Upgrading your electrical wiring in the home is not only a good idea to do to maintain the safety of your household, but it is also necessary to conform to the updated building codes and national requirements for residential homes. Below you will find five essential steps in upgrading your electrical wiring to get it up to code.
Step 1 - Upgrade the Attic
If your attic is used for storage or contains any equipment, such as a heating system, you need to install a light in order to meet the following national building code: 210.70(A)(3). Install a simple light bulb (use a long lasting, energy efficient light bulb so that it will last a longer time than would a traditional light bulb). The light should be placed near the area where you will store your items or near the equipment that is in the attic.
Step 2 - Upgrade the Basement
The basement is another room that should be upgraded to get the wiring in your home up to code. If your basement is unfinished, you need to still make sure all of the outlets are protected by GFCIs. This will upgrade your home so that you meet the following building code requirement: 210.8(A)(5).
Next, while you are in your basement, you should make sure you have a working carbon monoxide and smoke detector to keep your family safe and sound from fire and hazardous invisible gases.
Step 3 - Upgrade Your Kitchen
Now, you should review the kitchen and make sure that the electrical wiring and components are upgraded. The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home and you want to make sure that it is updated based on the building code requirements. Below are some of the things you need to make sure are upgraded.
Every outlet that is over your countertop area needs to be GFCI protected. When you upgrade your outlets you will conform to 210.8(A)(6) & (7).
If you have a built in microwave in your kitchen, you must make sure that is has its own circuit. So, if your microwave overheats or if it generates a spark or surge, the circuit breaker down in your breaker box will trip and maintain the safety in the home.
Step 4 - Upgrade Your Bathrooms
Since you will be near water in the bathroom, it is essential that you make sure all outlets in the bathroom are GFCI protected. When you make this upgrade, you will conform to building code: 210.8(A)(1).
For all lighting installed in the bathroom, you need to make sure #12 gauge wire is used in the lighting installation.
Step 5 - Upgrade Your Fire Protection
Having the right fire protection in your home is essential. Make sure every room (bedroom) has a smoke detector installed at least 3 feet from the door. A smoke detector should also be installed on each level of your house. If you have a little extra money in your budget, spend the time to hard wire and interconnect each of these units.