The service should be at least 100 amperes for the average three-bedroom house. If the house is large or if air conditioning is added, the service should be 200 amps. If the main distribution panel has room for circuits, additional circuits can be added to supply power where there is a shortage. Otherwise another distribution panel may be added.

If any armored cable or conduit is badly rusted, or if wiring or cable insulation is deteriorated, damaged, brittle or crumbly, the house wiring has probably deteriorated from age or overloading and should be replaced.

At least one electrical outlet on each wall of a room and two or more on long walls is desirable but may not always be necessary. Ceiling lights should have a wall switch and rooms without a ceiling light should have a wall switch for at least one outlet.


The ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI or sometime GFI) is a device that protects you from electric shocks.

A GFCI monitors the amount of current going to and coming from a receptacle (or, in some cases, an entire circuit). Whenever the amounts of incoming and outgoing current are not equal....indicating current leakage (a "ground fault").... the GFCI opens the circuit instantly, cutting off the electricity.

The protection value of a GFCI lies in its' quick response and sensitivity. GFCIs are built to trip in 1/40 of a second in the event of a ground fault of 0.005 ampere.



The degree-day was developed by the American Gas Association and other interested groups in the early 1920's as a means of estimating fuel requirements accurately...especially in the case of home heating units.

Research conducted at the time revealed that heat is not actually required in the average home when the temperature is below 65 degrees, however, heat is required in an amount directly proportional to the difference between 65 degrees and the outside mean temperature. (The daily mean temperature is half the sum of the highest and lowest temperatures that occur during the 24 hour period beginning and ending at midnight.) Each degree that the mean temperature is below 65 degrees is called a degree-day. Thus, if the mean temperature for a given 24 hour midnight-to-midnight period is 60 degrees, you have 5 degree-days. And your heating system will require half as much fuel as it would if the figure were 10 degree-days. But, you still need to know just how much fuel your system requires for a given number of degree days. The best way to find out is by observation.

The fuel degree-day relation is called the "K" factor. In residential oil heating, it is the number of degree-days that add up during the time it takes for your burner to use one gallon of oil. (The same method can be applied to other fuels.) In some fuel-calculating systems, especially where large amounts of fuel are involved, the method is reversed and based on the number of gallons used for each degree day. Either way, the factor is constant for each home or building. Once the "K" factor has been determined by observation, you need only add up the degree days and apply the factor to determine how much fuel has been used over the period covered. The following example shows how it works:

Assume that in a particular area the heating season ends with a total of 4000 degree days recorded. And, let's say our house heating system consumed 1000 gallons of fuel oil during that season. This gives it a "K" factor of 4 (4000 divided by 1000). So, we know we need 1 gallon of oil for each 4 degree days. Thus, if the mean temperature for a 24 hour period was 25 degrees, giving us 40 degree-days for that period (25 degrees is 40 degrees lower than 65) we would burn 10 gallons of fuel. One gallon for each 4 degree days in the total of 40.

The fuel-oil dealer, knowing that the "K" factor for that particular house is 4, can also determine in advance just when more oil must be delivered. If, for example, he knows from a previous delivery that the tank contains 200 gallons plus a reasonable reserve on a specific day, he need only multiply the 200 by 4 (the "K" factor) to determine that 800 degree-days must accumulate before the 200 gallon will be used up.



Years Appliance
15 to 20 Ranges
12 to 18 Ovens
10 to 15 Microwave Ovens
8 to 15 Refrigerators
7 to 11 Disposals
5 to 10 Compactors
7 to 12 Dishwashers
7 to 11 Dryers
5 to 10 Washers

Obviously, abuse and lack of maintenance will shorten the lift of any appliance. And most appliances will require replacement of belts, times, motors and other parts at various stages during the life of the unit.

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