Updating a house to 100 amps
By Matthew Steger, ACI, WIN Home Inspection Think about what homes from the 1920s had in them that required electricity.
Now, think about what we have in our homes today that depend upon electricity. Back in the 1920s, most of a home’s circuits were lighting and a few basic appliances.
Think about what we have nowadays and add them up: multiple televisions and DVRs, computers, clothes dryers, electric ranges, air conditioners or heat pumps, microwave ovens, refrigerators, surround sound systems, and then add in the lighting circuits.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that the electrical needs of homes in the 21st century far surpass those of homes that were wired in the 1920s.
Often, while inspecting older homes, I will still find electrical systems that are considered antique and cannot reasonably or safely handle today’s electrical loads.
As the name implies, an over-current protection device (like fuses or circuit breakers) helps prevent too much current flow in a wire.Once the amount of current flow exceeds what the size and type of wiring can handle, the wire will heat up and in extreme cases, cause a fire.In some instances, it has been proven that a fuse is less likely to fail, compared to an older circuit breaker, when the over-current device needs to act.While fuses are still considered a viable protection method in electrical systems, modern circuit breakers are more convenient when a circuit trips.No need to replace the circuit breaker, unlike a fuse, when the device trips.
Circuit breakers, are indeed safer in some regards, such as once the breaker is installed, it is simply reset when it trips.