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.
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
Diagrams for rewiring a house are basically maps of each room in the house that lay out existing wiring and the planned new wiring. They include all the circuits that will be used in the house, such as door bells, light switches, thermostats and heaters, and where they will be located, ensuring that the size of the circuits are safe and appropriate for their intended uses.Full Answer >
A breaker may be bad if a circuit running from the breaker panel box has lost power. A process of elimination can determine if a faulty breaker is the problem. Test to see if the breaker has simply been tripped. Firmly move the switch on the breaker from the on position to the off position and then back again.Full Answer >
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 >
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is often found in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas of the home where water is used. It is designed to shut off the electric circuit when it detects a small fault or short. You can easily reset a tripped GFCI outlet with a few simple actions.Full Answer >