Modern kitchen equipment is an absolute necessity in any home. With the right kitchen appliances, cooking and other kitchen tasks can become more efficient and more enjoyable.
Modern kitchen appliances such as a dishwasher and new oven will significantly lighten your load and allow you to have more spare time. However, like other things in your home, they will wear out and need to be replaced after a few years.
Kitchen appliances such as dishwashers, ovens, refrigerators, cooktops, stoves, and others are some of the most frequently used appliances in the house. But in time, they may need to be replaced due to wear and tear or simply just for an upgrade.
Choose the Right Type of Kitchen Appliances
Most household appliances will no longer function efficiently at the end of their useful service life. If you are finding that your appliances aren’t working like they used to, or they aren’t able to cope whilst multiple appliances are running, you may need to look at replacing your appliances but also replacing or upgrading your electrical house wiring.
If you are renovating your home and are tossing up between keeping your old appliances or upgrading all or some of your kitchen appliances, consider what the goal of your renovation is: to sell, rent or live in yourself. If you are planning to rent your renovated home, and if your appliances aren’t too far gone, they may be more than adequate for your rental property. However, on the other hand, if you are planning on selling the place, your investment into modern, new and uniform appliances may add significant perceived value to the prospective buyers.
Lessen the Risk Electrical Fires
If you do decide to upgrade your kitchen appliances, have this in mind as you are renovating your kitchen. With an electrician on your team during your renovation, they will be able to let you know if your electrical wiring is adequate for modern appliances, or if you need to upgrade your wiring to be able to cope with whatever kitchen appliances you need. Otherwise, you will have a brand-new kitchen with sparkling appliances, only to have your circuit keep tripping because the wiring can’t handle the new electrical load.
Another reason to upgrade your electrical wiring is to decrease the risk of an electrical house fire in your home. Electrical issues are the primary cause of house fires in Australia.
Most house fires begin in the kitchen, in or near ovens, stoves, toasters, and microwave ovens. Electrical appliances or faults are responsible for a big percentage of these house fires, which is why it is critical to have an electrician inspect and upgrade your electrical system to minimize the risk of an electrical fire.
Upgrade Your Wiring
Your old wiring may not be capable of handling the energy requirements of modern appliances and may cause electrical fires. So you might need to upgrade your wiring. House rewiring is best done in conjunction with a kitchen renovation when subcontractors are in the process of repairing your walls, often before a lot of the cabinetry is installed, as the wiring will need to be planned out according to the layout of your kitchen.
Rewiring can be less expensive when done parallel to a kitchen renovation because the entire wall is usually exposed for repairs. In addition, it’s much easier to install new wiring, outlets, switches, and circuit breakers.
But if renovating the whole kitchen is not part of your plan, wiring can also be done separately. Just make sure your contractor checks all essential electrical components for any damage and repair or upgrade them if necessary.
Here are a few things to remember when you are upgrading your wiring:
1. Check the Cable Insulations
Be on the lookout for damaged cabling in older electrical installations. Live conductors may become exposed due to deterioration of the cable’s insulation. This is especially true for electrical installations installed before 1960 because they have older cable insulation, such as TRS and VIR, in homes that have their original wiring.
Damaged or outdated electrical wires can cause electric shocks! When you accidentally touch an exposed wire, an electrical current flows through your body, resulting in an electric shock. An electric shock can cause anything from tingling and minor discomfort to burns, severe injuries, coma, and death.
Exposed wires can also create sparks and short circuits that can ignite surrounding materials and cause electrical fires. Make sure to replace all the old cables with newer ones with better insulation.
2. Use Properly Sized Wires
It is essential to inspect the size of the wires used in the kitchen before new appliances are installed. Appropriately sized wires should be used based on the amperage rating of the latest devices. The higher the amperage rating, the larger the electrical cables needed.
Appropriately sized wires ensure that there is no overheating, which can make the wires melt and cause fires. The proper wire size is determined by several factors, including the planned load for the new appliances.
When an appliance attempts to draw more power on a circuit than what is rated for the wire gauge, it can overheat and short circuit.
For example, plugging a 30 amp electric stove into a 20 amp circuit equipped with 12-gauge wire can make wires heat up and cause your switchboard to trip. Check the ampere rating of the outlet before plugging in the new appliances.
3. Do NOT Overload Your Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers are resettable electrical switches that automatically cut off the circuit when the current exceeds a safe level, preventing overheating, shocks and possible fires. While circuit breakers provide a safeguard against overloading and overheating wires, they are not foolproof.
Short circuits are the main reasons for circuit breaker failure. Check the cables and connected appliances for a likely cause of the short circuit. A loose connection might overload a circuit. Always make sure that the wires are correctly terminated.
Plugging in too many appliances can surpass the amperage rating of the circuit. In addition, overloading the circuit will result in a tripped breaker. This is because the circuit is being operated at a load that exceeds the breaker’s rated maximum load.
If your circuit breaker trips too often, make sure to consult a licensed electrician because this is a problem that can be fixed and prevent further damage to your home or appliances. An electrician can help you find the problem and an appropriate solution when upgrading the breakers to match the load of your new appliances.
When renovating or upgrading your kitchen appliances, the cost of the appliances and installation themselves aren’t the only factors you’ll need to consider, your electrical wiring may need to be upgraded in order to cope with the new electrical demands of modern appliances as well as reduce the risk of electrical fires, shocks and short circuits in your home.