Construction & Renovation
If you are upgrading your home, or building your dream home from the ground up, then let Got Watts Electric and Solar be your electrical partner. Our highly trained technicians will get the job done right the first time, making the rest of the process a whole lot easier.
Read more about our construction and renovation electrical services:
As the proud owners of Eichler homes know, an Eichler home is unique and comes with its own specific challenges and requirements - with electrical wiring being at the top of the list.
Unlike more common or traditional homes, Eichler homes were not built with access areas like attics, crawl spaces or basements, therefore the electrical wiring is run underneath the home’s slab, as well as across the roof and within the wall panels. After years of exposure to elements such as moisture from leaking pipes, roof drains or sprinkler systems, the thin tubing around the wiring can corrode and develop grounding issues and failure. While the wiring in these homes isn’t inherently dangerous, a reputable electrician such as Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC who specializes in Eichler home wiring is strongly recommended as they will be familiar with the specific challenges in Eichler electrical systems.
While the wiring in Eichler homes isn’t inherently dangerous, a reputable electrician who specializes in Eichler home wiring is strongly recommended as they will be familiar with the specific challenges in Eichler electrical systems.
Eichler homes also commonly have Federal Pacific, or Zinsco panels which have been deemed unsafe. If you have these panels inside your home it is recommended that you contact Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC today to discuss your options. You can read more about outdated panels here.
Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC is a licensed electrical contractor with many years of experience with these unique Eichler electrical systems; we know what to look for and how to remedy each Eichler Home's specific problems. Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC is an expert in investigative work, sniffing out precisely how the lines are run and where the problems are, to get to the root of the issue and solve it.
Ever thought about how many wires are running through your home just behind those walls? All of the electrical outlets, light fixtures and cable hookups have some kind of wiring to make them function. What happens when these wires get old, outdated or possibly corroded? A good thing to do as a homeowner, potential buyer or as a renter is to hire an electrician to do a complete home electrical inspection. You definitely do not want to be on the wrong end of an electrical fire. Home sellers are not required to provide an electrical inspection, so it is always a good idea to have an independent one done for your benefit.
A very common mistake is to purchase a home that has faulty electrical wiring. This most assuredly will cause problems in the long run. Even if your heart is set on the home, an electrical inspection will help to put it in perspective and may even give you some wiggle room with the price. As a homeowner, especially if you have inherited an older family home, an electrical inspection could possibly save your life. Electrical outlets should be updated to add grounded outlets and to replace any aluminum wire that may exist throughout the home.
Save yourself the stress of finding these problems out later and have an electrician conduct an inspection. Electrical inspections take just a few hours and are well worth it. The key is to be proactive in finding electric problems, so it is definitely worth your time.
The electrical pros at Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC can help perform full home electrical inspections and if there is recommended work, give you a plan of action and a cost estimate to correct the issues.
Electrical Service Upgrades
Do you have the power you need for your home?
When you plug something in an electrical outlet or your AC or heat comes on, do your lights flicker?
Do breakers trip when you turn on the microwave or when you use your hair dryer?
If you answered YES to any of those questions, there is a decent chance you may need an electrical service upgrade. What is an electrical service upgrade and how can it benefit me? Before answering that, make sure you read the following paragraph first as it can save you thousands of dollars.
Do not pay twice!!! Don’t lose your power!!
Installing a new electric service should only be done by a licensed electrical contractor. Do not be fooled by a DIY or handyman telling you they can do the job at a significant lower price. They may do the work but when they are done, you will never hear from them again and guess what happens? Your power will not be turned on. The reason for this is that only a licensed electrical contractor can do this job. All electric service upgrades and panel upgrades involving the local power company and local building department. A proper permit must be pulled and all electrical work must be inspected and signed off by a licensed inspector and only then will the power company come back and turn on your electricity.
Electrical Emergencies? You can count on us!
Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC is a state licensed electrical contractor in California. We provide 24/7 emergency service, take pride in quality installations, and we are your hometown electricians whom you can truly rely on when you call. We save the day and our name speaks for itself.
Electrical Service Upgrades! Do I need one?
The electrical service is where your home gets power from the local utility department. All homes and business have them and depending on the age of your home, where it’s located and what the electrician installed are the determining factors on what type of service you have.
Your electrical service will have a meter which tells the utility department how much electricity you are using, service entrance wiring and some means of disconnect. If there is no means of disconnect, you have a serious problem on your hands that must be fixed immediately. This means of disconnect is a way to shut off all electricity to your home in the event of an emergency or there is an electrical problem. Your service and panels must also be properly bonded and grounded to make sure in the event, if there are any faults; the faults will go straight to the earth.
What size service do I have on my house?
An electrical service is determined by how many amps the over-current protection and wiring are rated for. You should be able to view how many amps your meter and panels are rated for on the panels themselves. If it’s old, then you may not be able to see it and you will need a qualified electrician to be able to open the electrical service and panels and determine what size service you have.
What size service is required on my house?
The NEC or National Electric Code requires a minimum of a 100 amp electrical service but it should be noted that most insurance companies require a 150 or 200 amp service in order to get insurance.
If you have been notified by city, utility department or your insurance agency that you need a new electrical service you may wonder what you should do.
Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC will fill out all the necessary paper work and obtain all permits that are needed. We will also coordinate with your local utility, so we can get your power on quickly. We also have an option where we can install a temporary generator on site, so you can still have some power in your home.
