The Home Buyer's Korner

Information presented should be used for educational purposes only.

October 19th, 2015

Guy looking up in color

THE GREATER MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE AREA

The Home Buyer’s Korner

Real Estate G+

Mortgage Lender

General Contractor G+

Circuit Box

Circuit BoxKNOW YOUR WAY AROUND

After moving into a home, particularly an older one, of the most daunting issues for a new homeowner is figuring out how all the systems work. One system with some unique issues is the electric system. It may take some time to determine what switch controls what light or what receptacles are on what circuit, which may just seem to be an inconvenience. But safety issues can also come into play as well – from not seeing where you’re going if you can’t find the right switch in the dark, to possibly overloading a circuit, which could lead to a fire if adequate overload protection isn’t present.

Here are some simple basic electric system tips that can help make this critical house component less of a mystery or safety concern.

LOCATE THE PANEL

The first thing to do is make sure you know where the main panel is in the event of an emergency or servicing needs. Most electric panels are located in the basement, garage or utility room, or on the exterior of the home adjacent to a garage or utility room.

The main panel is the connection point between the incoming service and the house wiring. In many areas, the panel typically contains a service disconnect (the main shut-off), overload protection (circuit breakers or fuses), and the connected wires that carry electricity throughout the house. For safety reasons, usually only the breakers (or fuses) and shut-off switches are visible. The rest of the electric components are hidden behind the panel cover. If there are any openings in the panel or exposed connections, they should be addressed as soon as possible.

IDENTIFY THE CIRCUITS

You’ll also want to know what house appliances, fixtures and receptacles are serviced by each circuit. This will help you determine how you can use the system without causing an overload. Even some portable appliances like hair dryers and microwaves can draw a significant amount of current. If these are both used on the same circuit and operated at the same time, the circuit can be overloaded. This would be an inconvenience if it happened regularly, but by identifying what is on each circuit and clearly labeling the panel with the appropriate information, you will know your system’s limitations and the adjustments that need to be made. You’ll also be able to locate the appropriate circuit when needed.

If you are lucky, an electrician or someone else has labeled the panel. But even then, expect that some labels may not be correct. So best to run through and check all again – and in the process, correct any labels or errors, While there are some devices to help identify circuits, it is often a matter of turning off one circuit at a time and recording all lights, receptacles outlets and appliances affected.

OVERLOAD PROTECTION

Aside from the wiring materials and methods used, the most basic safety consideration with any electrical installation is the type and condition of its overload protection. Fuses and circuit breakers are safety devices located in your electrical panel to prevent system or circuit overloading; they stop the flow of electric current if it exceeds a safe level for the circuit wiring. Overloading means that the appliances and lighting in the home demand more electrical current than the home electrical system can safely deliver. If the demand for electrical current exceeds the amount a wire can safely handle, such as with an overload or short circuit, either a fuse opens (“blows”) or a circuit breaker opens (“trips”) to stop the current flow before the wire or other components overheat. Before replacing a fuse or resetting a breaker, the cause for the problems must be identified and corrected.

CIRCUIT BREAKERS VERSUS FUSES

Fuses, which are found mostly in homes built before the mid 1950s, come in various types and sizes. While many people believe a fused system is not safe, that isn’t the case if everything thing is wired properly and the right size fuses are used. The greatest failing with this type overload device is not with the product but with the homeowner. Fuses should be replaced with only the size acceptable for the circuit. Frustrated with repeated blown fuses, homeowners often replace the blown fuse with a large capacity one or worse, with a penny or other conductor (thereby negating the intended overload protection). To prevent the potential installation of over-sized fuses, an electrician can install special sockets that accept only fuses of the correct amperage rating.

Even if fuse size is not an issue, a fused system is an older system. This means it has older wiring, devices, most likely doesn’t have the distribution system currently needed or desired, has probably been worked on over the years (often not by a licensed electrician or other qualified person) and is more likely to have issues that need to be addressed. Consequently, with any upgrades or other major work, while not always required, replacement with a new circuit breaker panel may be a desired or the most feasible approach.

