I need to get my house up to code with circuit breakers and
possibly rewiring (house built around 1958). How can I tell if
I need to get it rewired? What do I look for? I would guess that
the expense would be based on how big the house is?
I have had some weird electical things happening (ceiling light in one
bedroom burns out bulbs quickly and in the bathroom one of
the lights in the ceiling has no juice at all in it. I figure these
could probably be fixed by an electrician.
question your original postulate.
Why do you think you need to get your
house up to code?
I wasen't really sure or not. If I sold the house
I thought that circuit breakers might help make
the house more sellable.
Depends on if you are positioning your house as a fixer-uper or move-in
condition. Leave it alone unless the home inspectors are pointing at it
saying "potential hazard" or "accident waiting to happen" and scaring buyers
You are generally not required to upgrade the electrical (or anything) in
your home just because it is not up to todays code. As long as it was code
when instelled, it is grandfathered. If you have damaged sections, they
can generally be repaired rather than replaced. 1958 is not that old.
Now if you are repairing, remodeling or expanding, you may need to upgrade
and will want to upgrade portions exposed during the construction. In the
process of getting your permits and making plans, you will be forced to
determine what stays and what goes.The city employee checking the plans will
have the first call and the inspector has the final call.
If you are unsure of how to fix your electrical anomalies, by all means call
an electrician. That electrician will be able to give you much better
advice about what else you need to fix. In both of your bulb cases, it may
just be a faulty fixture, if you're trying to save $, try just replacing the
two fixtures outright.
Unless you've had some freaky damage to your wiring, rewiring isn't
required. My house was built in 1941, and most of the origional wiring is
still in place.
I did have some issues, however. I had to upgrade my circuit box to 200
amps for new central A/C. To do this, I had to install the panel on the
other side of the house, so the cables from the pole to the house didn't
cross over the pool (city required this for permit). This meant all the
wiring for the house had to somehow go all the way to the other side of the
house, either by tapping into the current wiring or running conduit from one
side to the other.
There have also been additions to the house over time, as well as amature
wiring jobs done here and there.
This wasn't really a big problem, but required more than a few visits from
The biggest problem is the insulation of the wires. It's some sort of
cloth, and it tends to crumble away when fooled with. Fortunately, my
electrician knows what he's doing, so it's not a big issue. He recommended
against rewiring the house. (damn lucky to find an honest contractor)
If I don't need it, I doubt very much you do.
Had the same issues, with the same conclusion. Even some of the new wiring
had problems, because my wife didn't listen to me and allowed the other
contractors to do their own wiring. THAT almost burned the house down, and
left half the house without power for a week. We even had a floor lamp that
was faulty, causing a GFCI and outside lamp to do funny things, including
burning out bulbs.
I do some of my own wiring, but when weird things happen, or crawling in the
attic or crawlspace is required, I call my electrician.
Find an older guy who's been working houses like yours for a long time.
Younger guys or big companies tend to screw you on the price, and recommend
jobs you really don't need.
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