Having your electrical wiring checked by a professional electrician is one of the most important steps you can take in home maintenance. Especially if you are purchasing an older home, or have been living in a home that was built several decades ago, you should be aware of the condition of the wiring. Faulty wiring and electrical fires can be a common occurrence, but they are also fixable and preventable. All it takes to keep your home and family safe is a call to an electrician who will do a thorough electrical inspection.
You might be wondering what an electrician looks for during an inspection. Basically, they look and test to see that your electrical wiring is up to date and that there are no electrical code violations.
Some of the most common code violations our electricians at BPM Electrical see are:
Most holes through which wires pass are 7/8-inch and should house no more than three wires at a time. Electricians will often see four, five or even six wires squeezed together through one hole, which can cause the insulation around the wires to become damaged and exposed. These are called burned wires and they lead to an increase in the risk of a fire.
If an electrician notices overcrowding and burned wires, they will cut a new hole to make space for the extra wires, install a junction box and replace the damaged wire.
New light fixtures, old wiring
Wiring for light fixtures installed before 1987 was created to withstand 60 degrees C, however lights today run at a hotter temperature, up to 90 degrees C. Often times, electricians will find new light fixtures installed into old wiring, which can easily overload the system.
During an electrical inspection, electricians will check to see when your wiring was installed. If it was before 1987 and you have new light fixtures connected to the wiring, don’t worry, you don’t need to have your entire home rewired. The electrician can install a splice box and a few feet of new wiring to connect to the new light fixture.
Knob and Tube Wiring
Speaking of old wiring, one of the most serious violations that needs to be addressed is an old style of wiring called knob and tube. When electricity first became accessible to the common home in the late 1800s and early 1900s, knob and tube wiring was a highly advanced technology. However, with innovations in electrical wiring to increase safety and efficiency, knob and tube wiring is today considered very dangerous. So much so that it is difficult to get insurance on a house with this outdated kind of system.
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With knob and tube wiring, the circuits don’t support the amperage of today’s loads, the wires aren’t grounded and the insulation around the wiring disintegrates, causing an extremely unsafe risk in electrical fires. If an electrician finds knob and tube wiring in your home, the recommendation will likely be to have the house rewired. While it can be quite an expensive undertaking, it is a necessary step to ensure that you and your family are safe and free from the risk of an electrical fire.
While most people won’t attempt to alter their own electrical wiring, sometimes there are eager DIY people who do go ahead and splice their wiring to connect new wires together. If a splice is not inside a junction box, it is considered illegal because of the increase risk of an electrical fire.
If an electrician finds an illegal splice in your wiring, they will mount a junction box, fix the splice to make it safer and install a cover plate over the box.
While there are other code violations that occur, these are some of the more typical ones. If you suspect that your home is housing any of these violations behind the walls, or if you haven’t had the electrical wiring in your home inspected in recent memory, it’s a good idea to call an experienced electrician to perform a comprehensive inspection. At BMP Electrical, we serve homes and businesses throughout the Lower Mainland and have recently added Chilliwack to our directory. Our highly trained electricians are here to perform your next electrical inspection to ensure that your wiring is up to date and free of any violations.