When Do You Need an Electrical Wiring Upgrade?

No homeowner wants to go through a whole-house replacement of the electrical wiring, but sometimes it’s necessary to keep your family safe. When is it time for an electrical wiring upgrade in your home? Here are the warning signs you should watch out for.

1. Your Home Is Over 40 Years Old

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, between 2012 and 2016, the leading cause of electrical fires in residential buildings was electrical failures and malfunctions.

Old wiring contributed to this statistic. Materials can deteriorate over time. Older wiring often doesn't meet modern electrical codes. Animals can chew wiring hidden in walls and attics. The older the house is, the higher the chances that the electrical wiring is out-of-date or deteriorating.

2. The House Has Aluminum Wiring Or Knob-And-Tube Wiring

During the 1960s and early 1970s, the electrical industry used aluminum wire in many homes built during that time. Aluminum wire is a known safety hazard. It easily comes loose at connection points like switches and outlets. These loose connections can overheat and cause electrical fires.

Knob and tube wiring was used in the early part of the 20th century to wire new and existing homes with electricity. If your home has any active knob-and-tube wiring, it needs to be replaced immediately due to its age and condition.

3. You Need More Power

A few decades ago, most homes had no more than 60 amps of electricity coming into the structure. However, with today's modern power needs, that's not enough power. Most homes built today have a 200-amp service to handle TVs, computers, electronics, advanced appliances, and other gadgets.

Trying to feed all those gadgets with power can strain a 60-amp service. This causes electrical fluctuations which can damage sensitive electronics.

4. You Have No GFCI Outlets

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets protect people from shock in moisture-prone areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry. If you do not have GFCI outlets installed in those areas, your home is in need of an electrical wiring upgrade. They were introduced in the early 1970s for outside outlets, but have been standard for interior construction for many years.

5. Outlets Are Warm Or Cause Tingling Sensations

An electrical outlet should never feel warm to the touch. If it feels warm, there's something wrong with the wiring going into it. Another issue may be that the wiring circuit is overloaded.

If you feel a tingling sensation or get a mild shock when touching an outlet, turn off the circuit immediately. That's a sign the circuit or outlet isn't grounded properly. It could cause a fire or shock someone severely. Other signs of trouble include the smell of burnt wire or a discolored outlet cover.

If you have any of these signs, call an electrician out to inspect your home's wiring. You need to know what the situation is, so you can take steps to keep your home and family safe. Contact Five Star Plumbing Heating Cooling today!

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