October 1, 2018
The idea of owning a historic home in Raleigh-Durham can capture the imagination. The prospect of restoring one of these architectural treasures filled with antique fixtures and vintage features is a dream come true for many homebuyers. But get ready to roll up your sleeves for a project like this! Buying a fixer-upper can be exciting, but it can come with its own share of problems. As your trusted Raleigh electrician, CMC Electric wants to help you learn more about what kinds of issues you can expect with your historic Raleigh-Durham fixer upper, and how you can take care of them.
Protect Your Home from Outdated Electrical Panels
It seems like everyone is falling in love with the homes in and around Raleigh and Durham. Thanks to its rich history and bustling business development, it’s no surprise the region was selected as one of the best places to live in the United States.
While it’s easy to fall in love with the history of the houses, that history also brings its own baggage. Many of these adorable 1950s craftsman and Cape Cod homes, along with the ranch homes from the ’60s and ’70s, can find themselves sporting out of date wiring and electrical panels. That’s more than inconvenient. It’s downright dangerous for a living situation.
Many homes built between 1950 and 1990 feature electrical panels made by Federal Pacific Electric (FPE). These FPE Stab-Lok electrical panels have become notorious for defects and run a significant risk of breaker malfunction and starting home fires. However, it’s not enough to have your panel inspected. If you discover that your Raleigh fixer-upper has an FPE Stab-Lok panel, it’s crucial that you replace your panel immediately if you hope to protect your investment.
Grounded Outlets Protect You, Your Family, & Your Home
Another place you’ll always want to check your vintage home is the outlets. Ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles (or GFCIs) were made a requirement in all houses starting in the 1970s. These outlets are designed to protect you and your home by preventing electrical shocks. The outlet keeps track of the current flowing through the circuit and will cut off the power if the amount of current changes.
GFCI outlets are an essential safeguard in modern homes to keep residents protected from shocks. If your home was built prior to 1970, it might be missing these features. If you think that your vintage Raleigh home is in need of outlet repair, you can call the friendly pros at CMC Electric to bring your home up to code.
Old Wires Start Fires
One of the most important things to look for when it comes to updating your fixer-upper is the wiring system. That vintage copper wire is actually a great conductor, and there’s nothing wrong with “knob-and-tube” wiring itself. What’s most important is to make sure that the wiring insulation for your home is still in good condition and isn’t cracked or damaged, exposing dangerous live wires.
Another big part of taking care of your old wiring is to check your fuses. Old houses in Raleigh and Durham just weren’t built to handle the number of appliances we use to make our lives more convenient today. An over-fused circuit can quickly become a hazard. Always ensure that your home receives all of the necessary electrical repairs so that it can continue to be a beautiful home for years to come.
Keep Your Home’s Character While Improving Safety
There’s nothing like finding that perfect, charming home in great neighborhood. Raleigh and Durham are full of gorgeous houses that are rich with history and just waiting for you to come in and show them a little love. When you’re ready to find a Triangle fixer-upper of your own, be sure to call the friendly experts at CMC Electric. When you schedule service with your premier Raleigh electrician, you can rest assured that your historic home is in good hands.
The trusted local electricians at CMC are all trained, certified, and insured so you know you’re getting the best quality service available. We’ll do more than bring your home’s electrical system up to code, we’ll also do it while retaining the historic integrity of your house while taking your fixer-upper into the 21st century.