Are you carrying out routine maintenance on an old house? As part of your general inspection, checking the electrical system for potential problems is essential. Older homes tend to have outdated or failing electrical systems, resulting in frequent blackouts, power surges, and fires. Here are seven electrical concerns to be aware of whether you want to buy an older home or already live in one.
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Older homes were built with knob and tube wiring, which is no longer up to code. The wiring can overheat, causing fires. Have A/C Electrical Services | Electrical Repair experts inspect the wiring and update it if necessary. Replace any old, frayed, or exposed wiring as well. Opt for copper as it is durable and can handle high currents. It also doesn’t rust over time.
Most older homes have fuses instead of circuit breakers. Fuses frequently blow, causing blackouts. If you live in an old house with fuses, have a certified electrician replace them with circuit breakers. As you install circuit breakers, analyze your home’s power needs and install the correct size breaker. You may need several breakers if your home has a lot of appliances.
Most old homes only have two-pronged outlets. These are no longer up to code and need replacing with three-pronged outlets. Hire a certified electrician to install new outlets throughout your home. They will also inspect the electrical system for any other potential problems.
While carrying out replacements, check the current outlets for any signs of damage. If an outlet is discolored or charred, this is a sign of overheating and requires immediate replacing. Warm outlets may also be loose and need tightening by a certified electrician.
Extension cords are often used in old homes as a stop-gap for outlets that are too far away. However, extension cords are only meant for use temporarily. They’re not meant to be a long-term solution. Make sure they’re not frayed or damaged.
Check that the cords do not power too many devices, which can cause overheating. Also, keep them away from water and high traffic areas. If you need more outlets, have a certified electrician install them instead.
Older homes have light switches placed in inconvenient locations. Today, light switches are placed near the doorways so you can quickly turn the lights off when you leave a room. You can even have several switches controlling the same light.
Have a certified electrician update your light switch placement if you live in an old home. Go an extra step to install motion sensor light switches. These automatically turn the lights off when there’s no movement, saving you money on power bills. Voice and remote-controlled switches are also available.
Grounding protects your home from power surges and static electricity. It also reduces electrical noise. If your home is not correctly grounded, hire a certified electrician to fix the problem. They will install a grounding rod and wire it to your home’s electrical system.
GFCIs, or ground fault circuit interrupters, are devices that protect you from electrical shocks. They’re required in all homes today but weren’t common in older homes. If your home has no GFCIs, install them near all water sources, including the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, tub, and shower. You can buy GFCIs at any hardware store. They’re not difficult to install, but if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, hire a certified electrician.
Regular Maintenance Is Critical
To keep your home’s electrical system in good shape, have a certified electrician check it every few years. They will look for any signs of wear and tear, tighten loose connections, and ensure all the devices are properly grounded. Regular maintenance prevents problems and keeps your family safe. You’ll spend less on repairs over time and have peace of mind knowing your home is up to code.
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