Before you do anything…
August 14, 2023
This week we are AMPED to talk about all things PRE-wiring. As your induction stove wows houseguests with its rapid water boiling, there is a behind-the-scenes hero making it all possible: your electrical panel! Your panel is like the drummer in your electrical appliance rock band, delivering just the right tempo of power to keep your appliances running their best.
To pre-wire or not to pre-wire? (Yes.)
Ok, the answer is mostly yes, but with some choose-your-own-adventure options. Onward, electric squire!
Check out our complete guide to pre-wiring, rewiring, upgrading your electrical panel (if needed!), and more.
Save money. It’s usually less expensive to hire an electrician to do a lot of work at once than to have them come back multiple times for smaller projects. Combining pre-wiring with a panel upgrade (see our article on the pros and cons of a panel upgrade for more details) can save you even more money.
Emergency replacement ready! If your water heater dies, you probably won’t be thrilled to go without hot water for a week or more while waiting for an electrician! Pre-wiring for your water heater can enable a seamless replacement of a fossil fuel water heater with a heat pump water heater. Protect those hot showers. 🚿
Minimize disruption and damage to your home. Sometimes, installing new circuits requires sending wires through the attic or the crawl space of your home and cutting into walls. Doing the wiring all at once can minimize this disruption.
We don’t recommend pre-wiring for your heat pump, because you won’t know the exact type of circuit you need until you pick a heat pump with the help of your HVAC contractor.
Pre-wiring everything upfront can be a big one-time expense! And while it will save you money in the long run, many households would prefer to budget for smaller projects each year. Bonus: You can turn upgrades into unique gifts! “Happy birthday, mom! I got you a Level 2 charger for the used EV you just purchased with help from tax credit 25E from the Inflation Reduction Act. Love, your favorite child. 🎂”
__Match your appliances and circuits perfectly. __ If you know exactly what type of appliance you want (4-zone cooktop, matte finish, earth tones), you can install a circuit that’s perfectly sized for that appliance, which may save you money.
For example, if you follow our How to electrify on a 100 Amp panel guide (hint, hint) and decide you want to electrify with a 240 Volt, 15 Amp heat pump dryer, you can install a 240 Volt, 15 Amp circuit. If you had pre-wired with the future-proof recommendations in our How to wire your home for electrification guide, you would have installed a larger (and likely pricier) 30 Amp circuit.
Whichever option you choose, please remember:__ This is not the time for DIY. __ An electric version of *Nailed It* would be downright terrifying. Find yourself a qualified electrification professional for all of the wiring and installation work. We don’t have any electrical panel costumes (although it’s not off the table for the future), BUT pre-wiring for electrification is a super important first step before you bring that shiny new [insert dream appliance] home.
From the pre-wire
⚡ 📣 Attention electrification professionals! 📣 We have a resource just for you. Download Take charge! Conversation starters for contractors. Did we miss anything? Is it helpful? Let us know what you think.
⚡ Super helpful piece from our friends and fellow panel enthusiasts at Canary Media: So you want to electrify your home. Do you need a panel upgrade first?
⚡ Make your next ride electric! A new market trend is making EVs much more affordable for drivers in the U.S.: ‘We’ve seen pricing … has dropped.’