Let’s admit it.
Most of us don’t care too much about the condition of the wiring running behind the walls.
It is quite understated to say that wiring is the lifeline of your home's electrical system, whether it is to switch the fan, turn on the heating, or operate any other appliances. The wires carry electricity across the home, just like blood vessels carry blood across the body.
The same electrical wiring can cause problems if they are damaged or worn out. It is not uncommon that sparks in wiring can lead to fire. According to one report, nearly 20% of electrocution is caused by faulty, damaged, or exposed household wiring.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), over 60% of home fires are due to electrical distribution or lighting equipment operated with faulty wiring.
In the USA, there are nearly 1,000 deaths per year caused by electrical injuries. Of these, nearly 400 are due to high-voltage electrical injuries. There are also at least 30,000 shock incidents reported every year which are non-fatal.
Many home electrical accidents, however, can be prevented if we identify and address a few common wiring signs in our wires.
Frequent Circuit Breaking Trips
Circuit breakers are likely to trip when you have multiple appliances running from the same circuit. An overload happens to take place at some point. But if frequent circuit breaking is happening, you should take it seriously. There could be a risk looming in your home's electrical wiring, or you need to get your electrical panel changed.
Generally, electrical panels last anywhere between 25 and 40 years. Consider replacing your outdated panels as they are not able to handle the requirements of today's homes. If you have a larger refrigerator, hot tub, or anything that can consume more electricity, prefer a 200 amp electrical panel.
Flickering or Dim Lights:
Frequently experiencing dim or flickering lights?
For example, your lights start flickering whenever you plug in anything.
It may be an indication of the fault or damage in your home's electrical wiring.
Frayed or damaged wiring can cause lights to dim. But it can maximize the risk of an electrical fire.
If you have loose wiring in a light, switch box, or outlet, it can trigger arcing. This is when the electrical current passes through the gaps in the connection, “jumping” as it does so.
Each arc can reach up to 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and will often lead to an electrical fire.
The wiring is frayed when the metallic innards are exposed through its insulation. Frayed wires not only impact the performance of the appliances they are attached to but also lead to fire incidents. Excessive flow of electricity within a cable system can lead to appliances, electronics, or any other types of machinery to short circuit or overpower, damaging the electrical components. They can even cause fire as the power runs loose.
Burning or Odd Odors:
If you smell or see smoke, make sure to take immediate action by calling an electrician. Smoke is the indicator of fire. Outlet discoloration is another sign pointing toward the damage to the wiring. The overheating of wires breaks down the insulation around them, releasing chemicals into the air. These chemicals can have an acrid smell that can be easily sensed.
Outlets Being Warm or Hot to Touch:
You must have noticed that sometimes outlets are warm or hot to the touch. It may be coupled with a vibration. There could be many reasons behind this condition such as excessive usage, devices requiring high voltage, and faulty wiring.
Noises from Fixtures and Outlets:
If you hear weird sounds coming from your outlets or light fixtures, it could be a sign of a wiring problem in your home.
Sometimes, you might notice a buzzing or sizzling noise coming from an outlet, and even light fixtures can make strange electric sounds.
While changing a lightbulb might help in some cases, you should be cautious because the real issue could be faulty wiring. It's important to investigate these unusual noises to ensure your home's electrical system is safe.
If your house was constructed in the late '60s or early '70s, it might have old aluminum wiring that needs attention.
Research has revealed that homes with aluminum wiring from that period are over 50 times more likely to suffer from fire damage compared to those with copper wiring.
Copper wiring is considered safer because it can better withstand heat and reduce the risk of fires. Therefore, it's essential to consider updating your wiring if you have an older home with aluminum wiring to ensure the safety of your property and loved ones.
Let Our Electricians Fix Your Wiring Issues!
So these are some common signs that your electrical wiring is faulty, outdated, or damaged. Make sure to call an electrician as soon as you notice any of them. Getting timely assistance from an electrician with your faulty wire can reduce the risk of short circuits, appliance damages, and fire incidents and above all ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.