« Back to Home

3 Signs That Your Home May Have Outdated And Potentially Dangerous Electrical Wiring

Posted on

Is the wiring in your home not keeping up with the energy demands of modern devices? This may include frequent brownouts, flickering and blown fuses. You also may simply not have enough outlets to use all your electrical appliances. Outdated wiring is not only annoying, but it's a fire hazard. Overloading your electrical wire causes it to become too hot, which can degrade the jacketing.

This leads to arcing between exposed sections of wire, which can start a fire in your home. In order to keep you and your family safe, it's important to make sure the wiring in your home is kept up-to-date. To help you know when it's time to rewire, here are three signs that it may be time to call an electrician.

1. Your Home Is Older and Experiences Flickering or Brownouts

The wiring in older homes often can't keep up with the electrical demand of modern appliances. This can lead to issues with flickering and brownouts when many appliances are in use at once. These electrical problems aren't simply an annoyance – your overloaded wiring can be a major fire hazard lurking in your home.

When current runs through the wire, it causes the wire to heat up. Wires are surrounded with an insulating jacket that dissipates heat and prevents arcing between wires. However, when more current than your electrical system is designed for is running through the wires, the insulation itself can become too hot. Overheated insulation begins to degrade, exposing the wire underneath. The exposed wiring causes arcing that can start electrical fires inside your home.

An older home that has persistent issues with brownouts or flickering lights needs to be inspected by a licensed electrician. An electrician will assess the condition of your home's wiring and determine if replacement is necessary. It's important to call an electrician right away since older wiring is a fire risk that persists as long as electricity is running through your wires.

2. Your Home Has Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring was commonly used in homes built in the mid-1960s to the early 1970s since it was a much cheaper option for home builders than copper wiring. Unfortunately, aluminum wiring quickly proved to be a fire risk. Aluminum wire corrodes near connectors, and the connections become loose, which can lead to arcing between wires – this is a major fire hazard.

If your home was built during the period and you think that you may have aluminum wiring, call an electrician to inspect your home. You'll need to either rewire your entire home with copper wiring or have the electrician install pigtail clamps at each connector in order to prevent connections from becoming loose.

3. Your Home Needs More Electrical Outlets

The simplest reason, of course, is that you need more electrical outlets in your home. Older homes were typically designed to have one electrical outlet per bedroom. This often can't keep up with the demands of modern technology. If you're making frequent use of surge protectors or multi-outlet adapters to plug more devices into your outlets, you should definitely call an electrician. Connecting more devices to an outdated electrical system just increases the risk of overloading your wiring.

Rewiring your home is a major expense, although thankfully it's one that you will only have to do once. In order to make sure you get the best deal, it's important to contact multiple electricians in your area and have them inspect your home. Electricians vary in the way they prefer to rewire homes – some will cut through every wall in the way of your wires and some will make small cuts and fish wires long distances through the walls. The layout of your home and the electrician's preferred method of rewiring make a large difference in your quoted price, so it's important to shop around.

For more information, contact a company like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc