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Common Electrical Service Problems to Watch Out for in an Older Home | Euless, TX

Common Electrical Service Problems to Watch Out for in an Older Home | Euless, TX

Photo By ungvar at Shutterstock

While Euless, TX homeowners may not realize it, if you live in an older home where the wiring and outlets haven’t been worked on since the 50’s, there are a number of electrical services jobs you have to keep an eye on if you want to maintain the longevity of your home.

Lazy Outlet Jobs

While this is an electrical service problem older homes face, some newer homes also face the issue of outlets having wires back stabbed instead of screwed. the neutral wires and hot wires in an outlet are pushed through small holes in the back instead of being anchored/tied down by screws. Because the wires are loose, it has the potential to simply come undone, pop out of the holes and not operate anymore, losing access to power when an appliance is plugged in. The worst-case scenario is when the hot wire touches a piece of metal near wood and creates a potential fire hazard. Inspecting, and redoing any outlets done this way is the only way to protect your home from a potential fire risk.

Ungrounded Electrical Outlets

While newer homes have outlets with three prongs installed (The third prong grounds the electronics), older homes with only two-pronged electrical outlets don’t have a flow in the event of a short circuit. While a grounded outlet would normally blow a fuse or trip a circuit breaker, without proper electrical services, the electricity will flow out through the electrical appliance, damaging it and even shocking you. Having an electrician install grounded electrical outlets are incredibly important for the safety of your home and your electronics lasting longer than a month.

Panels and You

Back when homes didn’t require a lot of appliances or electrical outlets to manage, the panel on a breaker board didn’t have to accommodate many appliances, construction companies reasoned they could get away with building a panel that could handle about 200 amps for example. In the modern home, current appliances can require anywhere up to three times that number. In the case of an older home today, a panel may simply have single pole breakers replaced by tandem breakers, which can cause damage to your home wiring, and become an issue if an inspector were to ever inspect your home as it’s against building codes in Euless, TX to have a panel that contains more circuits than it is rated to handle.
Electrical services in this case calls for the installation of either a larger model of breaker board or a subpanel with a few extra slots, in the event your circuit panel’s overcapacity doesn’t require a massive panel.

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters and How Not to Shock Yourself

When you use an appliance in a part of your house with a lot of water, such as the kitchen or bathroom, you’ll find your outlet may be missing an important safety feature installed in nearly every new home. A GFCI, or ground-fault circuit interrupter quickly switches off the power to a switch in the presence of water. Without this safety feature, you may find you or your appliances constantly shocked by short circuits caused by water in that part of your home. GFCI’s can be installed by electrical service professionals in a couple ways, either on the outlets or on the main panel of your breaker. This can be much less expensive if you have a lot of appliances in your kitchen and bathrooms.

Aluminum Wiring

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, Euless, TX homes were built with electrical service economy in mind, and a cheap replacement for the relatively expensive copper in homes at the time was aluminum wiring. Because Aluminum and copper may come in contact with each other in the home, there’s a high chance for both the aluminum and copper to corrode, leading to leaking batteries, electric arcs, breaks in wires, and even a potential fire hazard. The best decision to make here is to replace all aluminum wiring in your home immediately with copper wiring.

Outdated Light Fixtures

Today, light bulbs are designed more efficiently, and with higher wattage in mind. Because the bulb takes greater electricity, a modern-day light bulb in an outdated fixture has the potential to fry out or melt the socket and insulation on the fixture’s wires, which can cause the wires to spark, potentially igniting any dry wood and causing a fire. Electrical service professionals dictate that replacing outdated light fixtures with ones that can take higher wattage, or simply using lower watt bulbs is the only way to get around this potential fire hazard.

Too Few Outlets

When households use to rely on up to 10 electronics at a time, it was acceptable to have only 5 outlets, and maybe an extension cord for a few additional, temporary appliances. In the present day where charging phones, laptops, lamps, alarm clocks, bed warmers, and other appliances can all take place in multiple bedrooms throughout a home, using too few outlets and relying on power strips is more than a oversight, it’s potentially a fire hazard. Electrical services in this case will require you to expand the wiring of your home and install more outlets to keep up with the greater electrical demand your appliances have.

Conclusion

Euless, TX residents may find electrical service matters to be tedious, all to prevent a fire hazard that hasn’t happened yet. In this case though, having an older home and treating it like a modern one is a mistake that can put your lives and the lives of the people you love in danger. Take the time to have Tioga Contractors come out and inspect your homes, and you can protect your home from unnecessary danger.

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Allison White

Allison White