Most homes use between 30 and 400 amps of electricity, with the average American home using about 200 amps. The number of amps a home requires depends on factors such as power consumption and the number of appliances being used. However, homes with low amp service, such as those using 30 amps, are less common and may need to be upgraded for safety reasons. Homeowners must know their amp service to ensure it is adequate for their electrical needs. This can be determined by checking the rating at the main service panel or measuring the thickness of the wire coming out of the meter base. A rounded meter base typically indicates 100-amp service, while more extensive amp services have thicker pipes. If homeowners are unsure about their amp service or feel uncomfortable dealing with the main service panel, it is advisable to seek professional help.
It is worth noting that many houses built before 1950 originally had less than 100 amps of electrical service, which is considered too low by today’s standards. This means that older homes may need upgraded electrical systems to accommodate modern electrical needs. Most moderately sized older houses have 100-amp service, although smaller houses may only have 60-amp service. On the other hand, larger new houses are often equipped with higher amp services to meet the increased demand for electricity.
Understanding the basics of electrical systems in homes is also essential for real estate professionals. Knowing whether a home has 220-volt service and whether the electrical system has been upgraded is crucial. Fuse and circuit breakers play a crucial role in cutting the flow of electricity when a circuit gets overloaded, with circuit breakers being more convenient as they do not need to be replaced. The central panel is where all the circuits originate from, and it should have a rating that can handle the electrical requirements of the house. Grounded outlets with three-prong plugs are standard in modern houses, but older houses may have two-prong outlets that require upgrading to include grounding. GFCI outlets, which provide additional protection against electrical shocks, are typically required near water sources or damp locations.
In conclusion, while most homes use between 30 and 400 amps of electricity, homeowners must ensure that their amp service is adequate for their electrical needs. Homes with low amp service, such as those using 30 amps, may need to be upgraded for safety reasons. Additionally, older homes may require upgrades to accommodate modern electrical needs. Understanding the basics of electrical systems is also important for real estate professionals to ensure the safety and suitability of homes for potential buyers.