Updating electrcal service
Whether you see an electrical upgrade as a necessary evil or a smart business move, keeping old wiring or having insufficient amperage can not only endanger tenants — it can also damage appliances and make it difficult to sell your property.“You’re the property manager, and you’re liable if [the electrical system] is not done properly,” says Tony Girard, property manager and owner of EDGE Properties, Inc. Unfortunately, many property managers and tenants tend to forget about their electrical systems until something goes wrong, Girard says.In fact, unless they’re frequently tripping circuits, tenants are unlikely to notice the difference.But bringing a building up to code is beneficial in the long run, for both you and your tenants. Turn-of-the-century properties likely need to be rewired because you probably have three or four different generations of electrical systems in one building, Girard says.Then you’ll have to rewire the property before leasing it to tenants. Your Tenants Have Noticed Some Quirks Other clues that you may need to rewire your property or upgrade your service are subtler.Tenants may notice dimming lights when an appliance is turned on or outlets that intermittently don’t seem to work, which indicates insufficient amperage.But entirely rewiring and upgrading everything in a five-unit building could cost thousands of dollars and take several months because the walls need to be opened, dry-walled, repainted and finished, Girard says.
If you add a room onto your home or add central air conditioning, for example, you may need a bigger panel to handle the increased electrical load.
This is called a “panel upgrade” or “service upgrade.” The electrical panel can also be called a “circuit breaker panel,” “electrical box,” or “electrical service.” It actually has lots of names. When you add central air or a large new refrigerator, your home doesn’t automatically provide the additional power you need.
If you’re often flipping circuit breakers or blowing fuses due to too much electrical demand, you may need to upgrade your electrical panel.
But many new houses are being installed with 200 amp services to anticipate future electricity needs and accommodate the number of circuits in houses today because you can only have so many outlets on a particular circuit, Bollin says.
When there’s insufficient electricity, it can strain appliance motors because they aren’t receiving enough power.