electrician fixing outletElectricity wiring is one of the most overlooked concerns in a hoome. However, damaged electric wires in your house are serious life hazards. Generally, old house wiring gets torn out or broken with time. So, your first task should be updating wiring in old homes if you find yourself moving into one.

How to Identify Old & Outdated Wiring

Pointers, as listed below, will educate you on how to identify if the wiring in your house is outdated or not:

  • Dated fuse box: If your fuse box or electrical panel does not resemble the conventional electrical panel, then it’s outdated. You might often experience the electricity tripping the fuses because the old technology can’t take the load of modern machines and equipment in your home.
  • Aluminum vs copper wiring: From 1960 to 1970, the availability of copper was limited in the U.S.A. Thus houses build in that era contain aluminum electric wiring instead of copper electric wiring. It’s a good way to get a date on your house
  • Cloth insulation: Before the 1950’s cloth was used as insulators. If you spot pieces of fabrics connected with the knobs and tubes of electrical wiring in your house, your house wiring is vintage.
  • Absence of grounding: It is hard to spot ground wiring in houses with old fashioned electric systems. On the other hand, no modern home is built without this safety feature.
  • Knobs & tubes in walls: Until the 1940s, porcelain knobs, floor joists, and tubes were used to make a path for the electric wire through walls. This is another sign of an old home with outdated wiring.

When to Replace Electrical Wiring

So, you suspect you have outdated wiring, how do you know when to replace electrical wiring? We are listing 8 warning signs here. If you notice any of the below in your house, it’s time to update or replace outdated electrical wiring:

  • Worn wires: Frayed wires are a sure sign of danger. This can be due to wear and tear through time, heat, and corrosion.
  • Hot and marketed outlets: If you touch an outlet and it’s hot, that is an obvious sign of trouble. If you spot black or brown burning marks on the outlet, call a professional immediately.
  • Circuit breakers tripping: Circuit breakers trip for many reasons. One of the common causes is the overload of electricity. Constant circuit breaker tripping is an indication of an outdated circuit breaker unable to handle the load of your modern appliances.
  • Evidence of smoke: There is no smoke without fire! Turn off the electricity supply of your house once you spot or smell any smoke. Call a pro to detect the source.
  • Flickering lights: Although horror movies made us believe otherwise, it’s not always a ghost when your lights start flickering suddenly. Observe if it happens when you switch on your oven or washing machine. Flickering and dimming of lights can be caused due to overload.
  • Disconnected outlet plates: It’s not good if the plates of electric outlets are loose. The connection between wires and switches should be intact for safety purposes.
  • Evidence of pests: Look out for any sign of rodent in your surroundings. Chewed wire, droppings, or spotting a rodent are all the reasons to call an electrician and Rodent control simultaneously.
  • Strange sounds or noises: You should get alarmed if your sockets or appliances are producing funny sounds like sizzling, cracking, and buzzing.

If your home is constructed before 1980, it will be wise to call a licensed electrician and update or replace outdated electrical wiring.

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