Most of us homeowners take the convenience of electricity in our homes for granted until something goes wrong. Many of us live in older homes that have hidden problems behind the walls. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, over half of American houses were built before 1980. With older homes, the chances of incorrect electrical wiring or wiring in need of an update significantly increase. The challenge of course is knowing when it’s time.
What is Faulty Electrical Wiring?
Faulty wiring means there is either damage to the wires, or incorrect voltage running through them. This could be the result of an electrician cutting corners on safety, old wires that have deteriorated, or wires damaged by rodents. Whatever the cause, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of bad electrical wiring.
Can Faulty Wiring Increase Electric Bills?
Yes, when electricity does not flow properly, wires are likely to release more electricity than necessary to run your appliances. The power leakage increases electricity usage and as a result, you end up paying for it each month.
Can Faulty Wiring Cause Fires?
Not only can faulty wiring put a squeeze on your bank account, but it can also cause electrical surges in places that are not equipped to handle the heat. This creates a fire hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that electrical outlets are involved in 5,300 fires every year.
5 Signs of Bad Wiring in Your House
1. Frequently tripping circuit breakers. It’s not rare for a breaker to trip. They’re made to stop the flow of electricity when the circuit is overloaded. However, if breakers are frequently tripping, the first step is to reduce the number of devices plugged in the circuit. If that doesn’t work, have an electrician look at the breaker. If the breaker is good, then the wiring should be inspected.
2. Flickering lights. Keep an eye open for lights that flicker, buzz, or sim. When you plug in an appliance and the lights dim, this is a sign that the electrical current is not flowing properly. Listen for any light switches that buzz when you turn them on – another red flag.
3. Hot electrical outlets. Because faulty wiring sends too much electricity to outlets, stay on the lookout for hot, darkened, or scorched outlets. This may indicate that there is an energy leak heating up the wires and the outlet. This surge of electricity could fry appliances or even cause a fire.
4. Frayed or chewed wire. If you notice frayed or chewed wiring, then you probably have a rodent problem. When the protective plastic covering is broken, the wires inside become exposed allowing the electricity to arc, which can cause shocks and fire.
5. Burning smell. If you smell burning or melting plastic near an outlet, the wiring has already caused fire damage. Unplug everything from the outlet and contact a licensed electrician to inspect the wiring immediately.
Schedule Your Electric Inspection
Wolfe Electric is an Omaha and Lincoln based electric company with the knowledge, experience, and expertise to protect your home or business from faulty electrical wiring.
Omaha – 402-731-1220
Lincoln – 402-464-4333