Warning Signs of Electrical Wiring System Failure
Most people are not licensed electricians, so the telltale signs of faulty electrical wiring aren’t always easy to notice. When the issue is literally inside the walls of your own home, the question becomes what exactly you can do that doesn’t involve tearing your walls down. Your house could be old with outdated wiring, or brand new with faulty wiring. You could be living in a house that’s 100 years old, but has been renovated inside and out. It doesn’t always matter when electrical wiring is concerned, faulty wiring can happen anywhere.
Why Should You Be Concerned With Your Electrical Wiring?
Like any type of house maintenance, it’s best to be proactive versus reactive. Taking care of a leak before your floor is warped is just something you do because you know fixing the plumbing is cheaper than fixing your plumbing and your floor. Your home’s electrical wiring can be just like a leaking pipe, only it can be much worse than warped floors and mold. If for example, there’s exposed wire hidden somewhere between drywall and insulation, then at any time this can start a house fire. In 2014, according to the US Fire Administration, almost 25,000 house fires were attributed to an electrical malfunction. A potential fire isn’t the only safety concern; faulty outlets can lead to you or your unsuspecting loved ones electrocuting themselves.
What Are the Warning Signs?
The good news is that if your home has faulty or failing wiring, it’s hard to miss the clues. Some warning signs need you to act quicker than others, especially if you smell something burning or received an electrical shock from an outlet. It’s always important to make sure you have a licensed electrician repair any faulty wiring, as trying to fix the problem yourself can either make the problem worse or someone could get hurt. So what to look for?
- If your circuit breaker keeps tripping…, you might want to call your electrician. A circuit breaker’s job is to cut the flow of electricity to your house to prevent overheating, thus preventing a house fire. If you’re making constant trips to your circuit breaker, it could either mean you have appliances that are pulling too much electricity out of one circuit (over-loading), there’s a short circuit somewhere either in the appliance or wiring, OR you’re in need of a new circuit breaker.
- If there’s a persistent burnt smell, something like burnt vinyl or plastic, you should call your electric power company immediately. This could be caused by a short circuit, a loose connection, or faulty wiring.
- Any discolored or charred outlets is usually a sign of arcing when there’s an electrical breakdown that causes an electrical discharge and burns whatever’s close by. If you find any outlets in such a state, contact your electric power company immediately.
- Keep an eye and an ear out for flickering, buzzing, and sizzling, if your wiring is safe and functional, then your lights should operate sans the sounds and light show.
Do Any of These Sound Familiar? Don’t Fret.
If you’re facing overwhelming evidence that your house has faulty wiring, then it’s time to call a licensed electrician. The solution might be simply replacing your electrical panel, but if chances are your home has completely outdated wiring, then it’s time for much more labor-intensive maintenance.
- Replacing Your Electrical Panel. If the issue is simply a malfunctioning circuit breaker, then replacing it should fix your electrical problems. If your electrical panel has only 100 amps, and you live an electrically intensive lifestyle, then the solution may be to upgrade it to 200 amps, which is fairly standard for modern homes. If the issue turns out to be faulty wiring, then an upgraded electrical panel won’t solve the problem.
- Rewiring Your House. If you have old or faulty wiring, it needs to come out. Old aluminum wiring has a risk of starting fires and overloading your circuit breaker. A licensed electrician will have to remove all the old wiring and replace it with non-metallic (copper) wiring, which is safer, easier to work with, and won’t overheat with the insulation.
Don’t Wait Until You Smell Smoke
Faulty electrical wiring isn’t just an issue of safety, but of lifestyle. Nowadays, modern homes usually need to operate on at least 100 amps, and homes with outdated or faulty wiring usually only run up to 60 amps. Rewiring won’t only get your home up to speed with your lifestyle, but it also increases your house value. Homeowners interested in selling their house will need to make sure their wiring is up-to-date in order to pass inspection. Don’t hesitate, the longer you wait, chances are the more expensive the cost will be.
If you’re unsure your house has faulty wiring, call a licensed electrician to inspect it for you. Be proactive, look for the signs, and fix that hazardous faulty electrical wiring – call McHale’s today!