Wiring is a vital part of any home. Ensuring that those wires are in good shape are just as important. According to Fire Administration sources, there is an estimated amount of home fires due to electrical problems is approximately 26,000. Thirty-nine percent of home electrical fires involve outlets and receptacles, interior house and electrical wiring. Because of this, there are ways to notice if your wiring at home is suffering from lack of attention and renovation.
There are numerous indicators that if you pay attention to, you can potentially solve the problem before it has a chance to escalate. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
- Frequently blown fuses or tripped breakers: Poor wiring frequently trips your circuit breaker. The breaker itself is designed to switch off electrical flow when a circuit exceeds the number of amps it is supposed to handle. Old wiring is often the culprit, but in other instances, it has to deal with the circuitry of the appliances and other electronics.
- Dimming or flickering lights: This is a sign of faulty wiring and this is frequently seen more often in homes that are older than 40 years old.
- Discolored switch plates, cords, or plugs: Discoloration of the outlets or switches can be a sign that there is either a loose connection or faulty wiring. Loose connections in the outlets can cause arcing and sparking, which might result in small fires causing the surface of the outlets to char and discolor. It is also possible to not see any discoloration of the power outlets or switches that the issue may come from the wiring within the walls.
- Buzzing or sizzling sounds: This may be a sign of electrical surges or
- Sparks: If you see sparks from an outlet when you plug or unplug a cord, you should call a professional immediately.
- Loose Outlets: A loose outlet can be a safety hazard that causes shocks or sparks.
- Cracked, cut or broken insulation: This can cause further damage if not addressed as soon as possible.
- Electrical shock: You shouldn’t be shocked when you plug in or touch a cord. Even if it is a small, slight shock, it should not be shrugged off. Call an electrician.
In addition to the aforementioned factors, there are a couple of other factors that can subtly indicate you might need that rewiring. They are:
- The House’s Age: If you live in an old house that is older than 40 years, this might be the time to consider a rewiring. It might be possible that your old wiring can’t handle the electrical load that’s required by most modern appliances and gadgets. A rewiring would update your home and bring it up to current standards if it is required. A qualified electrician will be able to let you know more.
- Burnt Smell: If you’re always noticing a burnt smell without being able to identify a possible source, then you may want to consider having someone take a look at your wires. This burnt smell may be the result of an electrical short that might have happened under the floorboards or behind the walls. If you suspect that this might be the culprit behind the smell, then call an electrician and have them immediately fix the issue, as this can be a fire hazard.
- Aluminum Wiring: This reflects the age of your home as well. Prior to the 1970’s, aluminum wiring could be found in many home’s wiring systems. This was due to the low price and the high conductivity. Unfortunately, aluminum wiring tends to overheat easily, creating a fire hazard. If there is aluminum wiring in your home, you should remove it and replace it.