Keeping your home and family safe is your number one priority. There are invisible dangers in our homes, and electricity is one of them. Therefore, faulty wiring should be fixed immediately to prevent electrical shocks and home fires. But what exactly does faulty wiring look like? Refer to the below list of common signs of faulty home wiring.
Common Signs of Faulty Home Wiring
The Smell of Burning Plastic
Most electrical wiring has plastic insulation. As a result, an electrical fire has a pungent smell of plastic burning. If you notice a burning plastic odour coming from any outlets or switches, call a Licensed Electrical Contractor and/or the fire department immediately.
While aluminum is an excellent conductor for electricity, it also can create fire hazards. According to the home inspection experts, Amerispec of Canada, “Single strand aluminum distribution wiring was installed in many homes between approximately 1968 and 1978. Due to its tendency to oxidize and its incompatibility with certain fittings designed for use with copper wiring, aluminum wiring has been determined to overheat in certain situations.”
Not sure whether or not you have aluminum wiring in your house? Carefully check where wires are exposed in your home. For instance, between open floor joists, in the basement or attic, or at the electrical panel. Aluminum wiring is often labeled AL, ALUM or ALUMINUM. If you find aluminum wiring in your home, it should be inspected by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Flickering or Dimming Lights May be a Sign of Faulty Home Wiring
The issue may be minor if the flickering is limited to one lamp or fixture. For example, it may be a sign of a defective or loose light bulb. Replace the lightbulb and ensure it is screwed in properly. If it continues to flicker, consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor. The fault may be in the light fixture, cord or wall outlet.
It could be a sign of a serious wiring problem if more than one light is flicking regularly. Flickering or dimming lights can be a sign of an overloaded circuit or faulty wiring. The voltage in your home may be fluctuating due to a drain on the circuits. Or it may be due to old or insufficient wiring in your home. Whether it’s the circuit breaker or wiring, hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.
Frayed and Messy Wires
All electrical installations deteriorate over time and can become a major shock and fire hazard. Be sure to replace all damaged, frayed and exposed wires.
The Electrical Safety Authority website recommends that you, “Check all your cords. Replace frayed cords; tape won’t protect anyone from a shock. Only use extension cords temporarily. They are prone to cracking and fraying, which can lead to a shock or fire.”
Messy wires can be a tripping hazard. Therefore, always run cables along walls. Never run them on the floor across doorways. Messy wiring can also be a fire hazard. This is especially true of older homes with many upgrades throughout the years. Sometimes old wiring isn’t removed after new wiring is installed. This can cause shocks and even fires.
If you see signs of wear and tear or old, messy wiring, simply use our Post My Project tool. Include a photo of the wiring issue. Then sit back and connect with Bonded by eRenovate™ Pros, who are registered ESA Licensed Electrical Contractors. They’ll check out the wiring in your house and, if needed, get it up to code.
Hot Electrical Outlets – Don’t Ignore this Sign of Faulty Home Wiring
A hot electrical outlet is a sign that something is wrong and requires immediate attention. It may be due to overload because of the amount or type of items plugged into the electrical outlet. However, if you establish that the outlet is not overloaded, then the wiring or the outlet itself needs to be replaced. Do not use the outlet until the situation has been repaired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
If your home was constructed prior to 1960, you may have ungrounded outlets and are in dire need of an electrical upgrade. Ungrounded outlets have two vertical slots. While modern, grounded 120-volt outlets have similar slots with a rounded third hole. This third hole acts as a grounding port for an electrical cord. This grounding port is especially important when used on larger home appliances. If there’s a power surge, the surplus power is sent to the earth through the grounding wire versus damaging the appliance or wiring system. Also, this grounding port minimizes the risks of shocks.
No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Adding ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets is an inexpensive way to upgrade your home’s wiring and improve safety. The ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is a fast-acting circuit breaker designed to shut off electric power in the event of a ground-fault within as little as 1/40 of a second.
The Electrical Safety Authority website states, “Water and electricity can be a lethal mix. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), which have a reset button, in any room with water. This includes bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. GFCIs help protect from a shock.”
Beware of the Danger of Rats and Mice
Rats and mice may enter your home in search of food or shelter. They use wiring as a building material for their nests.
The Abell Pest Control website states, “Though mice are certainly a nuisance, the real dangers go beyond dealing with a pantry full of chewed-through boxes and food items. They can gnaw through wires in the home, causing anything from inconvenience to fire hazards.”
Tackle rodent wiring problems immediately. If you detect frayed wires showing signs of chewing, consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor. Further, to help prevent this issue from happening again, hire a Pest Control Service Provider to rid your home of rodents.
Knowing the common signs of faulty home wiring can help you make repairs to avert an unsafe situation for your family. Many electrical issues require analysis and repair from a professional electrician. Above all, if you need electrical work done in your home, only hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
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