A lot of general electrical problems around the household can be traced back to one common problem: faulty wiring. Now faulty wiring could be the result of time or the inadequate work of an electrician. Wires are under the constant cycle of heating and cooling so it’s not surprising if they get faulty over time.
That being said, you need to make sure your electrical wiring is up to mark. Faulty wiring is in fact, one of the five most common causes of electrical fires. If you feel like your wiring is faulty, worn out or insufficient it’s about time you go for a wiring inspection.
While your electrical system does have a lot of safeguards in place to protect itself from faulty wiring (grounding systems, circuit breakers, GFCI and AFCIs) that doesn’t eliminate the danger of fire from loose wiring in your system. Some of these issues can easily be identified and solved at home while others may require the help of a professional.
Signs Your Home Needs an Electrical Wiring Inspection:
Faulty wiring will usually show its signs sooner or later. You need to be on the lookout for these signs so you can easily identify the problem at hand. Here is a small list of things to look out for:
- Dimming or flickering lights especially when using a high-powered appliance
- Frequent blown circuit breakers and fuses
- Charred or darkened outlets and switches and the emission of a burning smell from an outlet
- Any buzzing, crackling sounds of electricity in your systems
Then again, another sign could be multiple extension cords connected together that could be overloading your outlets. However, this issue is a result of our own actions. Some other notable wiring issues similar to this include:
- No GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) particularly in areas such as the kitchen/bathroom
- Old, frayed or worn out wiring
- Bent/damaged electrical plugs
- Ungrounded receptacles
- Uncovered junction boxes
If you’re unsure if your wiring is faulty then seek the assistance of a professional electrician. Licensed electricians are knowledgeable in identifying dangers from bad wiring quite swiftly.
How to Deal with some Common Electrical Issues
Some electrical wiring issues can easily be resolved right away without having to pay for an electrician and without having to replace your wiring. However, we do recommend seeking the help of an experienced individual. Once you’ve completed your inspection you can proceed to solve any issues you deem necessary.
- Missing GFCIs: GFCIs or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters are a type of circuit breaker which shuts off electrical power when it senses an imbalance between the incoming and outgoing current. They reduce the risk of electrocution if a wire is exposed to water. You can install GCFIs in the outlets located in your bathroom, kitchen and outdoor areas.
- Missing AFCIs: An Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) also known as an AFDD (Arc-fault detection device) is a type of circuit breaker which cuts off the circuit when it detects an electric arc in the circuit so as to prevent electrocution or electrical fires. You can install these devices at the main service panel.
- Replace Your Standard Outlets with a Childproof Version: If you have children in your household you want to replace all your standard outlets with a childproof version. This will make it safer for your children who might tamper with outlets and get injured. For this, you can use box outlet covers, tamper-resistant outlets, and sliding outlet covers.
Wiring Issues That Need Immediate Attention
- Outdated wiring can easily lead to fires and should be replaced immediately.
- If you find any ungrounded outlets, get them grounded as soon as you can. An outlet is ungrounded only if it has two openings instead of three. This is exactly why high powered appliances come with three prongs so it cannot be used in an ungrounded outlet.
- Let’s say your home is not getting sufficient power. This could be what’s causing your breakers to keep tripping. In this case, upgrade to the average 100-200 amps required to power a house.
Finally, keep one thing in mind whenever you find yourself working with electronic devices or electrical wiring i.e. SAFETY. This should always be your primary concern. Remember to turn cut off all power when you are working (shut off power at the main service panel). And just to be safe, use a voltage tester to see whether or not your power is off.