Old homes are charming, but their electrical system might not be so appealing. If you’ve purchased an older home, it’s important to get your wiring system professionally inspected by a licensed electrician to eliminate any faulty wires that can cause electrical fires. To help keep your family safe, we have created an outline of the top signs of bad wiring in your house and ways to respond.
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What Are the Main Signs of Faulty Wiring in a Home?
It can be tough to recognize the warning signs of bad electrical wiring. After all, many homeowners don’t think twice about an issue as simple as an annoying flickering light. However, what if a simple issue isn’t so simple? Below are the top seven signs of bad wiring that you should look out for.
1. Frequently Tripped Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers exist as a way to protect your home from damage. Tripped breakers typically happen when too many fixtures and devices overload your circuit. Short circuits and power surges can also cause your circuit breaker to trip. In addition, bad wiring in older homes is often the culprit of tripped circuit breakers. If you find yourself in this position, contact a professional electrician to perform an inspection of your electrical system.
2. Flickering Lights
Are you experiencing flickering lights in an old house? Don’t worry, we doubt it’s a ghost. From loose bulbs to faulty outlets, there are many reasons why your lights are flickering. However, flickering lights are often a sign of bad wiring. Outdated or damaged wiring will need to be replaced by a licensed electrician.
3. Crackling Noises
It’s normal for electricity to make sounds, but it’s not normal to hear loud crackling noises. If you hear crackling, buzzing, or popping sounds, call an electrician immediately. A professional will perform an inspection of your electrical system to diagnose the source of the crackling noises.
4. Frayed Wires
Wires fray as they age. They can also fray due to rodents and other critters infesting your walls and air ducts. Do not attempt to fix faulty wires or other electrical issues in your house without a professional. Attempting to repair an electrical issue yourself can cause emergencies such as electrocution or fires.
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5. Knob and Tube Wiring
Living in an older home comes with its own set of challenges. Knob and tube wiring was a popular choice for homeowners and electricians before the 1950s. However, attempting to use knob and tube wiring to power a home full of modern-day technology can lead to dangerous electrical issues. Talk with a professional about replacing the outdated or bad wiring in your living space.
6. Warm Spots on Walls
Your walls aren’t supposed to feel hot. If you feel any hot spots along your walls, there’s a serious problem occurring within your electrical wiring. Call our professional electricians today to schedule your comprehensive wiring inspection.
7. Burning Smells
Do you smell something burning, and you’re not even cooking anything? Burning smells hint toward a serious wiring problem that must be addressed immediately. Otherwise, you could end up with a detrimental house fire.
4 Types of Outdated Electrical Wiring
Old electrical wiring is typically easy to spot, but some are trickier than others. Here are four outdated electrical wiring systems that should be inspected, maintained, or replaced by a licensed electrician to prevent electrical issues.
1. Knob and Tube
Knob and tube wiring was standard in households pre-1950s. This type of electrical wiring is easy to spot with its porcelain “knobs” holding wires as they connect porcelain “tubes” through joints and studs. The knob and tube wiring system worked to power electrical devices of the early 20th century, but they’re not feasible for advanced 21st-century technology.
2. Armored Cable
Armored cable is a type of electrical wire that is insulated with rubber and cloth. Hot and neutral wires run through a robust steel enclosure with ground connections. If your home has armored cable wiring, we recommend having it inspected by a professional electrician every five years to ensure you do not have bad wiring in your house. In addition, a licensed technician will perform an inspection to ensure you have a proper ground connection to your metal outlet box.
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3. Two-Wire Plastic Sheathed Cable
Two-wire plastic sheathed cable paved the way for the modern ROMEX®. Since the two-wire plastic sheathed cable is encased in plastic, durability is poor, and the plastic is susceptible to damage.
4. Aluminum Wire
If your home was built between the 1960s and 1970s, you might be living with aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring was a popular choice during the mid-century due to its conductivity and cost-effectiveness. Homeowners and electricians later discovered that aluminum wiring’s soft material expanded and contracted when hot.
This led to issues with flickering lights, hot walls, burning smells, and dangerous house fires. A professional electrician can conduct a thorough electrical inspection to determine whether or not your aluminum wires need a copper replacement.
Electrical Wiring Installation and Repair Services
You shouldn’t have to worry about the electrical wiring in your home. Whether you’re dealing with pesky flickering lights or something as serious as a burning smell infiltrating a hot wall, our team is available to help you with severe electrical issues. Our team of professional electricians in Newark, NJ and other areas offer reliable electrical wiring repair services for homes.
In addition, our technicians provide other types of electrical services such as lighting installation, electrical panel replacement, and whole-house generator installation. To receive assistance with damaged electrical wiring in your home, give our team of electricians a call at (732) 638-4317 to schedule an appointment.