Your home’s electrical system is easy to take for granted and the signs of wear and damage aren’t always obvious. Sometimes, seemingly minor issues point to major problems. Spotting the signs your home needs electrical rewiring can save you from damaged appliances, shocks, and even life-threatening house fires.
- Breakers flipping or fuses blowing – If your circuit breakers flip or fuses blow when you use several appliances at once, your electrical system is probably undersized. Older electrical systems offer fewer amps compared to new ones. This means they can’t meet a modern household’s demand for electricity. Worn out wiring is another possible cause.
- Dimming or flickering lights – Some lights, such as fluorescent lights, always flicker. Incandescent or LED lights, however, shouldn’t flicker or go dim. If they do, it’s a sign of voltage fluctuations and a home in need of electrical rewiring. The cause could also be loose wires or terminals somewhere in your system. Those are both fire hazards.
- Burned outlets – Brown or black charring on or around an outlet’s contact openings means a small fire occurred. Usually, these fires are the result of loose connection or faulty wiring causing a short. That short then causes arching and sparking big enough to leave scorch marks.
- Sparks from the outlets – A small blue spark that occasionally appears when you plug in or unplug an appliance is perfectly normal. A yellow spark that lingers and happens every time you use the outlet, though? That means trouble. Either the outlet or the wiring behind it is loose or damaged.
- Electrical shocks – Getting a shock when you plug in a cord or touch one that’s plugged in is more than just unpleasant. Shocks signal a problem with your electrical system. First, check the cord for damage. Look for damage and test it in other outlets. If the cord is fine, the outlet might be faulty or in need of updating and could cause serious injury.
- Light bulbs burning out – When a certain socket burns through bulbs too quickly, the problem is most likely that socket. If all your light sockets seem to be that way, your wiring may be to blame. Fluctuating voltage in your system can wear out your bulbs. These fluctuations might be due to an overloaded system or loose connections.
- Burning smells – A burning smell that’s not coming from something you’re cooking often means an electrical issue. If you can’t trace the smell to a single appliance, the problem could be wiring. There might be a short within your walls or floors. Someday, one of those shorts could spark a fire.
- Buzzing noises – When the house is quiet, you might hear wiring or switches making a faint buzzing noise. This is normal for lights on a dimmer and large appliance. Most light switches, outlets, and circuit breakers, however, shouldn’t buzz. This buzzing suggests overloaded wires or circuits.
- Porcelain fuses – These fuses were popular in the 1930s and earlier before more reliable modern fuses became available. They don’t meet modern safety standards. If you find them, it’s a clear sign your home needs electrical rewiring.
- Out-dated wiring – Aluminum wiring was popular in the 1960s when copper prices were high. It’s more likely to sustain damage or cause fires compared to copper wiring. That’s why much of it has been recalled. If you have this wiring, contact an electrician about updating your system. Knob-and-tube wiring was used before the 1940s. This wiring should definitely be replaced.
Electrical rewiring is a major home project best left to a professional electrician. If your home needs electrical rewiring, call Turn It On Electric today.