Building codes change over time and as a home owner, it is important to make sure that your home or property is up to date, especially when it comes to the electrical wiring. The standards and methods for electrical wiring have changed and improved drastically over the last century, a good thing as faulty wiring can lead to a pile of ashes at the end of the day. If you live in an older home, one built 50 or more years ago, it is good to know what the state or condition your electrical wiring is in, and take any necessary steps to update it if needed.
Checking your electrical wiring is not one of those things you want to avoid or procrastinate on, nor is it something you want to tackle yourself. Not only can you nullify your insurance if you perform certain electrical wiring tasks yourself, but a small mistake with electrical wiring can have treacherous results. However, you should be aware of what electrical wiring system is turning the lights on is your house.
The good news is that before you bring in a contractor or electrician, there are certain signs that you can look out for that are signals that your electrical wiring is out of date.
For one, you should pay attention to how often your breakers and fuses trip. If you notice that plugging in your hair dryer when you’re toasting a bagel causes the lights to go out, there is a good chance that your electrical wiring can’t handle the load and needs to be updated.
Another thing to look out for is if your lights flicker, maybe you’re reading a book or cooking in the kitchen and someone turns on a light in another room and you notice the lights above you dim for a moment or two, this is an indication that you should bring someone in to do a full electrical inspection.
Perhaps there has been a time when you’ve been using electricity and you’ve started to smell something burning but you can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from. Well, there is a chance that the smell is coming from behind the walls as old wires short out and become hot. This is a definite fire hazard as there are materials behind the walls that could catch fire if the wires become too hot.
You could also pay attention to whether or not there are any shocks when you plug something into the socket. If you go to charge up your laptop and there is a noticeable spark, it’s a good idea to get someone in to check your electrical wiring.
And for a little history lesson, the most common outdated type of electrical wiring is called knob and tube wiring, which was the standard method of creating electricity from the late 1800’s until the 1930’s, but it took a while to phase out completely. The system consists of single-insulated copper conductors, and porcelain tubes and knobs. The system eventually lost out because of cost and safety, but it still exists in some homes today.
Over time, the wiring begins to crack and break down, leaving dangerous exposed wires that could light the surroundings on fire. Remember, if the wiring is old, there might be other elements that don’t have the same fire resistant standards that we see today.
Knob and tube wiring is not the only culprit, even outdated modern electrical wiring can be cause for concern. And if you have one or more of the problems listed above, it’s not a sure sign that the electrical wiring in your home needs a complete overhaul. However, faulty electrical wiring needs urgent attention, and for that you should call a professional.
At BPM Electric in Surrey and Langley, we would be happy to help you with all your electrical needs.