Why You Should Call An Electrician Instead Of Doing It Yourself
As homeowners, many of us have a fascination with old. And with good reason. There’s nothing quite as appealing as purchasing a home set on a lot of land, with lush landscaping already in place. Eclectic features are built in that give a home personality, qualities that create ambiance and uniqueness you simply can’t find with today’s modern track housing.
But you’ll also find something else within the walls of an older home, a potential fire hazard from wiring that is out of date.
Over the years, our need for electricity has increased tenfold. The circuits in older homes weren’t designed to power as many gadgets as we have in our modern life. And in most cases, the signs are obvious that you are heading for trouble. Multiple power strips sprouting from a single outlet. A tangle of extension cords to keep a room functioning.
And in some cases, maybe not so obvious.
Overlamping – plugging in a bulb with a higher wattage than the fixture was designed for can cause intense heat, scorching or melting the socket and insulation on the fixture’s wires.
Too few outlets – spreading out your electronics may not overwhelm existing outlets, but it can cause you to use extension cords that might not be up to code. Undersized extension cords can overheat and ignite if loads are too heavy.
No GFCIs – ground fault circuit interrupters should be installed on all outlets that have a risk of electrocution in wet areas, such as in baths and kitchens.
Overwired panels – panels can quickly become hazardous if single pole breakers have been replaced with tandem breakers in one slot. Subpanels or replacing a panel with a larger model provides safety and brings the panel up to code.
Aluminum wiring – aluminum wiring was installed in the 60s and 70s as a cheap substitute for copper. It is no longer considered safe and corrodes when in contact with copper, which can lead to arcing and fires.
Have any of these potential problems in your home? It’s time to call in a professional electrician. Working with electricity is extremely dangerous; if you don’t have the necessary skills, not only do you risk putting your home in danger, you risk putting you in danger as well.