Knob & Tube Wiring
Knob-and-Tube (K&T) wiring was an early standardized method of electrical wiring in buildings, and was in common use in North America from about 1880 to the 1940s. The system is considered obsolete today and can be a safety hazard, although some of the fear associated with it is undeserved.
K&T wiring is designed to dissipate heat into the air and insulation disturbs this process. Insulation around K&T wires will cause heat to build up, and this creates a fire hazard. The 2008 National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that this wiring system can not be covered by insulation. Specifically, it states that this wiring system should not be in hollow spaces of walls, ceilings and attics where such spaces are insulated by loose, rolled or foamed-in-place insulating material that envelops the conductors.
Many insurance companies will not insure homes that have knob-and-tube wiring due to the risk of fire. Exceptions are sometimes made for houses where an electrical contractor has deemed the system to be safe.
Here are some tips for those of you with K&T wiring:
- The homeowner or an electrician should carefully remove any insulation that is found surrounding K&T wires.
- Prospective home buyers should get an estimate of the cost of replacing K&T wiring. They can use this amount to negotiate a cheaper price for the house.
- Have the system evaluated by a qualified electrician. Only an expert can confirm that the system was installed and modified correctly.
- Do not run an excessive amount of appliances in the home, as this can cause a fire.
- Where the wiring is brittle or cracked, it should be replaced.
- Proper maintenance is crucial.
If you live in a home with K&T wiring then call the licensed electrical experts at Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC today and we will do a complete evaluation of your electrical system and tell you whether or not it is safe. We will also supply you with other available options for upgrading your current electrical system.
Whether you are a new customer or a long-time customer moving to a new location, Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC is ready to meet all of your new construction project’s electrical needs.
New to the East Bay Area? With all electric installations in new construction or renovation, an inspection is required and familiarity with the various guidelines and laws is crucial to your project’s success.
As experts in electrical new construction projects, we will walk you through each step from the very beginning. From obtaining proper permits from your city or county, reviewing your construction plans and implementing energy saving methods, to plan submittal and preparing your new project for inspection, our licensed, bonded and insured electricians are just a phone call or a click away.
Your new construction project’s electrical needs don’t have to be overwhelming, let us take the guess work out of hiring an electrician by providing you with expert installation, timely service and 24/7 customer care. At Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC, we truly are here for you.
Older Homes Electric
Consider what homes built in the 30s, 40s, and 50s had in them that required electricity and compare that to what we have in our homes today that require electricity. There are clearly some big changes. In older homes, most of the houses’ circuits were lighting and a few basic appliances (refrigerator, stove, etc). Today we’ve added multiple televisions, computers, washers and dryers, electric stoves, air conditioners, microwaves, and surround sound systems – on top of just the lighting circuit system.
In days long past, a 60 – amp electrical system was considered the norm and was sufficient for the homes of that time. These days, 200 – amp / 240 volt service is considered the standard for an average home.
Commonly in older homes, fuse over-current protection is still installed. Fuse over-current protection is where an over-current protection device (like circuit breakers or fuses) prevents the overflow of current in a wire.
When the amount of current flow surpasses the size and type of wiring installed, the wires can heat up and in some cases cause a fire.
While fuses can still be a viable protection method in a home’s electrical system, modern circuit breakers are safer and more convenient in the event of a circuit breaker tripping. Instead of needing replacement like a fuse, a circuit breaker simply resets when it is tripped.
If you’ve purchased an older home in the East Bay Area, there are other things to consider as well like having a licensed electrician install GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection in wet areas like bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and the garage.
Another big issue seen in older homes is the prevelant use of "Knob and Tube Wiring" (a.k.a. K&T Wiring). This type of wiring which is very prevelant in older homes is a potential hazard and really should be upgraded to newer, safer types of electrical wiring. To learn more about Knob and Tube Wiring...please click here.
These are just a few of the most common issues with electrical systems in older homes that if not attended to properly can cause serious injury, loss of property and loss of life. In many cases, like the plumbing systems in older homes, the electrical systems often get updated in pieces and never quite make it up to today’s standards.
The most important thing to consider is having the electrical system in your East Bay older home professionally inspected and having any repairs, updates or changes performed by professional, licensed electricians...and we can help! Not only can we thouroughly inspect your homes wiring, we can offer recommendations for repairs that fit your budget, from simple fixes, all the way up to whole house rewiring.
Renovations and Remodels
With renovations or the remodeling of your home, the idea sometimes sounds more fun than the actual hard work involved. That’s why the professional electricians at Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC have already covered a major part for you.
The electrical wiring is the most important aspect of your home’s renovation or remodel, even if it never crossed your mind. Improper wiring installation can prove disastrous if not left in the hands of licensed, bonded and insured electrician and the experts at Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC have just the ticket.
So let’s say you’re building an addition to your home, dog room, playroom, or bedroom. You have chosen the materials for your addition, and your colors are selected, right down to the shade of the flooring. You’re excited about your new project, and you have selected the tools and equipment needed to get started. Your power tools will need to be plugged in before you even begin and right there is the point where you give us a call.
Got Watts? Electric, Solar & HVAC experts know where to begin whether you have already planned your project, or need help planning your project and want to know the specifics involved. From your idea’s implementation to the day you switch on the light to your brand new renovation or remodel, we are at your side every step of the way. Let our experience work for you.