March 25, 2019
Modern home design and construction are far different from what they used to be, especially with innovative materials and technology hitting the market every day. It’s quite common for homeowners to give their property a makeover for both practical and aesthetic reasons, adding state-of-the-art gadgets, fancy décor and more.
However, an important aspect of home repairs and renovation often gets overlooked – the electrical material used in its construction. Many homes still have old electrical wiring and systems installed in them. These are not only inefficient but also pose a serious risk of electric shocks, fires, and other hazards.
3 Common Signs that Point to Outdated Home Electrical Wiring Material
Here are some issues that generally occur due to old electrical cables and wiring, signaling that it’s time to install a new system or replace major components:
- Light Fixtures Dim or Flicker – When you plug in an appliance or turn devices on, do the lights start dimming or flickering? If they do, the electrical circuits in your home might not be able to take the load. You should upgrade electric panels, wiring, and cables with heavy-duty alternatives, especially if you use a lot of appliances.
- Fuses & Breakers Trip Often – Tripped fuses and circuit breakers are an electrical system’s response to overloading, whether because of power surges or heavy loads. If this happens regularly, your home’s electrical cables, fuses, and other components might be too old or worn out to deal with the load placed on them.
- You Smell Something Burning – You need to get your wiring inspected if you smell fire or burnt rubber or plastic but can’t find the source of the odor. Electrical wiring could be shorting out, melting or becoming too hot behind the walls. This poses a huge threat, especially if other material nearby catches fire or gets too hot.
Frequent shocks or sparks from light switches, power outlets, and electric panels could also signal a problem. Call an electrician for a home inspection/electrical upgrade if you’re facing any of these issues.
Outdated Knob & Tube Wiring vs. Upgraded Wires and Cables
Generally, knob-and-tube wiring is found in older homes built before the 1930s. These systems featured ceramic or porcelain knobs and protective tubes that kept copper wires suspended inside cavities in walls or ceilings, keeping them from coming into contact with other surfaces.
Knob and tube systems have been replaced with internal wiring in most homes today, and are only allowed in certain industrial or agricultural settings. This is because the components are more prone to heating up and can start to crack or break down over time. This raises the risk of electrical hazards from exposed wires.
Newer electrical systems are safer, with internal power cables designed to handle higher loads. If you’re facing issues, they may not have been installed correctly when your house was built, or they may have sustained damage over the years. To check if they’re up to current electrical codes and eliminate potential dangers, get a home electrical inspection.
Remember, you can look for electrical material and supplies yourself, but upgrading an electrical system is not a DIY wiring project. For safety and compliance reasons any tasks involving electrical cables, the power supply, and their relative connections should be handled by a skilled and experienced professional only!
Author bio – Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D&F Liquidators and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He’s got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field. Jeson lives in Hayward, CA and loves to explore different cuisines that the food trucks in the Bay area have to offer.