Materials used in wire have varied over the years. Copper has always been the first choice because it is such a good conductor and is very flexible. In the 1960 to 1970’s, aluminum wire became popular due to the rising cost of copper. Insulation was usually rubber although rubber tended to corrode due to exposure to moisture and air. PVC compounds are now used most commonly as wire insulation. Insulation is made in different colors to identify wiring circuits in a system.
Some old homes were designed to run off less power than the modern home. Most states have a 100 amp minimum requirement. Homes running under that service could consider an upgrade to bring them to between 100 and 200 amps, which could run upwards of $2,000. Homeowners should evaluate their power demands first. “A homeowner can have an electrician test the system with an amp meter while all the big loads are on,” says Holt. “If the draw is over 75-80 percent of the service size, you might consider an upgrade. Otherwise you should be fine.”
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