Light Up Your Life Today with Electrical Services in East York from Belvedere

Belvedere Home Improvements Ltd. relies on sub-trade licensed Master electricians who have experience with residential electrical services in East York. We can handle electrical projects of all sizes to help you get plugged in quickly and efficiently. Our specialties include outlets and switch installation, complete home rewiring and 100- and 200-amp installation services.

Did You Know?

If your home is over 30 years old, your insurance company may require you to upgrade the plumbing, electrical, and/or heating systems prior to providing you with or renewing a homeowners’ insurance policy.

Buying or Owning an Older Home

If you are looking to purchase or already own an older home that has galvanized steel plumbing, 60-amp electrical service, knob-and-tube electrical wiring, a wood burning stove or a fuel oil tank, make sure to factor the cost of necessary upgrades or future renovations into your budget.

Your Insurance Company’s Concerns with Galvanized Steel Plumbing

Galvanized steel pipes, commonly installed in homes prior to 1950, have an average life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Over time, the galvanized steel pipes begin to rust or corrode from the inside out, resulting in reduced water pressure and restricted water flow.

This presents an increased risk of leaks or ruptures occurring in the pipes, thus increasing the potential for flood damage. Your insurance company may require you to replace the galvanized steel piping with copper or plastic piping before providing you with insurance coverage.

Electrical socket

60-Amp Electrical Service

Insurance companies are concerned that the 60-amp electrical service, common in homes built prior to 1950, possesses the threat of overuse and overheating. This can potentially increase the risk of an electrical fire and a subsequent claim.

Before providing you with insurance coverage, your insurance company may require you to upgrade your 60-amp electrical service to 100 amps (the standard for new home construction). They may also request that you install a switching device that allows for the operation of only one major appliance at a time.

The Hazards of Wood Burning Stoves

If not properly installed and used, wood burning stoves can pose a serious fire hazard. To reduce potential risk, your insurance company may require that your wood burning stove be inspected by a certified Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) technician and certified by the Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC), Canadian Standard Association (CSA) or Warnock Hersey before agreeing to provide you with homeowners’ insurance coverage.

Similarly, your insurance company may request that you have your wood burning stove thoroughly cleaned and inspected by a professional sweep or technician at least once a year, prior to renewing your policy.

boiler in furnace room

Why Your Insurance Company is Asking You to Replace Your Fuel Tank

Tanks 25 years or older are highly susceptible to rusting, deterioration and leakage and are considered environmental hazards. If a fuel oil leak occurs and goes undetected, the environmental cleanup for such a situation can be immense.

A pinhole leak can spill 750 litres of oil in eight hours and have clean-up costs ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. Most insurance companies will only insure a fuel oil tank provided it is less than 20-25 years old and has been inspected and certified by a Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) inspector.

If your oil tank is 25 years or older, your insurance company may require that you remove and replace it with a gas or electrical furnace, prior to providing you with homeowners insurance coverage. Given the wide range of inspection and upgrade requirements that insurance companies may have, it’s always best to speak to your insurance representative about your specific situation.

Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and tube wiring was installed in houses up until about 1950. This system consists of two wires, one black or hot wire and the other white or neutral to create a circuit. These two single wires are held in place with ceramic knobs and tubes.

Knobs are used to clamp the wire to the structural member, while tubes are placed in holes in the structural members to prevent the wire from chafing. In modern household wiring, these two wires are bundled together along with a ground wire in a single plastic sheathing cable that runs through holes in the structural members and is held in place with clamps.

While knob and tube wiring is not inherently dangerous, it is old and outdated, and its insulation may no longer be intact. Much of this wire is concealed behind walls, ceilings and insulation where its condition cannot be completely evaluated. In addition to the deterioration of the wire covering, the wires themselves are connected through soldering and are wrapped in electrical tape. Over time, this tape either falls off or deteriorates.

Since January 2003, the Electrical Safety Authority has received an increasing number of questions about the safety of knob and tube wiring. In particular, purchasers or owners of older homes are finding that many insurers will not provide or renew coverage on such properties. In some cases, the insurance companies require a total replacement of this wiring prior to providing insurance coverage.


Limitations of Knob and Tube Wiring

  • Usually restricted to a maximum of 60 amp service
  • The wire is old, and its insulation may no longer be intact 
  • It is not a grounded system making it more hazardous than modern wiring 
  • Two-pronged receptacles, restricting the use of small kitchen appliances

It is quite true that in bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, plugging in a TV or lamp poses very little risk. The opposite is true in areas where you may come in contact with water such as bathroom, kitchens, basements, crawlspaces, and outdoors. An ungrounded system in these areas could be potentially hazardous.

In fact, a good building practice across North America is to install GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) receptacles in these areas. Furthermore, newer stereo equipment or computers are affected by incorrect polarization, something that this type of wiring cannot prevent.

Wired to Address Your Electrical Needs

Whether you need fixtures installed, rewiring work completed or help getting your newly-built home on the grid, trust Belvedere Home Improvements Ltd. for reliable electrical services in East York and across Toronto. For more information, get connected with us today for a free estimate.