Your home in the Bay Area will contain either one of or a mixture of the following wire type;

Each wire type had its own distinct advantages and disadvantages at the time of its installation. Your home’s electrical wiring lifespan is greatly affected by type, power usage and quality of its installation. Power demands have increased exponentially over the years which means the older systems have become undersized and lacking in protection. In short, if your home does not have modern NM-B cables then you should consider having an electrician inspect your home as soon as possible. Most homes will have the option of adding additional wiring, replacing only certain sections or rewiring entirely. In addition to wiring to code, you will have the option of increasing maximum power, lighting and protections.

Knob and Tube 1880-1940’s

  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Cloth sheathing
  • Designed for minimal 60A systems (mostly lighting)
  • Difficult to integrate into new systems
  • No interior grounding wires

If your home has Knob and tube you should seriously consider a full electrical rewire. Most insurance companies have difficulty insuring these homes and may also require that it be updated. Attempting to integrate this wiring with modern NM Cable is often done incorrectly and leaves the home in even more danger. The cloth sheathing lasts for about 25 years before it begins to crack and becomes brittle, exposing the bare electrified copper conductor which is an extreme fire hazard.

Bx (Armor Clad Cable) 1930 – 1950’s

  • Lifespan: 30-40 years
  • Armor protection
  • Designed for 60A – 100A systems
  • Difficult to integrate into new systems
  • Not a sufficient grounding source

    Bx wiring was a step in the right direction however it does still have a lot of the same issues as Knob and Tube. The best part about it is the armor around the electrical conductors. This makes the lifespan increase as well as the safety of people operating near it. That being said the cable does not make for an acceptable ground like modern armored cables, which means you still need to rewire in order to have grounded receptacles and lighting. In addition most of the wiring will be on only a few circuits meaning most modern users will be in an overload situation.

Aluminum NM 1960-1970’s

  • Lifespan: 10 years.
  • PVC or Cloth Sheathing
  • Aluminum conductors designed for 100A-125A system
  • Extremely difficult to integrate into new systems
  • Typically contains undersized grounding conductor

Aluminum wire became a cost effective option primarily due to copper prices being high (Vietnam War). However, it was quickly realized that this type of wire drastically increased the rate of electrical fire. In general Aluminum is not as good of a conductor as Copper which means it often needs to be oversized. The wire is more susceptible to overheating, melting and arcing, all of which can cause an electrical fire. In addition, almost all additions to the system are done in copper and often need to be tied into the existing aluminum. The two metals are extremely dangerous to connect to each other if done improperly.

Anaconda NM 1960-1980’s

  • Lifespan: 30 years
  • Cloth Sheathing
  • Designed for 100A-125A system
  • Easily integrated
  • Typically contains undersized grounding conductor

Anaconda cable is the closest you will get to modern NM-B cable. It contains a grounding conductor which means it will give you access to ground protection and 3 prong receptacles. The exterior sheathing is the biggest problem with this cable. It is cloth based and often rips easily and exposes the copper conductors to being harmed. There are also issues with termites and rodents eating away the sheathing. Most Anaconda is on its way out but can be integrated into newer systems if it is protected properly (CAFCI breakers).

NM-B Cable 1984 – Present

  • Lifespan: 50 years
  • PVC sheathing
  • Designed for 100A – 400A systems
  • Gold Standard of Cables
  • Proper grounding conductor size

If you have wiring that looks like the above photo then congratulations you have the most modern iteration of residential home wiring. These cables are built for modern day living and can last an extremely long time if installed properly. You may still want to check if you have proper circuit breakers installed (CAFCI) as these breakers became code 15 years later.

Why Hire Us?

Here at Pacific Coast Electricians we have completed and continue to do the most residential home rewires in the area. This is not a light task as it involves coordinating with multiple contractors, inspectors, utilities and of course electricians. We are experts in our field and take care of the project in its entirety for you. Projects can last anywhere from (1) one week to (2) two months depending on how much work is performed. Here are some of the advantages in hiring us;

  • Our company is licensed, bonded and insured with legal contracts
  • Our Project Managers will coordinate the entire project for you
  • 100% financing available
  • You do not need to move out of the home while the work takes place
  • We guarantee the work passes a final inspection and is to modern code
  • An unmatched 30 year warranty on all labor and materials
  • Licensed Electricians performing the work
  • Customizable options so that you end up with exactly what you want
  • Transparent to the dollar pricing
  • And last but not least our Client Care Guarantee: Our electricians are the best in skill, attitude and workmanship. While they are in your home or place of business your property will be protected from any possible damage. Our electricians will not swear or use tobacco products while on your property. They will courteously answer any questions and leave your home as neat as they found it. They will wear protective shoe covers and place floor protection on all work and traffic areas.
For an Emergency or Consultation Contact Us Anytime!

For an Emergency or Consultation Contact Us Anytime!

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