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Rewiring Older Tampa area Homes

It is acceptable to replace the fuse board or circuit breaker panel for a newer one without rewiring the whole house. If the new breaker panel is larger, (100 amps vs. 60 amps) the main electric service cables coming into the house will have to be upgraded.

New Panels - Take note.
1. New (replacement) service panels can not be placed inside a closet or bathroom.
2. Maximum height of breakers from ground is 79 inches (6ft.7in).
3. Minimum clearances allowed around the panel, 30" in front, and 36" wide.
4. Must be grounded to a new grounding rod.

NOTE: Only one wire can be held under the terminal screw of a breaker unless the second wire is low voltage - i.e. doorbell transformer.

Grounded type (three prong) outlets may not be substituted for ungrounded (two prong) outlets unless a ground wire is connected. An exception to this rule is allowed when the outlet is protected by a ground fault interrupter (GFI).

There are two types of GFI available. The most common type that’s available takes the place of the normal outlet and replaces it with a special GFI protected outlet. These are used in the kitchens and bathrooms of newer homes. Most people know them for their black and red reset buttons. If new wiring is run to a kitchen or a bathroom, these outlets must be GFI protected. The other type of GFI available takes the place of the regular circuit breaker in the load center.

Adding additional outlets This should only be done by a qualified electrician. Additional outlets can rarely be added to existing circuits. A new circuit breaker and new wiring will need to be installed. In many older homes the bathroom outlets are on a 15 amp circuit. A modern hairdryer can pull 16 amps and might be used at the same time as a curling iron. This could be hazardous because the wiring was never designed for this load.

Owners or purchasers of older homes built before the 1960s should consider adding a new bathroom circuit, many of the older circuits operate off the 15 amp lighting circuits and are not adequate for hair dryers and other equipment that can pull 16 amps or more.

NOTE: All new, replaced or rewired bathroom, kitchen, garage and exterior outlets must be GFI protected.

Remember to find a Tampa Certified ASHI Home Inspector prior to closing on your new Tampa area home. Links to other Independent Home Inspectors in Florida, and outside the state, can be found from our home page.