appliance usually requires upgrading the electrical wiring, especially when the appliance is a stove, dryer, water heater, or HVAC equipment. These appliances require their own circuit breaker and high voltage outlets, along with heavier gauge wiring. Adding ceiling fans to an unblocked or wired ceiling also requires an electrical upgrade.

Adding Convenience

Relying on extension cords to provide power can be a safety hazard. The National Electric Code requires there be an outlet every 12 feet in your home to eliminate the need for extension cords. The standard length of a cord (with a few exceptions) is 6 feet. An electrician can add more outlets in each room wherever they’re needed to bring your home up to standards.

The pros at Roth Heating & Cooling can assess your home’s electrical wiring and safety. We’ve been providing exceptional HVAC and electrical services for Portland area homeowners since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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