5 Common Electrical Issues Found in Older Homes

You love living in your old house, but sometimes it can be challenging, right? Older homes can have plenty of character and a particular charm, but they carry with them a range of problems when it comes to repairs and maintenance. Electrical installations can be particularly problematic, complicating your life at inopportune moments. In fact, old electrical installations can cause malfunctions which can sometimes be downright dangerous. So, what are the most common electrical issues that plague older homes, and how can you fix them without breaking the bank? Let’s take a look.

Watch out for old cables

Even if your house is old, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your cables have to be replaced immediately. However, and inspection is certainly in order. Regardless of the regular maintenance, age catches up with everyone and everything, including electrical cables. It’s simply a matter of the regular wear and tear that comes with years and years of use. Wire that cables are made of has a lifespan, and after a certain time, it starts getting brittle. If the insulation on your wires is damaged, or even flaking off, then it’s definitely a hazard and the wires should be replaced without delay. Damaged wires can cause a fire, and are dangerous to touch. If you notice damaged wires, discolored outlets, buzzing switches, or an unpleasant smell in the house, don’t try to tackle the problem yourself. Instead, it’s best to contact a reliable 24 hour electrician who can handle the issue while ensuring the safety of your property and the people on the premises.

Do you have knob and tube wiring?

Knob and tube wiring is still present in plenty of older homes. It is a type of system that was commonly installed in homes in the 20th century. With these systems, age is not the only problem. They are made from open wires held by tubes. The open wires pose a serious fire hazard. Also, they are significantly less safe because these systems are not properly grounded. If your home still uses knob and tube wiring, it needs to be thoroughly inspected and, preferably, replaced. Nowadays, you might even have trouble getting your house insured if you still use knob and tube wiring.

Replace your old fuse boxes

Do you often lose electricity if you turn on too many appliances at once? Do your fuses “blow” more often than you’d like? This might be cause for worry, especially if it happens for no apparent reason. Old fuse panels aren’t generally considered unsafe, however, they are outdated and might not be able to serve you properly. Very often, old fuse boxes can’t handle the electrical consumption in your home. They just aren’t created with the modern number of circuits in mind. Luckily, replacing them is relatively low-cost and simple.

Do you have insufficient circuits?

Times are changing. We use up much more electricity today than people did a hundred years ago. Just think of all the appliances we use today. Do your lights flicker or dim when too many appliances are running at the same time? Older homes commonly have fewer circuits, and these are seriously overloaded. The worst thing you could do is try to extend them yourself. These kinds of projects need to be done by an experienced electrician, using safe practices and proper materials. Over-fusing is not a solution either. Just deciding to use a higher amperage fuse is a dangerous practice. Maybe your fuse won’t “blow”, but you are putting your home at risk, and creating a potential fire hazard.

Insufficient voltage

Some older homes have voltage which isn’t able to handle or satisfy our modern electrical needs. These systems only have two wires instead of three – one of them is neutral, and the other is live. These kinds of systems can’t support 240 V circuits, which can pose a serious problem. The best thing to do is update.

Electrical installations are one of the most crucial elements of any home. They ensure that your electricity supply works smoothly and without a hitch. They can also pose a serious hazard if they aren’t in perfect order. For both your safety and the safety of your home, electrical installations in older homes need to be inspected and repaired regularly.

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