When do you need to rewire a house you love? It can be so much fun to revitalize an older house. They often have character that you just don’t see in modern homes. But one thing many people overlook when they renovate an aging home is the electrical system. For most folks, if all the plugs and switches work, then they don’t see any reason to bring in an electrician.
However, it’s not as simple as that. If a house is more than two decades old, there could be potential electrical problems lurking in the wiring. Here are some things to check for when you’re trying to decide when do you need to rewire a house.
How Old Is the Wiring in Your House?
The U.S. Fire Administration says that poor or damaged insulation around electrical wires is the main cause of electrical fires in American homes. In fact, about a third of house fires are caused by this very problem. Houses built 50 years ago or more are at a much higher risk of electrical fires. If your house is getting up there in years, it is time to get it inspected for a possible rewire.
Modern Electrical Needs Exceed Older Electrical Systems
Fifty years ago, American families used far fewer appliances and electronics. There were no home entertainment centers, just a tube television. There were no cell phones, laptops, or tablets to charge. The old plug-in landline phones didn’t use any electricity at all. There were no gaming systems or plug-in room deodorizers. Just think of all the things you keep plugged in all the time in your home.
Just a few decades ago, households typically plugged in a television, basic kitchen and laundry appliances, some lamps, and a radio or two. An electrical system that was built for this level of electrical use is no match for our modern conveniences. If you pop a circuit breaker every time you turn on the coffee maker and blender at the same time, you definitely need an upgrade.
Flickering Lights Mean You May Have a Problem
Do you have lights in your house that always flicker? This is a sign of loose wiring connections. Not only is a flickering light incredibly annoying, but it should also be considered a sign of serious electrical wiring issues.
Singed Outlets or a Burning Smell?
The wiring inside power outlets can sometimes short. This will often cause black singe marks on the visible area of the plug. Other times, you may smell something burning but won’t see smoke or singe marks. This can be a sign that the wiring inside the wall is shorting. Either of these conditions calls for an immediate call to the fire department, and then your electrician.
Aluminum Wiring Is a Huge Red Flag
If your home was built between 1965 and 1973, pay close attention to this tip. About two million homes were electrified with aluminum wiring during this period. Aluminum wiring has been found to create an even higher risk of house fire. Check your house’s build date; if it falls within this date range, calling an electrician to run an inspection needs to be at the top of your priority list.
Have a Decrepit Fuse Box?
Find your power box right now, and check for these characteristics:
- A wooden box or backing
- Fuses, rather than circuit breakers
- No labels
- A black, unprotected cable running out of it
If you find any of these conditions at your power box, it is definitely time to upgrade your house’s wiring and electrical panel.
Inadequate Plugs and Switches for Your Needs?
Older homes were built to meet the electrical needs of the times. Do your bedrooms only have one or two power outlets? Are the outlets for two-prong plugs, rather than modern three-prong plugs? Are the light switches rounded, rather than square? All of these are still more signs that it’s time to get your house rewired.
What’s the Point of Rewiring a House?
Getting your aging house rewired fulfills a few important needs. First of all, it reduces your risk of experiencing a house fire. Modern materials and methods are far superior to those used decades ago.
Second, rewiring the home involves a close inspection of possible problem areas that should be addressed. For example, an electrician may notice chew marks on the wires in your attic. This means you will have to call in a pest control professional to protect your house from further rodent-related damage.
Third, rewiring your house will make it easier to use your modern appliances and electronics. With additional outlets and a more robust electrical system in place, you will experience fewer tripped circuit breakers. The convenience factor is a big selling point for many busy families.
Still wondering when do you need to rewire a house? Call Arc Angel at 770.889.9243 for the answers you need.