5 Electrical Issues Often Diagnosed in Older Homes
Electrical Repair in Edmonton
Old is new again! Edmonton has a lot of special heritage and history, which provides a beautifully unique flavour to the city.
There are buildings, homes, streets and neighbourhoods that have graced these parts for decades. But as time wears on, standing structures do not stay young and vibrant. And their electrical systems are no exception.
From wires and old fuse boxes to light fixtures and appliances, age can wreak havoc on your entire electrical system. Electrical system upgrades can usually help ward off problems before they multiply. In case it’s too late for that, there are some typical problems that tend to pop up in many of our service calls to older homes.
Here are some issues and potential solutions for your ailing electrical system in your aging home.
5 Common Electrical Problems in Older Homes
This is an outdated type of wiring that was prevalent in older homes beginning in the 1960s. The issue with aluminium wiring is that the material itself is too soft. Compared to another metal, like copper, aluminum is much more prone to damage. It is also easy for aluminum to overheat, which will cause problems with your home’s connections. When it rusts, aluminum wiring does the opposite of what it was designed for in that it will be more resistant to conducting electricity.
In these cases, we typically expect a lot of light flickering and potentially damaged insulation from the wiring overheating. You’ll want to call a professional electrician in Edmonton to take a look at your wiring as soon as possible and talk about replacing that old aluminum wiring with new wire.
Older electrical systems were not built for modern technology. Another cause for flickering lights in older homes is overloaded circuits. Keep an eye out to see if it happens more often when you’re using more appliances and electronics. This can be a clear sign of overloaded circuits.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a dangerous situation. If wiring overheats too much, it may create a fire hazard. Be sure to have an electrician in Edmonton come to your home to diagnose the problem.
Another issue you might encounter in an old house is outdated cables. Any type of cable that is of older age is exponentially frailer. A frayed cable puts your home at risk of fire and loose, active connections. If you suspect your cables are old, have them inspected and replaced by an experienced electrician.
Back in the day when your house was built, building codes did not require GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) around areas that could be affected by water or moisture. Today, GFCIs are required on outlets within 4 feet of sinks to shut down an electrical current before it can cause a shock. Having GFCIs put in near your sinks, tubs, and other wet areas of your house (including potentially wet areas such as basements and outdoor plugs) can significantly increase the safety of your home.
Aging receptacles can be dangerous for one of two reasons: First, if you find plugs for appliances falling out of receptacles, chances are that the contact points in the receptacle are worn out. This means there isn’t a solid connection, which can result in arching and potentially fire.
Another common issue with older receptacles is that they are usually ungrounded (two-prong). Grounded (three-prong) receptacles can direct stray current away, reducing the risk of electrocution. Be sure to have an electrician come by to fix the issue, and don’t try to resolve it by plugging an adapter into the two-prong receptacle, as this could increase the danger of electrocution.
How to Tell If Your Old House is Up to Code
In some cases, updating or fixing your electrical system is necessary and required by codes. In other cases, it’s not mandated but highly recommended for the safety and longevity of your system. An electrical company in Edmonton can advise you about which issues need to be fixed and the options you have available.
An electrical permit in Edmonton is a must for any installation conducted by electricians in assisting with your code violation repairs. Visit our website at Polar Electric for more information regarding our services for residential homes and buildings.
Our Top Tips for Keeping Your Older Home Safe:
- Protect your wiring. Keep wires away from sharp objects that could fray them or interfere with connections.
- Do not overcrowd receptacles that already have a lot of wires in them.
- Don’t ignore constantly tripping breakers. Have an electrician come to your house to have additional circuits installed.
- Watch for signs of electrical fire hazards, such as burning smells or blackened walls.
- Check your electrical bills and keep an eye out for unexplained increases in your energy usage. This could signal an internal issue.
- Consider carefully before you add devices to an already overloaded circuit.
- If you are thinking about adding any major appliances to your home (such as air conditioners or hot tubs) consult with your local electrician first! It could save you a lot of money to know what needs to be done beforeyou make that big purchase.
Let’s Get to the Bottom of It!
If you’re worried about the electrical systems in your historic home, get in touch with Polar Electric. Our team of qualified electricians will perform a complete inspection of your home electrical system and give you a complete rundown of what’s working and what needs to be repaired or replaced.
Remember, when you replace older components of a system or the entire system, you won’t just be avoiding repairs down the road; you’ll also be more comfortable, able to add appliances and devices to your home, and you’ll save money on your electricity bills each month. Call the bear today to learn more!