Outdated electrical systems are a fire and safety hazard. It can cause electrical shocks, power surges, and failures, damage to appliances, and spark electrical house fires. Electricity related fires are one of the leading causes of property fires, which are not just destructive but are also fatal.
Expert electricians say that while electrical systems can last for a couple of decades, it does not mean it could not get outdated after a decade or two. Maintenance, wear and tear, and the environment comes into play when it comes to assessing the current condition of the electrical system.
Signs the electrical system is outdated
Electricians say that most homeowners of older homes do not have a good grasp of the current condition of their home electrical system. Older homes are those constructed more than 20 years ago. Electricians say that most property owners can no longer keep track of what they may have upgraded, and what fixtures are retained from the construction phase. In such a case, it is best to have an electrical safety inspection that could determine the exact condition of the electrical fixtures like the wiring system, outlets, breaker panel among others.
Other signs could point out to a dated electrical system. Expert electricians say these manifest through electrical issues.
When to upgrade the electrical system and fixtures
Electricians say homeowners should keep in mind some of the warning signs of an outdated electrical system. One of the most common signs is a frequently tripping breaker or fuses the constantly blow up. Electricians explain that while a blown-up fuse or tripping breaker is not a cause for alarm if it constantly happens then there is an underlying issue. Usually, it signifies that the power capacity for the house is no longer at par with the electrical demand of the household. An electrician can easily help with the situation by upgrading the breaker panel and increasing the power load to accommodate the household’s electrical requirements.
The slight shock when touching an appliance or home device
When appliances emit a slight shock when touched, or produces a tingling sensation, it could mean that there is an ongoing electrical issue that causes electricity to leak through the appliance. The homeowner should immediately refer this to an electrician even before fatal electrocution occurs.
Dimming or flickering lights throughout the house is also another sign that the system is outdated. It signifies an electrical fault or possible electrical overload that the system can no longer handle. Discolored outlets and switches that are warm to touch also indicate an outdated system, and so is a persistent burning smell whose source remains undetermined as most likely it occurs in the ceilings or behind walls.