Did you just buy a house? Are you wondering if you need to rewire the house? Are you concerned that there are fewer sockets in the new place than you are used to? More importantly, are you concerned about how frequently you need to rewire the home to keep it safe and up-to-date?
If you answered in the affirmative to one or more of these questions, then you are not alone. In this article, we have outlined the signs you need to look for in that new place. If one or more of these signs are present, you may need to rewire the whole house or at least, select parts of the house.
The House is Older than 20 years and Hasn’t Had Any Major Rewiring
Ideally, if a house’s wiring was done correctly; you should never have to worry about rewiring. All you may need to do is add a few junction boxes or extensions if the sockets are sparse. However, some homes built earlier than the 70’s may be susceptible to the use of certain wiring products such as aluminum Romex or rubber insulation. Homes like this are potentially dangerous to live in. Houses built after the 80’s, however, may not have that problem.
Cracked or Rubber Cables
If the home has rubber cables and not the standard and acceptable PVCu coated wiring (and even this is risky if it is not a twin-earthed cable), then the home needs to be rewired. This is because according to a 2008 study carried out by the United Stated Fire Administration (USFA), more than 30% of all fires in the home were started by wires with insulations like rubber around them. You may also want to lookout for wires with lead and fabric insulators.
These were phased out decades ago and aren’t considered safe for use these days.
The Home Has Been Flooded
Flooded homes typically have their electrical systems compromised by water that might be trapped within the wires or the system even after the house has been drained and cleaned out. So, if the house was previously flooded, rewiring parts will be necessary to prevent electric shocks, circuit shorts and appliance damages.
Circuit Breakers Frequently Trip Off
If the circuit breaker frequently trips off without any visible cause or any heavy appliances plugged in, then you need to have a look at the circuitry. In most cases, frequent circuit shorts are a sign of a degraded, weak, or aged wiring system. It could also be a clear indicator that the circuitry is dealing with devices that are too power-intensive for it to carry.
There’s Aluminum Romex Wiring
This stuff is terrible. While it was popular for a brief period between the 60s and 70s and installed in over 2 million homes, people quickly realized its particular ability to condense over the span of a few years and cause more short-circuiting in the home. Studies by the Consumer Products Safety Commission indicate that wires coated with aluminum can overheat, causing fires in the process. So, if you have it in the home, you need to get rid of all of it and have the house completely rewired.
Charred Switches and Outlets
If quite a few of the switches look charred or discolored, that is a clear indicator that they must have frequently shorted as a result of faulty wiring or loose connections. Either way, these are dangerous and should be replaced entirely as they can start a mini-fire that could ignite nearby clothing or fabrics and trigger a bigger fire.
Frequent Burning Smell
Homes with a distinct smell of burned rubber, yet without any identifiable source of fire probably have a short-circuited electrical system that’s slowly burning or melting. If you cannot seem to find or spot any cause of the burning smell in your home, you should turn off your electrical system and call an electrician to come have a look at the wiring. If it is indeed the cause of the smell, then a rewiring of some or all of the system will be necessary to keep the home safe.
As an Orlando resident, Oscar King often has to manage wiring issues between humidity, frequent rain, and of course the additional electrical loads in the sumer caused by trying to keep his home cool. To make sure your home wiring is up to par, he highly recommends Bob Heinmiller AC Inc. You can learn more about Oscar himself by visiting his Google+.