Older homes are often good candidates for renovations, and with that can often come rewiring and updating the electrical service in the house. There are a number of things to look at if you suspect you need to update the wiring some key areas to address.
One of the first concerns that need to be addressed is old wiring. In very old homes, you will find aluminum wiring that is wrapped in a fabric mesh. The problem with this wiring is that the wiring heats up more than it should because of the high draw with modern appliances and electronics throughout the house. When the wire gets hot, it can ignite the fabric wrap and the wood inside the walls and cause a fire in the home.
The wiring was appropriate when it was put in the home, but the power usage was much lower at that time. Adding additional wiring to the aluminum wiring is a bad idea as well because the new wire can carry more current and transfer it to the aluminum, melting the wiring and breaking the connection between them.
Another area of concern that you may need to address is the electrical outlets. Many of the older outlets are not grounded and do not have the rating for today's electronics and electric appliances. Most residential electricians will replace the outlets but only after the wiring is updated to meet the demand of the new outlets.
Like the outlets, the old switches need to be replaced with modern switches that have the power rating and the proper connections for the new wiring. Ask your electrician about using specialty switches if you need dimmers or three-way switches in any of your rooms so they can get the right ones for you before they start the upgrade.
Update the Service
The service coming into the home from the electric company needs to be able to handle the power you will use in the house. Most old houses have fuse panels that are rated at about eight to one-hundred amps, but most homes require two hundred amps minimum today. The electrician working on your home will replace the fuse panel with a modern breaker panel and will calculate your power needs before installing the panel.
If two hundred amps are enough, they will stick with that, but if you have a garage and shop or a large home with a lot of rooms, you may need more electricity than that. Talk with the electrician about what you want in the home and they can help you decide how large a service needs to go in the home.