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Poor electrical wiring is a threat to everyone in the home as well as a hazard for your neighbors. You should take steps to ensure your electrical system is operating safely and get things updated or repaired as needed. Below are some signs to consider when deciding if you should replace your electrical wiring.

Your House Is Older

The general rule of thumb when it comes to electric systems is to have an electrician inspect your home if it’s over 30 years old. This is because some of the wiring systems might be outdated.

Now, if your home is 40 years old, it’s a good idea to have the wiring redone in its entirety. This is especially important if you’re using modern appliances that demand higher levels of electricity. In particular, refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, televisions, and video game consoles are liable to put immense strain on your electrical system. A new system ensures that your circuit breakers, electrical panels, and wiring are in line with your electrical usage.

Your Lights Are Dimming

In any home, you want to take note if lights flicker on and off or dim for no reason. If your electrical systems are struggling to keep up, turning on an appliance may cause lights to flash or soften briefly. While flickering or dimming lights may seem like a minor issue that can wait, they are often a sign that your wiring is likely overloading. 

If this isn’t addressed, you could find that it leads to all types of costly repairs and disasters. Have a licensed Richmond electrician take a look before this evolves into a more serious problem.

Old Wiring Materials

Close up of a cross section of aluminum wiring.

Aluminum wiring was the go-to in the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, aluminum is prone to short-circuiting and sparks, as well as losing connections. 

If your home has aluminum wiring, then your property is at increased risk of an electrical fire. Your wiring may also experience power flow disruptions, forcing all your appliances to work harder. This increases the possibility of your systems breaking down.

Another type of outdated wiring is knob and tube wiring. Knob and tube wiring utilizes porcelain knobs and cylinders to anchor wires throughout a property. This means there is no grounding wire. Since there is no ground wire, using three-pronged outlets can create major risks, as knobs and tubes are not designed to manage this connection. If your home has this wiring, it’s important that you update it as soon as possible since this type of wiring is dangerous.

You Often Need Extension Cords

Look around your floors. If you see a lot of extension cords, it means you need more outlets. A room with only one or two outlets probably can’t manage your electricity usage, especially if you use many electrical devices. Stuffing your surge protectors completely full can be dangerous and lead to tripping your breaker.

You See Frayed Wires or Scorch Marks

Heat accumulation in power transmission lines

Cracked or frayed wires are serious hazards, and it’s important that they be replaced by a professional once you identify any in your home. Check for heat, bending, or corrosion, as well as pinching, nicking, or breaks from piercing.

Outlets and switches should be cool to the touch. You should never ignore scorches and dark spots around your outlets. These are signs of a serious problem that could end with an electrical fire. If you see any such sign, you need to get your electrical system checked immediately.

Tripping Breakers

Breakers trip because the power demand is greater than the system can handle. They die eventually, but if you’re changing them frequently, it’s another sign that your electrical system isn’t working efficiently.

You’ll want a qualified electrician to take care of this. They will make the necessary changes to your home, ensuring it’s capable of managing the demand you need.

U.S. Electric is the home of skilled electricians, owned by a master electrician, and provides guaranteed service. With over three decades of experience and customer satisfaction across Richmond, you can rest assured that we can safely replace your home’s electrical wiring. Reach out today to get your home’s electrical system in safe, working order.