If you are an owner of an aging home, you have every right to be concerned about your home’s electrical system. An electrical inspection will reveal potential threats that compromise you, your family, and your belongings. Although the resulting work from this inspection may be extensive, it is often worth it.
Updating your electrical system means you are safe from electric shock and fires. Moreover, updated wiring means modern appliances can draw the right energy without tripping your circuit breakers. An electrical inspection by a qualified electrician ensures your home is up to code. This provides you peace of mind, lowers insurance premiums, and makes your home easier to sell.
When electrical inspectors look at your property, they often look for common issues in older houses. Some of them are minor inconveniences that could potentially escalate to more significant issues in the future. Others are pressing concerns that need immediate action. Take note of the most common problems in older homes:
Utilizing an Outdated Fuse Box
Does your home have an old fuse box instead of a modern circuit breaker? Both the fuse box and circuit breaker perform the vital job of controlling the amount of electricity flowing into your home. They safely cut off the electricity when a circuit gets overloaded. However, the modern circuit breaker is easier to use. It has switches you can flip and wires that you can readily disconnect and plug back as needed.
Meanwhile, a fuse box is noted for melting wires; that’s why there’s a term called “blowing a fuse.” When a circuit is overloaded, you have to replace the whole fuse before restoring the electricity into that circuit.
Having Outmoded Knob and Tube Wiring
This kind of electrical wiring method is severely old-fashioned, having been used in the 1950s and earlier. When you have this, you cannot run modern appliances correctly. If you push your luck, expect overheating in the wires, which can result in a fire.
Running on Deadly Aluminum Wiring
Another outdated wiring system is the aluminum wire. This was primarily used in the 60s to 70s. Sadly, this metal heats up more than the current copper wires. As a result, aluminum is more prone to loose electrical connections. This can lead to arcing, melting insulation, and fire.
Noticing Frequent Trips in Breaker
When there are power fluctuations, expect a trip in the breaker. It is also not unusual for this to trip when high-energy appliances consume more energy than the breaker allows. However, if your breaker keeps on tripping, even if you don’t run high-energy devices, you could have loose connections in your system.
Dealing with Outdated Two-Prong Outlets
Firstly, two-pronged outlets are old because you can’t use your three-pronged appliances. Secondly, two-pronged variants are ungrounded. This means they are not equipped with GFCI or ground-fault circuit interrupters, which prevents electrocution in wet areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. With GFCI in place, it takes four milliseconds to shut down a circuit, which mitigates a potentially fatal electrical shock.
Lacking Modern Outlets for New Appliances
Older homes have fewer outlets. Hence, you old house cannot accommodate your modern electrical demands. You may be tempted to install new outlets and circuits or add extension wire. Unfortunately, this can result in an overloaded circuit. This will impact your entire electrical system. It is ill-advised to do these things without the guidance of a licensed electrician. Please view service locations here: Arlington, Beverly, Boston, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Haverhill, Holyoke, Springfield and Worcester.