Whether you’ve lived in your house for 40 years or just moved in last week, the safety of your home’s electrical system is a critical component of the structure’s overall integrity. Old, inefficient or damaged system components can put a drain on your bill, and they can even present a danger to your home in some instances.
Knowing how to spot the signs of bad wiring in any structure is a good skill to have, as it can help you keep your home and your family safe from any potential problems. Watch for the following signs:
- Hot electrical outlets: First of all, it’s worth taking a walk through the house and taking a close look at your electrical outlets. If they have scorch marks, appear darkened or are warm or even hot to the touch, those are signs of bad wiring in the house and a textbook indicator that there’s an energy leak. These leaks can heat up the wires behind the walls, or they can even create surges that destroy appliances and start fires.
- Frequently tripped breakers: Your circuit breakers are there to protect you, as well as to protect your system from becoming overwhelmed by inconsistent surges of electricity. If breakers are being tripped on a regular basis, that can be a sign that too many devices are plugged in at one location, or it may be a sign of bad wiring—clearly the breakers are becoming overwhelmed, and a professional electrician can help you figure out what the issue is and address it.
- Burning or smoke smell: It can also pay to use your nose when looking for signs of bad wiring in your house. Melted plastic near outlets is one such scent that should set off alarm bells, as it means that there’s already fire damage that a professional electrician needs to address right away. Unplug all devices from the outlet immediately, and call a technician.
- Flickering lights or devices: If you notice a dimming, flickering or even a buzzing sound emanating from a light or an appliance, that could be a sign of bad wiring. Clearly the flow of electricity is inconsistent to that device, which likely means something was improperly installed.
- Frayed wiring: This one can be a bit trickier to spot, as the majority of your home’s wiring is going to be out of sight, behind walls. However, if you do spot some of your wiring (perhaps in the basement or attic) and see that it’s been frayed, that’s usually a sign of rodent damage. If they chew all the way through the plastic covering and expose the wires underneath, that can then cause arcing, which can cause shock or fire. Have a qualified electrician replace these damaged wires right away.
You should always be able to feel safe in your home, and knowing how to spot the signs of bad wiring can go a long way toward increasing that peace of mind. However, nothing can replace the presence and the expertise of a professional electrician. Wilkinson Electric Inc. has over a decade of experience assisting homeowners just like you, so give us a call today to schedule an appointment if you suspect your home’s wiring could use some extra attention.
Categorised in: Wiring
This post was written by Writer