Rewiring is often overlooked as homes age. It’s likely that your home is at least 10-20 years old, which means you’re probably due for some serious home maintenance. When this happens, it’s understandable to groan out loud as you mentally list bill after bill, and where to begin? Does my home need new insulation? Is there out-dated appliances? What about bad plumbing? All legitimate concerns, but it’s also likely that you haven’t considered your electrical wiring as a potential problem.
Checking for out-dated wiring isn’t as simple as reading a thermostat or looking for mold spots, considering the issue is literally inside your walls. Only licensed electricians can guarantee if your house needs rewiring.
Should You Consider Rewiring?
If your house is old, and you enjoy all the conveniences your house provides you, then yes, you should probably rewire your home. It’s not just for better convenience and lower utility bills- it’s an issue of safety. Older homes that are up to 40-50 years old typically have electrical wires with cloth and a rubber coating, which means they can deteriorate over time and expose the wire. Exposed wires trapped between dry wall and insulation means a very dangerous fire hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2014, at least 23,900 residential fires were attributed to electrical malfunctions.
But let’s say your home is only 30 years or younger, the wiring might not be exposed, but it’s still likely designed not to handle the demands of your day-to-day life. Outdated wiring means there’s a good chance you’ll overload the wiring. If your electrical wiring can’t handle its current workload, it could either shut everything down or, again, overheat and start a fire.
Not Sure Where to Look?
Before you start hunting for clues, here are a few things you’ll want to consider:
- Is your home 40 or more years old? If so, it’s almost guaranteed that your home needs some serious rewiring.
- Are you constantly tripping over extension cords? If you’re relying on extension cords to power most of your appliances, then there’s a good chance your wiring is outdated.
- Did you recently make any major home improvements, like a brand new major appliance? If your house is old, and you’re trying to update everything inside and out, chances are good that you’re seriously straining your existing electrical system.
- Does your home have ungrounded, two-prong outlets? Two-prong outlets are your typical two slot outlets, usually common to find in most homes. If the outlet is ungrounded, that means that your outlet isn’t protected if there is an electrical fault.
Concerned This Might Be You?
Being a homeowner means an overwhelming amount of maintenance and responsibilities. Keeping up with what needs to be fixed or replaced is a daunting task. Luckily when it comes to making the rewiring judgment call, there are several distinct signs. It’s always important to have a licensed electrician come inspect and fix the problem, versus trying to fix it yourself, as some faulty wiring is caused by homeowners trying to personally fix the problem. So what should you look for?
- Frequent tripped breakers or blown fuses. Let’s say you were in the kitchen, watching something on TV and heating some leftovers in the microwave, when all of the sudden, your TV screen immediately fades to black and you can’t hear that dull hum anymore. It’s not uncommon to blow a fuse, but if this happens more than once in at least a month, there’s a good chance your wiring is outdated.
- Dimming or Flickering Lights. Easy to spot, but also easy to mix up with a dying light bulb. If you were to, however, experiencing flickering lights in multiple rooms, it’s time to call in an electrician.
- Hot or discolored plugs, switches, or plates. Next time you reach to unplug a device, check to feel if it’s hot to the touch, or you might even see some brown spots blossoming around your outlet sockets.
- Light bulbs that frequently burn out of their socket. This indicates that the fixture can’t handle the current bulb wattage.
- Buzzing or sizzling sounds. Have you ever walked into a room with those big fluorescent lights and had to deal with that annoying non-stop buzzing sound? If you’re suffering from the same sounds at your home, your home maintenance is overdue.
- The smell of burnt vinyl or plastic. It’s a very different scent from burnt food. Please don’t hesitate to act if you smell something burning, as this can prevent a house fire.
- Seeing sparks from outlets when plugging or unplugging an appliance. If you see sparks, take extreme caution and call your electric power company immediately.
- Loose outlets. Check your outlets and see if any plugs wobble or pull out easily.
- Cracked, cut, or broken insulation. Your walls and insulation act like a suit of armor, covering and protecting your electrical wiring. If something’s exposed, this could lead to damaged wiring.
- If you experience an electrical shock when plugging something in or touch a cord. If this happens, don’t try to fix the problem yourself, call an electrician immediately.
It’s Time to Rewire and Reap the Benefits.
Believe it, there are benefits to rewiring your home. Not only can you rest easy at night, knowing there won’t be any spontaneous house fires to worry about, but you’ll have an overall better functioning house, well-suited to fit your electrical needs. Rewiring your home also increases your house value, and for those interested in selling their homes, that requires a house capable of passing inspection.
If you know your home has some old and faulty wiring, it’s best to act as soon as possible. Updating your electrical wiring could be as easy as having an electrician update your electrical panel, or more demanding like having all the old wires pulled out through the walls, and replaced with wonderful copper wires.
Home maintenance is important, and your electrical wiring is a top priority – call Wave Electric and ask about our rewiring services today!