Your lights and appliances are working fine, so that means your wiring is too, right? Not so much. Seldom inspected after installation, the wiring in your home may need an update, especially if your home is more than 40 years old. So is your Home Electrical Wiring In Need Of Updating?
Why update wiring?
Installing sufficient wiring goes beyond safety. It also means enhancing your home’s functionality, reliability, and safety to keep up with today’s ever-increasing power needs. This applies not only to the installation of current electrical wiring, but wiring for your phone, Internet, cable, and more.
Waiting is a risk.
According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association), faulty wiring is the leading cause for residential fires. The National Electric Code (NEC) updates electrical codes and standards for outlets and wiring every three years. Their mission is to keep up with technology designed to keep your home and family safe. Has the wiring in your home gotten any attention since the 2014 NEC code updates? Chances are it’s been far longer than that.
Your home may be behind the times and in need of wiring updates if you have…
Aluminum wiring used in the 60s and 70s, non-metallic wiring installed in the 40s and 50s, and knob and tube wiring in pre-1930s homes are well-known safety hazards, as are loose connections and frayed wires resulting from wear-and-tear.
Two pronged, ungrounded outlets
These are an enormous safety hazard – for you and your electronics. Without proper grounding, electrical excesses have nowhere to go but into your devices – or you – even if you have a surge protector. Reduce shock risks by rapidly addressing this sign of wiring that is way behind the times.
Identified by the “TEST” and “RESET” buttons on receptacles, GFCIs protect you from shock in high moisture areas. They are currently required in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, utility rooms, garages, spa/pool areas, unfinished crawlspaces/basements, and any areas outside of your home. If you are lacking these inexpensive, easy-to-install devices in any of these areas, you may be in for a shocking experience.
AFCIs prevent fire by acting as a circuit breaker, which disconnects in the event of a potentially dangerous arc. They are required in bedrooms in all 50 states, though some states require them in all circuits throughout the home.
Outlets that are not childproof
Childproof outlets require equal pressure in all prongs simultaneously for electricity to flow. They cost pennies more than traditional outlets and are required in all newly built homes.
Not enough power
How many amps power your home? While 60 amps may have been sufficient in the past, today’s homes often need 100 to 200 amps to successfully operate the glut of large and technologically advanced appliances you use simultaneously, from mobile devices and flat screens to your refrigerator and air conditioner. Without an adequate power supply, you could end up damaging these sensitive items beyond repair.
Other behind-the-times, wiring problem signs also include:
- Tripped breakers
- Blown fuses
- Using extension cords or adapters to compensate for a lack of outlets
- Flickering or dimming lights with the operation of neighboring appliances
- Rodent damage
- Popping, crackling, or buzzing
- Hot or scorch marked outlets
- Burning smells or smoke