Historic homes are known for their character and charm; however, they’re also known to need a lot of TLC as they age. One of the most common issues historic homeowners might face is old electrical wiring that no longer functions as well as it did in the past, particularly if the home is at least 65 years old. These homeowners often experience a variety of electrical problems that could pose a serious safety risk to their homes and families. If you think your home might have outdated electrical wiring, follow our tips to ensure your home – and your family – are protected from electrical safety issues:
Older Homes vs. New Electrical Systems
If you have an older home, you might be wondering why you need to worry about upgrading your electrical system. You’ve never experienced an issue like flickering lights or surges before, so why go through the hassle of updating your entire home electrical system? To put it plainly, your old electrical wiring isn’t equipped to handle the needs of modern home appliances. Many old homes were built with outdated knob-and-tube wiring or wires made out of aluminum. These wires can easily overheat when appliances and other devices are plugged in. To keep your home protected, it’s important to upgrade your wiring to modern copper electrical wiring.
Electrical Issues and Older Homes
So what happens if you don’t upgrade your home electrical wiring? You could experience a variety of electrical problems, including flickering lights, dimming lights, tripped breakers, dead outlets, or outdated, broken wiring. To prevent these electrical safety issues, it’s important to contact an experienced electrician who can perform an assessment on your home and make the necessary upgrades to make sure your home and your electronics are protected.
What are the Top Electrical Problems in Older Homes?
Now that you know more about why the wiring in your home needs to be updated, it’s important to know the warning signs for electrical problems so you can stay ahead of the curve. If you notice any of the following issues in your home, contact an electrician:
- Dimming lights
- Flickering lights
- Exposed wiring
- Two-pronged outlets
- Outdated electrical panels
- Lack of GCFI outlets in “wet” rooms, including unfinished basements, kitchens, or bathrooms
Identifying and Fixing Electrical Issues to Keep You Safe
While updating the outdated electrical wiring in your home might seem daunting, there are many small upgrades you can do to make your home safer in just one day. Avoid overloading the circuits of your home to prevent surges. In the event of an electrical surge, be sure your electrical panels are properly labeled to avoid tripping the wrong breaker. You should also avoid running cords under rugs or furniture. Large appliances, like fridges or stoves, should always be connected to the wall outlet, not power strips. If you’re using an outlet by a source of water, be sure to install a GFCI outlet to lower the risk of shock.