Owning a home can be challenging. From the actual purchase to cleaning and furnishing, it is easy to see the overwhelming nature of becoming a homeowner. Mowing the lawn and repairing leaky faucets are obviously necessary, but your home's electrical system may also require some maintenance. Considering that an estimated 51,000 house fires occur from electrical issues, ensuring your electrical wiring is in good, functional condition is imperative. If you are noticing one or more of these signs, your home may need new electrical wiring to reduce your risk of a deadly house fire.
Check the wires in your home for signs of fraying or other damage. Heat, age, excessive use, and even rodents or other pests can wear these wires down.
In addition, older electrical wiring is not designed to handle the higher amperage of modern appliances and electronics. If you live in an older home that has never been rewired, your home is at risk of having a fire.
Frayed wires are dangerous, since they can shock you. Avoid touching any damaged electrical wiring and make sure it is hidden from children and pets until a professional contractor can complete repairs.
Tripping Circuit Breaker
When a circuit is overloaded due to excess power or use, the breaker should trip. This shuts off the electrical power to prevent overheating, reducing your risk of a fire. If your circuit breaker seems to be tripping constantly, you have an underlying issue with your electrical system that needs to be addressed immediately.
A simple test can determine if the breaker is overloaded or if you have faulty electrical wiring. Make sure breakers are off before unplugging all lamps, televisions, appliances, and other components connected to the circuit.
Flip the breaker switch. If you do not hear or feel a definite on or off switch, the circuit breaker is bad and needs to be replaced. The problem may also stem from overloading the breaker. Consulting a professional is your best option for determining the cause of your circuit overloading.
Slight dimming and flickering of your lights during a storm is normal, but if you are noticing this issue frequently, there is an underlying electrical problem.
To ensure the flickering is not due to faulty bulbs, turn off the light switch and wait a few seconds to allow the bulbs a chance to cool down. Then, replace each of the dimming or flickering bulbs in your fixture.
If the problem still persists, it stems from a faulty wire or connection at your circuit breaker.
Charred, Hot Outlets and Switches
The faces of your outlets and switches should never feel hot to the touch. If you do feel or even smell a burning sensation coming from one or more of your receptacles and light switches, this is a clear warning sign that you have a dangerous electrical issue.
Charred and hot outlets and switches are usually caused by loose, damaged wiring or arcing between the wire conductors and the device, box, or plate. Replacing devices plugged into the charred, hot outlet may be necessary. Additionally, rewiring the entire electrical connections between the outlet or fixture and power switch may also be required.
Snapping, Crackling Sounds
Lastly, you should never hear the electricity move through the home and to a fixture or component. If you do hear a snapping, crackling, or even a popping sound after plugging something into an outlet or hitting a power switch, the electrical wiring is damaged and in need of repair or replacement.
Unplug the wires and turn off all switches until a licensed electrician can inspect the area.
Most homeowners do not know what to look for when inspecting their electrical wiring. With this guide and a contractor's help, you will understand if and when your home needs to be rewired. Contact a company like Dunedin Electric Co., Inc. for additional information.