Do you live in an older home? If so, chances are high that your electrical wiring and electrical panel systems are outdated. From frequent circuit breaker trips to frayed wiring, there are many warning signs of outdated systems that you shouldn’t ignore. It’s not always apparent if you have an issue, which is why it’s smart to hire a St. Louis electrician to inspect the situation and make recommendations.
The National Fire Prevention Association says that electrical malfunctions are the second leading cause of house fires in the United States, with electrical distribution (i.e., breaker boxes and wiring) being a big cause of most of these house fires. You need to know the warning signs of an outdated electrical system in your house.
Some indications of wiring problems include:
- Damaged, exposed or frayed wiring
- Frequent circuit breaker trips
- Dim or flickering lights
- Older homes with aluminum wiring
- Smoke or scorch marks on outlets
- Weird noises such as buzzing or sizzling
- Outlets that are warm to the touch
Let’s explore some of these in more detail.
1. Circuit Breaker Trips
Sure, circuit breakers may trip once in a while (like when you’re trying to run several appliances from one circuit), but if frequent trips are occurring all the time, this is a definite indication of a problem when it comes to your home’s electrical wiring. It can also indicate a need for an electrical panel upgrade.
Electrical panels usually last between 25 and 40 years. When they become outdated, they struggle to keep up with modern homes’ electrical demands. It’s a good idea to upgrade to a 200-amp electrical panel, especially if you plan to install new appliances as part of a home improvement.
2. Frayed Wiring
Frayed wiring should never be ignored due to the shock and fire hazard involved. If, during a renovation project with an exposed wall, you notice frayed wiring, call an O’Fallon MO electrician.
3. Dimming Lights
This may happen when a thunderstorm or wind storm hits but if this becomes a normal occurrence, this means your old wiring can no longer handle your home’s increased energy requirements.
4. Smoke and Outlet Discoloration
When you see or smell smoke coming out of an outlet or there are scorch marks around the outlet, this means there’s loose wiring inside. Unplug the appliance and call an electrician.
5. Warm or Vibrating Outlets
Do your outlets feel warm to the touch? Is there a vibration emanating from it? Damaged wiring is the likely culprit. Don’t ignore this situation, as the cord could catch on fire and start a blaze in a matter of seconds. On a related note, if there’s a sizzling or buzzing sound originating from the outlet, this is a sign of bad wiring.
6. Old Aluminum Wiring
If your home was built in the late 60s or 70s, it probably has aluminum wiring. Did you know this is 50x more likely to cause a fire? Copper wiring is much more resistant to heat, which is why it’s used in modern home construction.
Not sure about the state of your electrical system? Book a home safety inspection to be conducted by a qualified electrician.
Need an Electrican? St Louis, St Chalres & O'fallon, MO
For that, hire our trusted Chesterfield MO electricians to inspect your current system and make any wiring upgrades necessary. Give us a call today at 636-294-8562. or contact us for a free quote