When a house gets older, so does its electrical wiring. Thus, it is necessary to keep a regular check of the wires of the house to see if they are worn out to avoid any type of dangerous mishap. However, there are several reasons for electrical wiring to wear out. You may either hire a professional electrician to inspect the electrical wires of your house or you yourself can conduct routine inspections and decide whether it needs replacing or repair of any kind.
Here are a few things to check and decide if it is necessary to replace old electrical wiring in your home:
1. Fuses and Circuit breakers: Make sure to check the circuit breakers and fuses regularly. Circuit breakers trip if the current passing through the circuit exceeds beyond the maximum number of amps it is rated for. Fuses blow out if the same thing happens. Fuses cannot be reused and must be replaced where as circuit breakers are reusable. However, with time, circuit breakers wear out too and trip frequently. Thus you should consider replacing the old electrical wiring if this issues keep happening.
2. Dimming or flickering of lights: If some motor driven device is connected to the circuit and you notice flickering and dimming of lights, it means that the circuit is overloaded. The devices that are driven by motors pull in more amps causing dimming and flickering, however this problem could be momentary and it is absolutely normal. But if you notice this issue too frequently, it is time to get the faulty circuit breaker or wiring replaced.
3. Shock from outlets, switch boards and switches: If you sense shock from switches or outlets, it means that they have turned either bad or there is a short circuit in the medium surrounding the wires. These mild shocks are sensed while plugging the device in the plug or switch or perhaps when a wire no longer has insulation. Even after removing the device, you sense such an issue, it is time to get the wiring, the outlet and/or switch examined and replaced at the soonest if found faulty.
4. Discoloration of switches: If you hear a buzzing sound or if the switches seem to be charred or discolored, it is a bad indicator that points out to a potential danger in the future. It is necessary to get the switch replaced immediately and get the internal wiring checked too, because a circuit with faulty wiring, or loose connection near the switch eventually causes it to short circuit which is quite dangerous. You will notice small fire breakouts that char or burn the surface due to excess heat.
5. Burning Acrid smell: If you sense a burning smell and there is no noticeable source, then be careful, it could be a warning sign. You can expect electrical fire if the burning smell is acrid. Acrid smell is a clear indication of a short circuit that can further cause major fire outbreak. The surrounding areas that catch fire due to this small electrical fire may not smell acrid; however, it is necessary to call the electrician immediately. Till then, keep a fire extinguisher ready. The electrician will definitely recommend replacing the electrical wiring for safety in future.
If you have issues with your electrical system that have been mentioned above, you might want to consider hiring a professional, licensed electrician to assess the damage or areas of concern.