The electrical wiring in your home is something you might not have thought about, but it’s something to concern yourself with. Wiring and electrical components age and are frequently overlooked. These issues are safety concerns especially if your home was built during the 1960s and 70’s when aluminum wire was used instead of copper due to supply issues. Aluminum is no longer used or code compliant due to expansion and contraction that are significant fire hazards. Here are a few of the signs that indicate you might need to update your wiring system.
1. Blown Fuse or Tripped Breakers
It’s normal for a breaker to trip or a fuse to blow every once in a while and isn’t a cause for concern. If it’s a frequent occurrence, it indicates that there is a bigger problem to deal with. An outdated electrical system might not be able to handle the high energy demands of today’s modern electronics.
2. Dim or Flickering Lights
Lights can flicker for a number of different reasons such as a bad bulb or malfunctioning socket, and a flickering light doesn’t always indicate an electrical problem. If you experience dimming or flickering in lights all over the home, you might have a larger problem on your hands. Another sign to look for is if lights flicker when you use high demand appliances such as a microwave or air conditioner. This is an indicator that the system is overloaded and needs to be updated.
3. Warm or Sparking Outlets
Outlets shouldn’t have a burning smell, be warm to the touch, or spark at any point. Burning signifies something is broken inside and could cause an electrical fire. Sparking or being warm to the touch means you could have a short circuit or wires are beginning to get loose.
4. Ungrounded Outlets
Two-prong outlets are a thing of the past. Electronics today run at higher voltages and need additional protection from a grounded three-prong outlet. If you plug in something that draws more power than the outlet can provide, you might start a fire.
5. Lack of No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Outlets
It is imperative that outlets located near moisture such as in the kitchen or bathroom are GFCI. They have built-in protection to trip if the outlet short circuits or becomes overloaded. You can spot them by the test and reset buttons. They’re required to be in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and anywhere else near water.
If you’re experiencing any of these problems with your electrical system, it’s definitely time to check your wiring and be prepared to upgrade for your safety and security. Hire an electrician in your area to inspect your home.