Top 10 Warning Signs Your Home Needs New Wiring

Top 10 Warning Signs Your Home Needs New Wiring

Have you ever thought about what is running behind those walls, powering your home and bringing us those modern comforts of daily living? Wonderful, powerful electricity! As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So let’s take a moment to be responsible and review ten warning signs that it’s time to rewire your home. It only requires the use of four out of five senses! (We won’t entertain here the thought of what electricity tastes like.) Here’s what to look out for:

  • Burning smell near outlet
  • Flickering lights
  • Circuit breaker tripping
  • Electrical shock when plugging in appliances
  • Aluminum wiring in home
  • Overloaded electrical panel
  • Discolored switchplates
  • Cracked/damaged insulation
  • Faulty light fixtures
  • Buzzing/sizzling sounds in wiring or outlets

1. Burning Smell Near Outlet

With old wiring, electrical shorts can occur between wires within our walls. The excessive heat produced by the short can singe the plastic covers on outlets and switches. A burning smell near an outlet is an indication of the slow beginnings of an electrical fire. Turn off the main switch and call an electrician right away.

2. Flickering Lights

If you notice unwanted variances in your lighting, despite changing light bulbs, the issue may lie deeper in the wiring. It could be that a major appliance in your home is wired to the same lighting circuit and uses up all the energy. In this case, an electrician can move the affected fixture to another circuit. In the case of faulty wiring, electricity running through the wires does not reach its destination. This leads to irregular connections and flickering lights. Faulty wiring is relatively common and happens over time. The best option is to have it replaced with new wiring.

3. Circuit Breaker Tripping

The circuit breaker is our first line of defense against electrical overload. Its job is to cut off energy supply when any particular circuit exceeds the number of amps allowed. When working correctly, circuit breakers prevent dangerous surges that cause electrical fires. It is normal for breakers to trip once in a while, such as when using a taxing appliance or combination of appliances at the same time. Like everything else in the home, circuit breakers wear down over time. Frequent tripping happens when breakers become old, unable to handle simple overloads, or unable to accurately gauge electricity flowing through them. Even worse, an old or overworked circuit breaker may cease to function all together. Have it replaced by a licensed professional before this happens.

4. Electrical Shock When Plugging in Appliances

If you experience a mild shock when plugging in an appliance, unplug immediately and turn off power to the affected outlet. This could be a sign of an improper earth grounding connection. Call immediately for an electrician who specializes in home wiring.

5. Aluminum Wiring in Home

Aluminum wiring became popular in the ’60s and ’70s because it was cheaper than copper wiring. There are a number of ways aluminum wire can cause overheating and lead to an electrical fire. Click here to read more about the dangers of aluminum wiring and how to detect them.

6. Overloaded Electrical Panel

An overloaded electrical panel can cause components in the panel to overheat or short circuit. If your home demands more current than the panel is able to supply, you could risk damaging the entire panel and initiating a fire. Our trained and experienced electricians can help ensure the safety of your home.

7. Discolored Switchplates

This is probably the simplest and most obvious sign that your home’s wiring is in need of replacing. Discoloration is an indication of faulty wiring and loose connections that overheat the plastic plate over the course of time. Faulty wiring and loose connections cause arcing and sparking that could result in small fires. Schedule a wiring upgrade with us as soon as possible.

8. Cracked/Damaged Insulation

Age, heat, corrosion and bending all contribute to damaging the insulation around wires that is required for safe operation. Wires that are nicked, pierced or pinched by nails or screws; or wires that simply have dried out insulation, are all dangerous and should be replaced by a professional. Home rewiring may be required to correct the issue.


9. Faulty Light Fixtures

If you have light bulbs that frequently burn out, this could mean that the fixture itself cannot handle the bulb wattage. Although the issue may be remedied by replacing the fixture, it would be difficult to determine if one fixture is the culprit of your entire home’s electrical problems. Our electricians can determine if your home needs a lighting upgrade or complete rewiring.

10. Buzzing/Sizzling Sounds in Fixtures or Outlets

Loose or frayed wiring in fixtures can cause detectable sounds or vibrations. Loose prongs or outlets can also cause buzzing or sizzling sounds. These sounds tell you that the wiring has become compromised and the threat of electrical fire is very serious at this point. Immediately turn off electricity to the affected area and call us right away.


Other Reasons to Check Wiring

  • Home is more than 40 years old
  • Major home improvements or adding new appliances that strain existing system
  • Home has ungrounded, 2-prong outlets
  • Loose outlets
  • Relying on extension cords for power

If any of your senses detect warning signs in your home, please keep safe by shutting off electricity to the affected area when necessary. One of our licensed electricians will be ready for your call. The electrical safety of your home is our top priority here at Penna Electric.


A Simple Electrical Upgrade Can Upgrade Your Quality of Life

The right electrical upgrade can dramatically improve the value and appearance of any home or business. You’ll be amazed at what a difference the right electrical upgrade can make for your home or business. Make sure that when you select an electrical company to do the enhancement of your home and you have decided to take your enhancement to the level where you require an electrical upgrade that the technician at the company has a good working knowledge and the experience to properly guide you in this area.

When you decide to upgrade, our well-trained and certified electricians have all the experience and training needed to complete your electrical panel upgrade project from start to finish, with a minimum of fuss or disturbance. Please contact us right away at 310-800-2401

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