Upgrading the Electrical System of a 1940s Historic House to a 21st Century Modern Home

DSC_8030 (1)eatonsmaller

Living in a home that has an outdated electrical system can be a health hazard and a potential disaster in the wrong person’s hands. At Eaton Electric, we have a great deal of experience rewiring these older homes, and it is one of our favorite things to do.

I recently completed the rewiring of a 1940s-era house in Gainesville’s northeast historic district. The challenges were plentiful but the results were very positive.

People were living in the home, so I had to focus on one section at a time. I measured the amount of time it would take to demolish and rewire each section of the home. I then split each section into one or two days of work, so the client would still have access to electricity in most of the home.

I completely upgraded the incoming electric service to the home. I started at the meter socket and added a new 200-ampere panel. Following that I removed and replaced an old overloaded sub panel. After finishing that phase of the upgrade, I then systematically removed sections of the old two-wire system and upgraded it, room-by-room and outlet-by-outlet. This provides the house with grounded circuits for lighting, adequate boxes to support ceiling fans and new upgraded, three-prong, tamper-resistant convenience outlets that comply with the National Electrical Code (NEC) spacing requirements. The NEC requires all new and renovated dwellings to have tamper-resistant receptacles. They are a safer alternative than standard receptacles, and can prevent shock and burn accidents.

The client is also an avid quilter, so I installed dedicated outlets in one room to supply multiple sewing machines and ironing stations. This allows her to now have all her sewing equipment plugged in at the same time. The extra circuits allow for future expansion and upgrades for technology.

The revisions that I make in homes like this historic house are not only meant to accommodate today’s technology, but also to accomodate technological advancements in the future.