Wiring and Your Home: Why Outdated Wiring is So Problematic
The majority of older homes were originally built with aluminum wiring featuring a rubber coating that deteriorates over time. When this deterioration occurs, wire that are exposed between your wall and the insulation can create a serious fire hazard.
Do you know if your home has outdated wiring? Unfortunately, if you aren’t the original owner, you may not. The good news is, there are a few signs that it may be time for a wiring upgrade. Getting to know what these signs are can help you avoid serious, and often devastating, consequences.
Warning Signs of Outdated, Old or Faulty Wiring
Some of the most common signs that your home has outdated wiring can be found here.
- Damaged insulation: If you are aware your home has older insulation, there’s also a good chance that there may be some insulation that is damaged. Cut or broken insulation is a huge hazard for your electrical wiring. This is because insulation is supposed to provide protection for your wiring.
- Flickering lights: If your lights seem to be flickering or dying, it’s not always the light bulb to blame. If your lights flicker often, then this may mean an overloaded circuit, or that the fixture has faulty wiring. If you have a home that’s only running on 60 amps, it could also be a sign that the fixtures aren’t receiving enough power and that you need to upgrade your electrical panels.
- Outlets shock you when unplugging or plugging something in: If this ever occurs, you should contact an electrician right away.
- Frequent blown fuses or tripped breakers: From time to time, this happens to everyone. You could have plugged in too many appliances and the lights go out, or a similar situation. Circuit breakers that are functional and in good repair can go many years without tripping even once. If you do have to flip your breaker more than one time in a year, there’s a very good time it is time to invest in an upgrade.
- Damaged wires: While this may seem like a no-brainer, you may be doing some other type of home improvement project and discover frayed wires in an exposed wall. There’s no doubt that damaged wires are a sure sign of faulty or old wiring.
- Not enough outlets: Do you constantly have to plug in new extension cords? If so, there’s a very good chance you home has old, outdated wiring.
- The smell of burnt plastic or vinyl: Electrical fires will have a very distinct smell. If you begin to smell something that is burning, and you aren’t able to determine where it is coming from, then you should call an electrician right away.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and if you still aren’t sure if your home’s wiring is outdated, then you should call for a professional inspection. An electrician can provide peace of mind that there are no issues with your home’s wiring.