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Building or Renovating Your Home in Israel? - Some Electrical Tips For You

By: Jonathan Z. Kremer

Electricity has become so much a part of our daily life that we seem to take it for granted, and use it without a second thought. However, if you are expecting to build or renovate your home, you should make sure that you give plenty of thought to your electrical system. Hopefully the following tips will help you avoid some pitfalls.

  1. First, and most important, make sure you have a good licensed electrician doing the work. You should make sure that he plans to be on site most of the time, and not simply drop off the workers and leave, until the end of the day. The workers are usually not as knowledgeable as the licensed electrician, and many times make mistakes that will be very difficult to correct later.

  2. Appliances make our lives much easier. Without realizing it, we tend to add more and more appliances to our home all the time, without taking into account the need for outlets to run them. When short of outlets many rely on extension cords and 3-way adapters to help supply electricity to the various appliances. This solution is not a safe one and not recommended. Design your home with plenty of outlets in every room to accommodate your appliances today as well as those that will be purchased in the future.

  3. How big is the electrical service to your home? It is very important that the electrical service to your home is big enough to accommodate all the appliances that you have, as well as those you are expecting to buy in the future. This is something that a good electrician can calculate together with you, to assure that the main fuse will not burn out all the time.

  4. Your main electrical panel as well as any sub-panels should be physically large enough and have enough spare room to accommodate any additional parts (breakers, contactors, timers...) that may be added in the future. Otherwise you may end up having to change the whole electrical panel when small additions are made later on.

  5. Make sure that your electrical system is designed with YOUR needs in mind and not the designer's, engineer's, or electrician's. Of course everything must be done safely and according to the local code, but the placement of outlets and switches should depend largely on your personal life style and needs.

  6. While renovating your home, make sure that your grounding (earth) system is checked to assure the safety of your home. Today it is not good enough to simply use the water pipes for grounding (except in very few exceptional cases), and the electric company does not accept such a grounding if an inspection is needed. Have a reliable, licensed, electrician evaluate your grounding system.

  7. Before painting, make sure that all the outlets and switches are covered so that they are not ruined with water, paint, or dust from the sanding of the walls.

  8. Label all the circuit breakers in your electrical panel(s) so that you know which line runs to any given outlet or light. This will help both you and your electrician in the future.

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