Electricity is the nerve system of your home. The heating and cooling systems, appliances and all sorts of communication and entertainment technology run on electricity. But electricity can also be very dangerous and your home electrical system needs to be well designed. These tips will help you get there.
Building codes are extremely important when it comes toinstalling electrical components and wiring. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes will guide you through the limitations and specifications required for home wiring. Get familiarized with the applicable portions of these standards before you begin designing the electrical in your house.
Get the Help of a Professional
Although some portions of your house wiring can be a DIY project, much of it should be left to an electrician. You should find a reputable contractor that will follow the codes and has the proper training and experience you require.
You’ll also need to pay and apply for all of the permits needed. These costs can add up, but the accountability and legality of the process are valuable. If a contractor pushes you to avoid this step, be wary. Chances are that their work will not adhere to code and therefore not provide the safety you need.
Safety in the Parts
The parts and components in your system also need to be compliant with the national codes. Look for new parts that are stamped or tagged. The switch boxes, panels and wiring, as well as any other components that tie into the system, need to be manufactured by a reputable company to ensure the proper quality. Your design is only as good as the parts that make up that design. Each component should be certified for use in a residential location to ensure the optimum safety.
If you use cheaply made or worn out used parts you are putting your home at risk. A trip could occur or overheating might cause a spark and even a fire. This situation could also damage the unit that is plugged in. Is it worth investing in quality wiring and components to support and keep your computer, furnace or stereo equipment safe? How about keeping your loved ones safe while they’re at home?
The best electrical designs are those that are expandable. When your home includes enough room on the panel box for your future power needs, renovations and remodeling are much simpler to plan and execute. It’s a good idea to rough in electricity to areas that you anticipate will be a part of renovations later – like the garage, the basement or the attic.
Much of the newer technologies are going wireless but still require power and other high tech connections, such as phone jacks, fiber optics and others. Who knows what the future holds for electrical systems and technology, but by keeping your system designed with the future in mind you are staying ahead of the game.
Home electrical system design can be intimidating, but with the help of a licensed and trusted professional and by choosing parts that are compliant with NFPA standards you can design a safe and efficient system. Plan for future needs as much as possible and you will have a much more versatile and robust design. Your home will also run much smoother.