How Do You Know Your House Needs Rewiring?
With a new home, home maintenance begins almost immediately. You’ll replace appliances as they go bad. Paint the walls every few years.
With older homes, the number of home maintenance projects increase in size and intensity. It’s no longer small projects you can do yourself over a weekend.
Even though you can’t see the wires running behind your walls, they wear out just like other parts of your home. The weaker they become, the more at risk you are for problems to occur, including electrical fires.
Home electrical fires account for around 51,000 fires each year. The older your home, the more at risk you become.
Is there a way to tell if your home needs rewiring before a potential problem arises?
If you notice one light flickering as you turn it on or off, or while you’re sitting near it at night, test the bulb to ensure it’s tightly secured. You can also test to see if there’s a problem with the lamp. But if you notice flickering lights in more than one location, or it frequently occurs with items in one area of your home, it might be a bigger problem.
The purpose of your circuit breaker is to cut off the electricity when it determines there is a problem. If it has more amps then it can handle, it shuts the path off to prevent a fire. If you start to notice this happens with more frequency, it may be caused by bad or failing wiring.
Pay attention every time you plug something in. Has the color of the outlet changed over time? Have the outlets loosened through years of plugging things in? Do the outlets wiggle and fall out of the wall?
If you notice a faint burning smell that lingers, and you can’t identify the cause, it might be your wiring. If you do suspect it’s your wiring, turn off the circuit to that portion of your house and call a technician in immediately.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that homes built from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s that have aluminum wiring in place are 55 times more likely to have fire hazard conditions than homes wired with copper. That means they are more at risk of overheating, resulting in potential fire hazards. If you have aluminum wiring, consider replacing it as soon as possible.
If you suspect you have a wiring problem, don’t delay in getting help. If your home needs rewiring, it’s best to let an experienced electrician handle the job, and create a safer environment for you and your family.
Look. Pay attention. And stay safe.