If a home is more than 40 years old and has the original wiring, it is time for an update. MSN Real Estate says there are a disproportionate number of fires in these homes. In homes from the 1950s or older, original wiring includes a rubber material which compounds the problem by becoming brittle as it ages. Ungrounded electrical outlets are an indicator there are no recent updates.Know More
Homes often give indicators of lurking problems. Breakers that trip frequently or older fuse type systems that blow fuses when electronic devices are added are indications that problems are beginning. Another indicator is the dimming or flickering of lights, sometimes caused by a loose connection, but often an indicator of a circuit overload, according to State Farm.
State Farm instructs homeowners to look for discolored switch plates, plugs and cords, also indicating electrical trouble. If these devices feel hot to the touch, they have the potential to heat flammable materials to begin a fire. Switches that make buzzing noises as someone activates them are likely to be defective. Wiring problems are often the source of otherwise unexplainable burning smells.
MSN Real Estate recommends having a licensed electrician perform an inspection if the owner suspects a problem. While costs vary, they are generally affordable. In addition, some companies apply the cost of the inspection to work resulting from it.Learn more about Electrical
The most effective way of determining if an electrical wire is hot is to test it with a voltometer. This is a device that measures the presence and power of an electric current. To ensure that an electric wire is not hot, disconnect the power supply for the wire.Full Answer >
Fuse boxes are generally located on a wall in the basement, closet or garage near the electric meter. The box is typically rectangular, gray or black, and has a door on the front. Visual inspection near the electrical line entering the house from the meter should indicate a general area.Full Answer >
To test a household electrical circuit for short circuits or places where the circuit deviates from its path, use a multimeter. Set the multimeter to measure resistance, and test any electrical outlets that are suspected of having short circuits.Full Answer >
To wire a generator to a house, install a transfer switch next to the breaker box. During a power outage, the generator plugs into the transfer switch and circuits are able to receive power from the generator without the use of extension cords.Full Answer >