There are lots of things about home electrical systems. Many of these things are for your safety as well as making sure the house doesn’t burn down.
First of all is the Main Service Panel, typically installed on the outside wall. This is the panel that controls electricity to the sub panel in the garage and all of the big appliances such as an Electric Water Heater, Electric Furnace, Air Conditioner, Stove and Cook Top. These appliances are generally 220 volts. Typically we look for old or burned wires or corrosion on the connections or breakers that are burned or the wrong sized wiring for the breaker.
The Garage Service Panel is a smaller panel that has all of the breakers that go to the house lights and outlets. Older homes have panels that are not up to the current building codes but still appear to be working properly. Some are wired with Aluminum Wires. If there is aluminum wires, this is no reason to panic. Wires of this type, if they are installed correctly with the correct outlets, switches and breakers, then these wires typically pose no problems. These breakers are generally rated for 15 amperes. Modern circuits use copper wire and 20 ampere breakers to carry the heavier loads of all of our modern appliances. If breakers trip when you use too many appliances, it is recommended to add additional circuits to carry the load. This usually happens in the kitchen with a toaster oven, coffee maker and microwave. Some homes also have offices or Multi Media rooms with lots of electronics or electronic amplifiers, or even hair dryers or vacuum cleaners.
GFCI Outlets: These are the outlets you see generally in bathrooms, kitchens, outdoor outlets and garages. They have the black and red buttons on the front. These outlets help to keep you from getting electrocuted around potentially wet areas. If these outlets don’t trip correctly, they should be replaced.
AFCI Breakers: These breakers are now being installed in the garage service panel on newer homes. These are a new requirement, these breakers are sensitive to loose wires that arc and may cause fires.
Smoke Alarms: These are required to be installed in bedrooms and hallways, even on both floors. The newer systems are wired to house current with a back up battery. They are also wired together so if one alarm goes off, they all go off.
SPCS License #13155 | TDA TPCL #0566524 | TDA License #0557672 | TREC Lic #5463