To reset a circuit breaker, the breaker must be manually reset. There are at least two different types of circuit breakers. One has a hand control handle that flips all the way to “OFF” when it is tripped. The other has an intermediate position, between “ON” and “OFF.” Both types must be reset with the hand control after the problem has been eliminated. The first type should be moved back to “ON”; the second must be first moved fully to “OFF” and then to “ON.”

SAFETY FIRST

Don’t take any chance when working around electric components. If there is a leak, water or exposed wiring anywhere near the panel or other electric component, do not approach it. If you have any reservations about even operating breakers or fuses to label a panel, leave it to someone more qualified. All electric work is best left to a licensed electrician and you can find one nearby at our Google+ General Contractor community.

Memphis Marketing

VISIT OUR GREATER MEMPHIS AREA

HOMES FOR SALE LISTINGS

Livingston Homes for Sale

FIND HOMES THROUGHOUT MEMPHIS TENNESSEE

HUD FORECLOSED HOMES IN & AROUND THE GREATER MEMPHIS TENNESSEE

USDA FORECLOSED HOMES IN & AROUND THE GREATER MEMPHIS TENNESSEE

FNMA HOMEPATH FORECLOSED HOMES IN & AROUND MEMPHIS TENNESSEE

FIND MORE FORECLOSURES IN & AROUND MEMPHIS TENNESSEE

TENNESSEE HOME OWNERSHIP TOOLS

Your Home Purchasing or Refinancing & Renovation Tools,

Home Improvements, Home Renovations,

Mortgage Loan Officers, Real Estate Agents & General Contractors

are ready to assist you with your home purchase.

Here are just a few of the home improvements

you might consider with any Home Renovation loan

Repair or replace a roof

Install, replace or repair gutters and downspouts

Replace, repair or upgrade your HVAC system

Repair or replace plumbing

Install, repair or replace electrical systems

Kitchen remodeling (including the purchase and installation of appliances)

Bathroom remodeling, Full interior painting, Total exterior painting

Repair or replace a septic system and/or well

Disability access (wheelchair ramp, elevator, widen doorways)

Build, repair or replace deck, patio or porch

Basement waterproofing and finishing

Abatement/Stabilization of lead-based paint hazards

Replace old windows, Room additions, Finish an attic

Add a second story to your home

Replace a termite damaged sill plate (a water-damaged sill plate also)

Possible landscaping items such as correction of grading & drainage problems,

tree removal, repair a driveway and sidewalks

FHA 203K

Your Home Purchasing or Refinancing & Renovation Tool

Mortgage Loan Officers, Real Estate Agents & General Contractors

are ready to assist you with your home purchase

FANNIE MAE HOMESTYLE

The Conventional Alternative to FHA 203K

Great for Real Estate Investors and Second Home Renovations

Mortgage Loan Officers, Real Estate Agents & General Contractors

are ready to assist you with your home purchase

USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Up to $10K for Home Improvements, Renovations or a Simple Remodel

Mortgage Loan Officers, Real Estate Agents & General Contractors are ready to assist you

A SIMPLE HOME SHOPPING INSPECTION TOOL

Organizing your home shopping experience affords a wise decision-making process.

This simple home inspection tool makes your ultimate buying decision a smart one.

To print this document click on “Open in New Window” located at the lower right corner;

click on “File”; then click on “Print”. In the center of the screen you will

have the option to “Create A Printable PDF of the Presentation”.

