Things Our Electrician Finds Behind Your Walls | Wilmington, NC
What’s behind your walls in your new home or older, even historic property? Our electrician has seen a lot over the years, and not much will surprise us anymore. Besides unusual finds, we also observe the state of your electrical wiring, the type of wires used and their rating, and how they’re connected. We see unfortunate practices like long-ago connections made without following standards, and hiding wiring junctions where they can’t be checked. We might see aluminum wiring, even some old knob and tube style running across your attic in some homes. Our Mister Sparky of Wilmington electrician might also detect evidence of past water damage to your hidden in-wall wiring that’s a potential source of trouble in Wilmington, NC.
Ancient Wiring and Improvisation
Wilmington, NC was incorporated as a township in 1739, which suggests that homes in the area have a wide variety of construction histories, including updates to electrical power long after they were built. That means your home, depending on its age, could even have original knob and tube wiring present. Our electrician can determine if any of it is actively being used for electric power anymore, and make a plan to update it to modern safety standards. The same goes for aluminum wiring used in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, an effective replacement for copper during a time when it was very expensive that turned out to have certain drawbacks. Using modern fixtures with aluminum wires, and mixing aluminum and copper can require special techniques, and it’s better in many cases to ensure your home’s wiring is simply updated. Inspection by our licensed electrician can also uncover interesting and unapproved wiring improvisations, such as free-hanging junctions hidden behind walls. Sometimes, practical techniques can seem attractive at the time, but there are reasons why we do our electrical wiring the way that we do. The more we know your home’s wiring is up to modern standards, including three-wire cables, conduits where needed, and proper grounding, the more peace of mind you and our expert can have.
History of Your House and Past Owners
One surprise that homeowners find during bathroom remodels is evidence of an old razor blade disposal method that involved a slot in the back of the medicine cabinet. All the blades just disappeared into the wall, to be found in bulk when the wall is torn out. Homeowners have made other discoveries when exploring inside walls and in attics, including items left behind, hidden by children, or even positioned as a prank to be discovered in the future. In some cases, items left during construction may be antiques by now, such as old cans or personal items. You never know what you find until it’s time for an inspection by our electrician, or wall removal during remodeling and electrical work.
Old Wires with Mysterious Uses
Common practice has been to tuck old, outdated non-power wiring such as intercoms, TV antennas, phone wiring, and other wire runs into the wall rather than pulling them out. Sometimes a blank faceplate will cover the junction box where they terminate, or a mysterious strange connector will remain, such as the old plugs used for TV antenna connections. These can be interesting to the right kind of history buff, and sometimes look cool as vintage components of your home’s decor. In fact, if you’d like to keep the look of old-school bulbs, switches, and other features, there are commercial products made to comply with modern electrical code that look very similar. You can have the look of yesteryear with the safety of today!
When the Exterminator Visit Follows Ours
Checking the wiring and installing new runs can sometimes uncover infestations in your walls that need electrician attention. That can be helpful in maintaining your home in good condition, as well as discovering what might have led to these unexpected visitors. Wiring to the outside installed without proper seals and entry features can provide access, along with attic or basement openings that can be explored once creatures or insects are present and building nests. One common reason for activity in your walls is the presence of moisture, either from plumbing or from roof leaks, or anywhere a storm blows water in could be an issue in our area! Whenever there are signs of moisture or leaks in the wall, past or present, it’s time to think about electrical concerns such as wiring and fixture corrosion.
Water Damage to Wiring, Past and Present
Whenever you experience plumbing or storm leaks in the walls, it’s important to think about electrical damage and call our electrician for an inspection. Water can cause corrosion of wiring, and even a thin layer of corroded material can introduce resistance that causes heat to be generated when current flows. You may find that at some point you smell “something burning” near the wall, near a light switch or fixture, or from an electrical socket. Checking to see if corrosion is the cause can reveal other water damage issues. Water can travel much further than you think into your wiring, even up inside the insulation of wiring like a straw pulling water from a glass. Damage that happened decades ago can still present a risk of fire, but current water damage that’s still wet can present a shock hazard as well. Make sure to call our electrician to check it out and make any repairs needed for safety!
Electrical problems can be a source of worry because they often occur inside your walls, where you can’t just check to see what the smell, sparking sound, or other concern is about. At Mister Sparky of Wilmington, we’re skilled at checking what’s in your walls, whether there’s a problem to be checked or it’s time for a prudent electrical inspection for your Wilmington, NC home. We look forward to helping you protect your home and family with expert electrician care. Just give us a call and we’ll be right over!