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Chadwick electrical code Fort Collins Windsor


What is the National Electrical Code?

Throughout many of our blog posts, we have mentioned how various aspects of electrical systems need to meet “electrical code”. But what exactly does that mean? As professional electricians serving Fort Collins and Windsor, we are up to date on the National Electrical Code and its updates. While the code may not always affect your home, it’s may be useful to know what it is.

The National Electrical Code Breakdown

Despite its name, the NEC is not federal law and needs to be regionally adopted in order to be enforced. However, the code presents standards for “electrical safety in residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies”. National Fire Protection Agency develops the NEC as part of their National Fire Codes. It was first published in 1987 to codify well-known best practices and help cities avoid civil liability lawsuits. Its main goal, however, is to protect residents from negligent practices that would result in loss of life or property.

Because of its overarching influence, electricians will spend years apprenticing and practicing the NEC standards before acquiring their license. Not every requirement of the code is adopted by states or municipalities, however. That is the reason electricians need local licenses in order to practice their craft. The NFPA also offers certification programs for contractors to demonstrate their competency with the code.

The code itself is publicly available as a 1000-page book. But because of its size, a few experts will release summaries of the major changes made every three years. Updates and amendments are released every three years, though it may take a couple of years for states to adopt the newest version. Each version of the NEC covers everything from the installation of connections to requirements for communications systems. They also include an index and annexes for implementation.

Even though the code is publicly available, there are still mistakes commonly made. That’s why electrical inspections are so important. That’s also why you should hire a professional with a strong understanding of local codes. Best practices keep you, your family and your home safe.

Chadwick Electric Fort Collins electrical panel

Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Fort Collins Electrical Panel

There are a few reasons you may need to upgrade your electrical panel in your Fort Collins home. However, in order to understand why, you should know what the panel is. In order to help you make the best decision about your home’s electrical panel, here’s a quick overview and some tips. After all, an informed homeowner saves the most money.

What does the electrical panel do?

Your electrical panel is the main hub of all of the electricity that flows through your home. While your main power line goes through the meter box, your electrical panel is responsible for the distribution of electricity to smaller branch lines. Those branch lines are indicated by the switches on the panel – each going to an area or appliance that needs power. The breaker box houses the panel. Each panel should have labels to where the branches go and how many amps they can carry. This amp limit determines when the breaker switch will trip.

 How do I know when to upgrade my electrical panel?

With the median home age in Fort Collins being 26 years, you may be living in a home with an older panel. That’s not automatically a bad thing, but there are things to watch for to know if you need an upgrade.

First, pay attention to how often the circuit breakers trip. If your breakers are tripping often, it may be a sign that your electrical panel is malfunctioning. If this continues for too long, the breaker may eventually stop tripping, which can lead to electrical shock or even an electrical fire.

Next, watch and listen. You should get your panel inspected as soon as possible if you notice the lights flickering and/or hear crackling sounds.

Better safe than sorry!

Any problems with your electricity should be inspected as soon as you notice them. However, you should call an electrician who will properly diagnose your issue and make appropriate recommendations. Chadwick Electric Services will never do unnecessary work just to make money. So call us today for your inspection at 970-457-4099.

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