Your electrical system is such an integral part of your home, but it can also be a hazard if it is not adequately maintained or excessively old. Faulty electrical systems are one of the biggest causes of residential house fires in our country. The following are seven big signs to pay attention to if you notice them in your home – they are each a sign of an old and possibly dangerous electrical system that needs to be repaired by a professional.
If your lights are flickering or dimming without any apparent cause, like a storm or a windy day, it likely means that your electrical system is getting too old to handle the load of your new appliances. We highly advise that you have a professional electrician come out and figure out why the lights are dimming.
It is not the strangest thing to have a circuit breaker trip, especially during the summer when you’re running additional appliances, like AC units. Circuit breakers that trip is a safety measure so that the current is cut when it is overloaded. However, if you are regularly tripping breakers, you need to have your electrical system evaluated because either your wiring or panel probably needs an upgrade.
If you ever notice smoke from an outlet, you have a severe problem, and you need to unplug your appliances and call an electrician. Sometimes electrical fires in outlets and wiring smell like smoke, but occasionally, they smell weirdly fishy. You may also be able to see scorch marks on the outlet cover.
Frayed wiring is a fire hazard. Call an electrician immediately. If you have reason to be in your walls and you see frayed wires, don’t wait to get them checked out.
Your outlets don’t have to be actually on fire to be a cause for concern. Outlets on electrical systems functioning should be on the cooler side even when things are plugged in. If your outlets get hot or they buzz, call an electrician immediately.
Outlets and wires that vibrate or buzz are another cause for concern. Sometimes the fix is easy, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Changing light bulbs may be enough to silence the buzzing, but the culprit could also be something big.
Your wiring may need to be replaced entirely and upgraded depending on how old your home and electrical system are. Houses built in the ’60s and ’70s are more likely to have aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring is much more likely to result in a fire than copper wiring, so if you can, you should convert all of the aluminum to copper.