Simply put, your electrical wiring keeps your home running. However, if your wiring is old or damaged, it can cause major problems, including potential life-threatening hazards. Here’s a handy list of warning signs, helping you spot and correct problems due to outdated or potentially dangerous electrical wiring.
Your home’s electrical wires can fray due to age, heat, corrosion, or damage (such as bending). Nails or screws can also damage wires by pinching or piercing them. Even though it’s not an appealing thought for homeowners, rats and mice love to chew on electrical wires, as well. If you find any signs of rodent activity, check all of the wiring in the area to make sure that there isn’t any obvious damage. Damaged wires, whatever the reason, pose a serious threat in your home, and they should be carefully examined and replaced by a professional.
Warm spots or scorch marks on outlets or switches are a huge warning sign and indicate unsafe wiring conditions. Outlets and switches should be cool to the touch. If you notice any the signs of heat damage, call an expert electrician immediately, and refrain from touching the area.
If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, your home’s circuits could be overloaded. A licensed electrician can evaluate the situation and make any necessary improvements to your circuit breakers, or they may even suggest that your circuit panel be replaced if it’s outdated or potentially dangerous.
If the lights dim whenever you use a particular outlet, you may be overloading the circuits or wiring. If this occurs, check the wiring and circuit breaker and contact an electrician.
With time, the connections between wires and switches or outlets tend to loosen up. Make sure all outlet covers and switch plates are in good condition, and ensure that the wires are securely inside. Any missing, cracked, or broken plates should be replaced as soon as possible.
If you hear any popping, crackling, sizzling, or buzzing coming from your outlets, switches, or appliances, there could be a serious problem. Turn off the electricity in that affected area, and call a licensed electrician.