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small electrical upgrades that make a difference

Posted by scrappy25 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 8, 12 at 15:05

This is the year I discovered electricians! I feel like those plastic surgery addicts, I keep having them back to get work done. Except little of it is cosmetic, but even my husband has noticed the changes and loves the new functionality.

Not sure if this is the right forum but I didn't see one for "Upgrades" and it doesn't really belong under "Electrical wiring".

So far this year ( I estimated the time it took the electricians to do these small jobs , but they made probably 4 visits total to do all these so far).
1. installed recessed lighting with dimmer in family room- goodbye large halogen floor lamps that constantly rubbed off my wall paint! 3-4 hrs
2. Had the outlets on the generator subpanel extended to the 2 rooms where we needed them most- no more snaking wires during hurricanes.3 hrs
3. Extended an outlet on the generator subpanel to behind the basement fridge- no more worrying if we are traveling during a blackout . 2 hours
4. Had extra front outside outlet installed beside the garage door- already useful for electrical projects done in the driveway, and for corded vacuuming of the car (before we got the cordless). 2 hours
5. Changed 4 bathroom outlets to GFCI protected outlets- 2 hours. Maybe this will save a life in the future.
6. Changed two of my most used outlets to the 4 outlet type. No more unplugging and replugging chargers.- 1 hour
7.Installed outlets in 2 of my closets- easy since there was already an outlet on the other side of the wall and they just extended off those- 1 hour. Already used for charging my new cordless Dyson.
8. Replaced my downstairs light switches and dimmers with the larger flat rocker switches and lutron dimmers. I also added occupancy sensors to the back hall and adjacent powder room, and the dining room. No more turning off the lights when the kids forget to! The rooms immediately look more "modern". 2 hours.
9. Replaced the back porch light with one that has an led bulb, comes on at dusk for 6 hours, and has a movement sensor as well. 1 hour.

I think that 8 and 9 are probably easy diy jobs but the electricians were coming anyhow for the circuit wiring so it was better to have them do it.

Still to do (1 more visit)- replace upstairs switches with the larger rocker switches, replace ceiling fan, install a new ceiling fan.

These small changes have made a huge difference in the functionality of the house-my kids expecially appreciated the increased outlet banks, the occupancy switches (Too cool, Mom!), and the cordless Dyson charging in the closet.

I am posting this because I wish I had know to do these things 18 years ago when we moved in the house!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: small electrical upgrades that make a difference

Along these lines ... I think one of the nicest things about our bathrooms is that the exhaust fan is on a timer (variable settings). So I can put it on before I hop in the shower and know that it will turn itself off after 20 min. It's so nice not to have to remember to turn it off in the morning as I'm trying to get ready for work.

Electricians rock :)


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RE: small electrical upgrades that make a difference

I wish that I had known that occupancy sensors existed before our remodel! We have new bathroom between our master bedroom and main hallway, and we're concerned about people accidently walking in.


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RE: small electrical upgrades that make a difference

EngineerChic- yes, we did that also in the basement bathroom and it makes a huge difference in the air quality after a shower. I forgot that in my list. The basement bathroom walls did not dry for hours before we added the timed fan. Now it actually dries out when the fan stays on for 30 minutes.

Questioner72- those occupancy sensors are trivial to install and you can probably do it yourself! I think the basic sensor for a one pole light (no dimmer) is about $22.
Go for it!


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