Even though your home’s wiring may be the last thing on your mind, it’s important to stop and consider whether or not it’s time to update your electrical wiring. It’s easy to cover that your wiring may be out of date if your lights come on when you flip a switch. No one wants to update their wiring since it can be a costly and extensive job. However, you can minimize the pain of such a project if you get ahead of it with a bit of planning.
Why Update Your Electrical Wiring
Materials and building codes change with time to improve safety. Keeping your wiring up to date can keep your home from going up in flames given that faulty wiring is the number one cause of residential fires. It may be time to update your electrical wiring if:
- Your home is 40+ years old
- You don’t have GFCIs in your kitchen or bathroom
- You repeatedly trip a breaker
- Your lights flickering dim on their own
- You have a lingering burning smell
- Your outlets are warm or discolored
- You get a light shock or tingle when using appliances
- Your insurance refuses coverage or charges a higher premium for older wiring
Older homes simply weren’t designed for the technologically advanced appliances that fill our homes today. This means that wiring in older homes is often only for 60amps, whereas newer appliances, like ACs, require upwards of 200amps. Not having enough voltage can actually damage your appliances, computers, and other electronics.
In addition to not having enough power, aluminum wiring was the standard wiring for homes built in the ‘60s and ‘70s. However, today we understand that this type of wiring is a safety hazard since it is prone to overheating and catching on fire. Older wiring is also subject to deterioration of materials such as wire insulation and damage from haphazard housework and rodents. To keep both your home and your appliances safe, it is advisable to upgrade to modern copper wiring. An inspection by one of the skilled electricians at WireCraft Electric can help determine whether your home needs its wiring upgraded.
GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, are designed to automatically cut off power if there is a spike in current. This helps prevent fires and electrocution. These outlets must be used with any outdoor electrical outlets, as well as in any other areas of the home where water is nearby. GFCIs are required in any home built in 1971 or later.
Tripped breakers or blown fuses can quickly leave you in the dark. While it can be a pain, it can be especially problematic if it happens repeatedly. Breakers can trip for many reasons including electrical circuits overload, short circuits, or ground fault surges. This could indicate a loose wire, which if not addressed could cause a fire in your home. You want to get breaker issues looked at right away to keep your home and your family safe.
Old wiring or damaged wiring can cause voltage trouble throughout your home. If you find that your lights are flickering or dimming when using a nearby appliance, it could be that your circuit is becoming overloaded. On the other hand, if you have a lingering burning smell in certain rooms of your home, you want to call an electrician right away to check your wiring. Even if you cannot physically see damage from your electrical outlets, your wiring could be close to causing a fire. The same is true if you feel a tingling sensation when using appliances. .
Home Insurance Coverage
It’s also important to carefully look at your homeowner’s policy regarding electrical issues. This applies especially if you are selecting a plan with a new provider. Many insurance companies will not provide coverage if your home has wiring that is 40+ years old. If they do offer coverage, they often do so at a premium. While upgrading your wiring can be an intensive job, looking long-term it can save you both time and money.
Planning to Update Your Home’s Electrical Wiring
Do you get overwhelmed at the idea of upgrading your home’s wiring? Take it as an opportunity to install wiring that will be long-lasting. With that, you can support the increasing electricity demands of our appliances.
The professional team at Wire Craft Electric will help make sure your home is safe and ready for the future. Call 206-542-0208 today to discuss your home’s wiring and to set up an appointment with one of our trusted electricians.