Modern homes are made more functional and comfortable by the electrical energy routed to them. In fact, most people take their electricity for granted, unless it goes out or causes a problem.
Smart homeowners would do well to conduct an annual survey of their home’s electrical system. A systematic evaluation should take no longer than 15 minutes to half an hour.
Look for the following situation as you go through your home inspection. If you find an issue or two, then connect with quality electrical services. Unless you are well-versed in electrical repairs, a do-it-yourself approach is not recommended.
You Have Aluminum Wiring
Due to the high cost of copper in the late 1960s and early 1970s, home builders began providing electrical services with single-strand aluminum wire. Aluminum wire seemed like a good way to keep costs low because its electrical conductivity is similar to copper yet it was nowhere near as expensive to buy and install.
However, aluminum oxidizes much more quickly than copper, creating heat and increasing the risk of fire. This didn’t matter as it was being tested under perfectly controlled laboratory conditions. However, aluminum wiring, especially in branch circuits, was soon recognized as a fire hazard in residential settings.
Aluminum is no longer utilized for residential branch-circuit wiring as a result of its propensity to cause fires. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of the United States, homes with aluminum wiring may have up to a 55-fold increased risk of fire damage. Utilizing specialized connectors or performing a complete rewire of the home are two options for dealing with the presence of residential aluminum wiring. If you have or suspect you have aluminum wiring, then it’s a good idea to obtain licensed electrical services to have your situation professionally assessed.
Your Lights Often Flicker
If your lights often flicker, then it is a likely sign of loose electrical connections somewhere in your home. The fix is typically fairly simple if the flickering is limited to a single light fixture. If however multiple lights are affected, then the issue is probably further back in the circuit. If flickering occurs throughout the entire house, the issue might be in the breaker box or at the utility drop outside your house. If that is the case, your best bet is to hire a licensed electrician and obtain professional electrical services to get a proper evaluation and remedy.
You Notice an Electrical Burning Smell
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the smell of something burning should be a sign of trouble right away! If the wiring in your electrical system is heating up to the point where the plastic sheathing around it melts, you are in real danger of a fire starting. You will need to act right away.
Make an effort to locate the problem, whether it is at a single fixture or the breaker box, and resolve it as soon as possible. Most people aren’t skilled in electrical matters. If you fall into that category and have an electrical burning smell in your home, then contact professional electrical services right away.
You Often Get Shocks
Frequent shocks from outlets of other electrical components may be indicative of a larger need for electrical services in your home. If you get a shock when you touch a metal object that is connected to the electrical system of your home, then it probably indicates that your system is not properly grounded. This is true not only for electrical fixtures like ceiling fans or lamps but also for things like water lines and furnace ductwork. These shocks should not be confused with static electricity pops, common when the humidity is low, which are much smaller and nothing to be worried about.
Your Wiring Is Tangled Up
Tangled electrical wiring can pose a safety issue, especially in older homes that have had a number of electrical issues over the years. Disordered wiring, especially if it is old, is likely to become frayed and may have exposed copper or aluminum. If this is the case, then you have a real fire hazard in your home.
It would be prudent to conduct a home search for tangled wiring. Often these entanglements are tucked in out-of-the-way locations, such as attics or behind basement walls. If you find a tangled mess of wires still connected to your home electrical system, then you’ll need competent electrical services to get the hazard fixed.
You Have Mice or Other Rodent Visitors
Believe it or not, mice and rats can be hazardous to your electrical system. The reason is that they are attracted to chewing on electrical wires. If you see rat droppings or unidentified foreign material close to your electrical wiring, then check for any bite evidence on the wires.
Wiring is frequently completely stripped by rodents. Even though the animal probably won’t live very long after that, the exposed wire may start to spark or overheat.
Verify for damage if you see any signs of rodent activity near your home’s wiring. After that, research methods for eliminating mice or rats. If your writing looks compromised, call for professional electrical services.
The forgoing concerns form a basis for a useful checklist regarding the health of the electrical systems in your home in. As you review them and check around your residence, you may become aware that you need professional electrical services.
Your next step is to get in contact with a competent local electrician. Your best move is to connect with Mister Sparky of Wilmington. They have the right staff and local experience to get your home’s electrical system running optimally again.
See our previous blog on this topic here.