If you live in an older home – one that is more than 40 years old – it’s worth taking a few moments to consider the age of your wiring. While older wiring isn’t inherently more dangerous, it may be experiencing wear and tear that could lead to problems.
Much older homes often have copper wiring, and while the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) agree that copper wiring can last 100 years or more, the real problem is less about the wiring and more about the insulation, which can have a much shorter life and show dangerous wear and tear in older homes.
Even if your home isn’t an antique, homes built before 1980 typically used aluminum wiring or wiring with a rubberized fabric wrapped around it, which can lead to wires coming loose or fraying, which means shorts and potentially, fires.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported that electrical receptacles are involved in 5,300 fires every year, causing on average 40 deaths and more than 100 consumer injuries.
Warning Signs of Electrical Wiring Problems
If you live in an older home (or even a newer home that has been improperly wired), look for the following warning signs that you may have a problem:
- You regularly trip breakers or blow fuses;
- You experience a tingling sensation when you touch switches, appliances, or receptacles.
- Your home’s lighting dims or flickers regularly.
- Your outlets are discolored, or switch plates are warm to the touch.
- You sense a burning smell in a specific room or from an appliance.
- You have ungrounded outlets (those that accommodate only two-prong plugs).
Get an Expert Evaluation
If you don’t know the condition of your home’s wiring, it’s worth paying a licensed electrician to inspect your electrical system for any problems that exist or any fixtures that aren’t up to code. In Connecticut, L-Train Electric is a full-service electrical contracting company providing commercial and residential services.
As a top-rated Connecticut electrical contractor, we bring peace of mind to homes and businesses from Northern Connecticut to the Connecticut shoreline. Call us at 860-343-1797 or visit our web site to learn more or to make an appointment.