Ten Ways to Know if Your Home Needs Electrical Rewiring
by Ryan DalPezzo, Owner
Not all homes are built equally. As technology and construction continues to advance and improve, older homes may not have the same level of technology as newer homes. This is especially true when it comes to electrical wiring, as outdated, lower-quality, or faulty electrical outlets and components are a cause of residential home fires every year.
At RD Matthews Electrical Contracting in Northern, VA, we want to ensure that all residents have the information they need to be able to identify potential electrical safety issues. So, we have provided a list of things to watch out for that may indicate your home needs electrical rewiring services.
Signs You Need Electrical Rewiring
Do You Smell Burning?
While it may seem like an obvious sign, in the event you smell burning near an outlet, switch or fixture, this could possibly be the result of faulty or loose wiring. Be sure you turn off any light switch involved and the circuit breaker for the device as well. Unplug any appliances connected and immediately call a Northern, VA electrician for further help.
Pro Tip: Never try to resolve an electrical issue yourself, especially one where you can smell burning from an outlet, switch or fixture.
Flickering Lights When Windy
If the wind blows, do you notice your home’s lights flicker? If you answered yes, this is possibly a sign there is frayed wiring where the power grid and your home’s electrical system connects. The flashing/flickering lights could mean there is a short or loose connection causing your lights to blink.
Electrical Panel Overload
If you have put too much of a burden on your electrical panel, the components can overheat and cause a short circuit. When you put too much demand on your circuit panel breakers (more than is intended), it can cause damage to your panel and be a potential fire risk/hazard.
If you are unsure of your panel’s limit or have questions, an electrical contractor can answer all of your concerns.
Lack of GFCIs
While it would be a building code violation today, not having a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) can be a common problem for older builds. Briefly, GFCI/GFIreceptacles and breakers can cut off a circuit instantly and help lower the potential of electrocution in wet or moist areas near a circuit.
Stained Switch Plates
Have you noticed if your switch plates are discolored or stained? Discolored plates can suggest the overheating of the plastic and/or the wiring connection. There could be a connection that is loose or a grounding issue.
Does Your Home Have Aluminum Wiring?
If your home was built in the 50s through the 70s, it may have aluminum wiring as it was a popular choice due to its affordability over copper. Check to see if there is “AL” written on your home’s wiring as this would indicate copper contacts and aluminum wires that could corrode more easily over time. Unlike copper, aluminum will expand and contract much more when heated.
If you are getting an electrical shock from plugging something into an outlet at your home, call an electrical contractor immediately. Getting shocked can mean there is an issue with your earth grounding connection; electrical rewiring may be needed in situations like these.
While cracking and damage can be caused by dried out insulation, it can also possibly be caused by old wiring. In either event, faulty wiring and compromised insulation is not a good combination and can be dangerous. This could indicate the need for a complete electrical rewiring of your home in Northern, VA, in cases like this.
Problems with Light Fixtures
Issues with a light fixture can often be solved by replacing it, but this is not always the case, and it can be difficult to know the true cause of the electrical issue. It is always best to consult with a professional to understand your best option and what needs to be done.
Constant Visits to Your Circuit Breaker
Have you noticed your circuit breaker has been tripping constantly? The use of excessive extension cords, circuit overload and/or faulty wiring can cause this problem. For cases like these, you will need a Northern, VA electrical contractor to visit your home and go through an inspection to gauge the electrical loads of your home.
RD Matthews Electrical Contracting Has You Covered
With over 25 years of industry experience, we’re proud to bring you fully insured and certified electrical contracting services and solutions in Northern, VA. If you need a whole-house rewiring job or just some new recessed lighting, our team can help. We offer solutions to homeowners, builders, and contractors alike. All our rewiring and electrical work is fully compliant with all local building codes and ordinances. We also provide warrantied work and services and we are fully licensed and insured in the state of Virginia.
Electrical contracting work is something that should not be a DIY project and can be dangerous to both your property, you and your family. To learn more about our electrical services, and for a free consultation, please contact our team today!