Is It Time to Get Your House Rewired?
If you’ve ever had a loose wall outlet that won’t snugly hold an electrical plug, or if you have to keep flipping the breaker every time you turn on the electric stove or washing machine, you might want to give some thought to getting your house rewired. GVA Electrical Limited, an electrician in London, has helped us explain some of the signs that tell you it’s time to consider rewiring.
Even Houses Without Issues Should Be Inspected Now and Then
Wiring is a vital system in most buildings, yet if not properly monitored and maintained it can begin to pose a serious threat in a few different ways. It’s a good idea to stay on top of it before things get out of hand or your family becomes endangered.
A good rule of thumb is to get an electrical inspection on your home when you move in (if you’ve still got any cash leftover), and once it’s up to code, roughly every 3 to 5 years, and certainly no longer than 25 years thereafter.
Some folks may choose to have their wiring checked out more frequently than that, but you definitely shouldn’t have it done any less often.
Rewiring a residence may seem like a huge task, and it can be, but just keep in mind that the term doesn’t always mean having the entire place redone. Sometimes it’s just bits and pieces. If you’re worried about cost, talk to your trusted local electrician and you may be pleasantly surprised in the end.
Other Obvious Signs of a House in Need of Inspection
Outside of routine inspection and maintenance, if your house is showing obvious signs of electrical fatigue, you should get it inspected and possibly rewired as soon as financially convenient.
Things that clearly should not be occurring, like flickering lights or appliances, normally indicate some sort of underlying issue that can turn out more dangerous than it seems at face value.
Consistent tripping of the breakers in the circuit box can indicate loose connections or over-amping, and if that’s the case an experienced set of eyes can help save you a whole lot of headache, as it may be something as simple as just upgrading a breaker.
Anytime you decide to have new outlets, switches, or fixtures installed, it would be a good idea to have the electrician run over everything since they’re going to be in there anyway. Nothing is a valuable as peace of mind.
Remember that you can always do a little safety inspection yourself. If you’ve got a basement or a crawl space under the house, these are usually prominent wire-viewing locales. By looking for some specific hints that things might need a touch up, you can make a more educated decision whether to get the contractor in there.
If you notice the insulation on your wiring is made of rubber, or even worse, paper, rather than today’s up to code casing, you’ve got a predicament on your hands. The older styles of wire can pose a serious fire hazard nowadays and materials have advanced in leaps and bounds to protect your precious bounty.
Walk (or crawl) along the wiring routes and check for cracks, cuts, or melt-through along all the casings and if you see any, wrap them up with good electrical tape or heat shrink.
Any obvious loose ends or wires that don’t connect anything are bad news so should you see any, either tighten some appropriately sized wire nuts on the naked ends, or if you’d rather, get a second opinion.
A Few More Indicators That Should Be Addressed Immediately
The few items below are essentially harbingers of very bad news, so if any of these are present in your home currently, you should get them professionally eyeballed as soon as humanly possible to prevent imminent danger to those inside.
If you notice that any of your outlet or light switch plates are darkly discolored or melted to any degree, you’ve got a dangerous situation at hand. Not only is this a likely fire hazard but may also severely shock the operator, both of which we’d like to avoid.
Similarly, if you notice the same melting or discolorations on plugs or along cables, something must be done.
Burning smells are usually an ominous sign that something is wrong, especially if it always seems to come from the same area or outlet. Burning or too-hot wire has a very distinctive smell that once you smell it, you’re not likely to forget.
Humming or buzzing noises are a great indicator that something is not working properly. Short of maybe neon light tubes or transformers, electricity should be silent.
Arcing, sparks, or electrical shock when plugging in or unplugging a power cord or using a light switch is extremely dangerous. If you find that this is occurring anywhere in the household, stop using the violating outlet and put some tape over it so nobody else makes the mistake of using it. Get a professional to come and inspect it and either repair it or shut off the circuit as soon as possible.
For those who don’t know much about electricity, it can seem daunting and almost magical. By paying attention and learning just a few inspection techniques or your own, you will learn what to look for to protect your family. If ever in doubt, get a competent professional to take care of any suspected issues, and you will enjoy a safe and happy life in your home.