START YOUR PATH TO HOME OWNERSHIP TODAY

FNMA HomeStyle FNMA My Community Mortgage FHA One-Time Close Construction Portfolio or VA home loan Homes for Sale REO Short Sales FNMA HomePath Properties HUD Homes USDA Homes Condominiums Co-Ops Town homes Manufactured Homes Modular Homes Mobile Homes Log Homes Second Homes Investment Property 2-4 Family Custom Home Builders Custom Built Homes Luxury Homes General Contractors Home Improvement Experts Kitchen & Bathroom Renovations Real Estate Brokers & Agents Mortgage Lenders Federal Credit Unions Community Bankers Real Estate Listings Jumbo Investor Hard Money HARP HECM Equity Zero 3% 3.5% Portfolio Non-Warrantable Down Payment Assistance Hazard Flood Insurance Arlington Atoka Barretville Bartlett Braden Brighton Burlison Collierville Cordova Covington Dancyville Dryersburg Drummonds Eads Fisherville Fulton Gallaway Garland Germantown Hickory Jackson Brownsville Union City Bolivar Withe Laconia La Grange Lakeland Liberty Hill Macon Mason Memphis Millington Munford Oakland Quito Rosemark Rossville Somerville Stanton Whiteville Williston Yum Yum Tennessee Cayce Lake Cormorant Days Handy Corner Southhaven Horn Lake Olive Branch Pleasant Hill Slayden Taska Walls Mississippi Shelby County Tipton County Lauderdale County Dyer County Lake County Obion County Weakley County Gibson County Crockett County Haywood County Madison County Fayette County Hardeman County Henry County Carroll County Benton County Henderson County Decatur County Chester County McNairy County Hardin CountyBolivar County Carroll County Desoto County Granada County Holmes County Humphreys County Lafayette County Leflore County Marshall County Montgomery County Panola County Quitman County Sunflower County Tunica County Tallahatchie County Washington County Yalobusha County 38001 38002 38004 38006 38007 38008 38010 38011 38012 38014 38015 38016 38017 38018 38019 38021 38023 38024 38025 38027 38028 38029 38030 38034 38036 38037 38039 38040 38041 38042 38044 38045 38046 38047 38048 38049 38050 38052 38053 38054 38055 38057 38058 38059 38060 38061 38063 38066 38067 38068 38069 38070 38071 38075 38076 38077 38079 38080 38083 38088 38101 38103 38104 38105 38106 38107 38108 38109 38110 38111 38112 38113 38114 38115 38116 38117 38118 38119 38120 38122 38124 38125 38126 38127 38128 38130 38131 38132 38133 38134 38135 38136 38137 38138 38139 38141 38142 38145 38147 38148 38150 38151 38152 38157 38159 38161 38163 38165 38166 38167 38168 38173 38174 38175 38177 38181 38182 38183 38184 38186 38187 38188 38190 38193 38194 38197 38201 38220 38221 38222 38223 38224 38225 38226 38227 38229 38230 38231 38232 38233 38235 38236 38237 38238 38240 38241 38242 38251 38253 38254 38255 38256 38257 38258 38259 38260 38261 38271 38281 38301 38302 38303 38305 38308 38310 38311 38313 38314 38315 38316 38317 38318 38320 38321 38324 38326 38327 38328 38329 38330 38331 38332 38333 38334 38336 38337 38338 38339 38340 38341 38342 38343 38344 38345 38346 38347 38348 38351 38352 38355 38356 38357 38358 38359 38361 38362 38363 38365 38366 38367 38368 38369 38370 38371 38372 38374 38375 38376 38377 38378 38379 38380 38381 38382 38387 38388 38389 38390 38391 38392 38393 38401 38402 38425 38449 38450 38451 38452 38453 38454 38455 38456 38457 38459 38460 3846138462 38463 38464 38468 38469 38471 38472 38473 38474 38475 38476 38477 38478 38481 38482 38483 38485 38486 38487 38488 38501 38502 38503 38504 38505 38506 38541 38542 38543 38544 38545 38547 38548 38549 38550 38551 38552 38553 38554 38555 38556 38557 38558 38559 38560 38562 38563 38564 38565 38567 38568 38569 38570 38571 38572 38573 38574 38575 38577 38578 38579 38580 38581 38582 38583 38585 38587 38588 38589 38740 38746 38759 38764 38762 38703 38769 38720.38917 38923 38943 38947 389574 38176 38632 38637 38641 38651 38654 38671 38672 68680 38686 38901 38902 38924 39063 39079 39095 39146 39169 39192 38721 38754 39038 39097 39166 39194 38601 38655 38673 38675 38677 38874 38949 38633 38635 38679 38685 38642 39402 38649 38647.38925 38967 39747 38767 38606 38619 38620 38621 38658 38665 38666 38606 38609 38617 38621 38628 38643 38646 38670 38963 38964 38732 38736 38737 38751 38753 38754 38759 38761 38771 38773 38778 38963 39038 38621 38626 38664 38665 38670 38676 38920 38921 38927 38928 38950 38958 38962 38963 38966 38701 38702 38703 38704 38731 38658 38901 38922 38927 38948 38953 38961 38965

Join us at Real Estate Social

Comments are closed.