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5 Signs of Outdated Wiring

Ramsey Electrician holding wiring and has tool belt at someones building

Everything You Need To Know About Outdated Wiring

When was the last time you upgraded your home’s wiring? If you can’t remember, chances are your wiring is outdated, especially if you own an older home.

 But what does outdated wiring mean?

As your wiring ages, its rubber coatings can deteriorate, exposing the copper wires beneath. An exposed wire can result in electric shocks, electrical fires, and more. 

Let’s review some of the significant consequences of outdated wiring.

Why Should I Care About Outdated Wiring?

As technology evolves, your home uses more electricity to power your electronics. Placing that electrical load on an outdated wiring system can be a serious safety hazard– here’s why:

Your Home Needs More Energy 

Old electrical systems were not designed to power appliance-heavy households. Powering your appliances and other electronic systems with outdated wiring can lead to overheating, short circuits, and, in some cases, electrical fires. 

Wires Degrade Over Time

When the rubber covering your wires degrades, live wires are exposed. Exposed wiring becomes a major risk for eclectic shocks and fires. 

Old Wires Can Cause Injuries and Damage 

While we’ve established that outdated wiring can cause electric shocks and fires, old wiring can damage your appliances and other electronic systems. 

Luckily, determining whether your wiring is outdated doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Here are 5 tell-tale signs that your wiring needs an upgrade.

5 Signs Your Wiring is Outdated

1. Your Home is Over 40 Years Old 

The average American household consumes significantly more electricity than 40 or more years ago. Today, homeowners consume electricity to power their refrigerators, stoves, clothes dryers, WiFi, televisions, and other appliances. If your home is over 40 years old and hasn’t had its wiring upgraded, chances are your electricity consumption is too heavy for your home’s electrical system. 

2. You Rely On Extension Cords

Excessive use of extension cords might mean your home needs more outlets to meet your electrical needs. Aesthetics aside, here’s a reason why your wiring is hidden behind walls. When you use extension cords, you’re adding points where cords can kink, pinch, and short out. When this happens, your outlets can get damaged, your breaker can trip, and an electrical fire could occur. 

If you rely on extension cords because you don’t have enough outlets, consider upgrading your home’s electrical system. 

3. Your Lights Flicker or Dim 

Your light fixtures should only use a small amount of power. If your lights are flickering or dimming, chances are it’s not your fixtures– your wiring may just be overloaded. Modern appliances, especially those that heat or cool, can draw a lot of power and strain old wiring systems, causing the flickering or dimming of your lights. 

4. There’s a Weird Smell Coming From Your Electrical System

Sometimes, a new appliance will give off a strange smell when you plug it in and turn it on. That’s totally normal. What isn’t normal, however, is a smell coming from your outlets, breaker panel, or fuse box. This could be a sign that your wiring is dangerously outdated. 

If you smell something coming out of your electrical system, unplug everything and call an electrician immediately. Never ignore a burning smell from your outlets, as this can be an early indicator of an electrical fire. 

5. You Hear Buzzing Sounds

If your wiring is in good shape, your electricity shouldn’t be making any sounds. It should have a smooth, quiet flow between connections. However, frayed wires, loose outlets, and prongs can make your current jump, causing a buzzing sound. 

If you hear a buzzing sound coming from your outlets, shut off the power running to that outlet and call an electrician right away. Buzzing could put you at risk of an electric shock or electrical fire. 

What Can I Do To Make Sure My Wiring Is Safe? 

Don’t wait until something terrible happens to find out your wiring is outdated. Here are a few ways you can make sure your wiring is up to date: 

Routine Inspections

Hire an electrician to conduct regular inspections of your electrical systems. Not only will an electrician let you know if your wiring is outdated, but they’ll also uncover potential issues before they escalate into serious problems. 

Upgrade Your Wiring if Necessary

If an electrician determines your home has outdated wiring, it’s important that you upgrade your electrical system. The initial cost of rewiring your home is worth keeping your home and family safe. 

Install Safety Devices 

If you’re planning on rewiring your home but can’t do so right away, consider installing modern safety devices such as GFCIs and AFCIs. These provide your home with an added layer of protection against electrical hazards, such as electrocution and fires. 

Should I DIY My Electrical Rewiring Fixes?

If you think you have outdated or faulty wiring, please don’t turn to DIY electrical fixes. A qualified professional must do electrical work to minimize fire and injury risks. 

Call Accredited Electric For Your Electrical Fixes

At Accredited Electric, we pride ourselves on delivering first-class electrical work and exceptional customer service. We understand the importance of a safe, efficient electrical system and are committed to ensuring your home meets current electrical standards. Our team of skilled electricians is equipped to handle everything from routine inspections to comprehensive upgrades.

Remember, outdated wiring is not just an inconvenience; it’s a hazard. By recognizing the signs and taking proactive steps to ensure your wiring is up to date, you can protect your home, your family, and your peace of mind. Call us at 763-355-5898