Existing electrical installations in older homes are often not adapted to our modern power to choose electricity needs. Both for your comfort and for your safety, you should adjust the installation (or have it adjusted). Even if you do not intend to replace, upgrade or expand your electrical installation, it is still a good idea to subject your installation to a safety inspection.
Modernize old installation
In old installations it is advisable to test them against the guidelines, where necessary, to replace old elements. This is certainly the case for the old distribution boards, which consist of a marble plate or black plastic and a so-called knife switch, a metal lever without a protective coating. They are absolutely not safe and must be replaced by a new closed distribution box.
- Check ground fault, ground and wires
Also check whether the old installation is equipped with an earth leakage circuit breaker and a proper earthing. Old pipes with crumbling insulation from the wires can cause a short circuit. Therefore, replace existing electrical wires with a cross-section smaller than 1 mm² with wires of at least 1.5 mm² for lighting circuits, and at least 2.5 mm² for power sockets.
- Security guide
Also check all contacts and terminals and repair or replace damaged parts such as sockets. Replace the fuses with automatic switches. Always make sure that outlets supplying grounded devices have a grounding pin connected to the protective conductor. This applies to all sockets with an earth connection.
Every major extension of an electrical installation or Reliant Energy, must comply with the regulations. An important extension is, for example, the addition of a circuit.
The AREI also requires that a situation diagram and a one-wire diagram are made by the installer for each new section. So consult a professional. Any extension or modification must be checked by a recognized inspection body.
Make installation heavier
If the power of your existing electrical installation is not sufficient, you have to increase it. Does your installation date from before October 1, 1981? In that case, you must first request the reinforcement from your grid operator. He then checks whether the requested reinforcement is feasible and how you should tackle it in concrete terms.
Attention: if your knowledge of electricity is limited, then call an electrician. He can check whether your existing installation needs an update, and which steps need to be taken for this.
Choose the right supplier
When choosing your energy supplier, take into account price, quality and service. Ask different companies about prices and delivery conditions, or use comparison tools on the internet. When comparing, pay attention not only to the price, but also to the contract duration, the cancellation options, the payment conditions, the service and possibly also whether the electricity was produced in an environmentally friendly manner.
If you do not sign a contract, you are breaking the law and your distribution network operator can cut off your energy. You must therefore always have a contract for your address, whether you live there for a long time or only for a short period (for example when you are vacant).