No matter what kind of home you live in, mobile, cottage, old, new, electrical problems should always be taken seriously. A haunted house with flickering lights may seem thrilling, but the precarious electrical connections are likely the things you should be most frightened of.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), 51,000 home fires are caused by electrical issues every year. Aside from the millions in property damage these fires cause, the risk of death and injury requires homeowners to stay vigilant about their home’s electrical safety.
Whether it’s a noticeable issue or a slight rise in your electrical bill, understanding the signs of potential electrical dangers is part of a homeowners toolkit. The following are the most common electrical problems we see in older homes.
1. Frequently Tripped Breakers
Your electrical panel is designed to manage the electrical load in your home, dividing power into circuits and also providing a fuse protector if overloaded. A tripped breaker could result from an unexpectedly large load from an old appliance or multiple appliances plugged into a single outlet.
A breaker that trips frequently is a sign that there’s an issue with the circuit. An electrician will have to determine the exact cause, but it could mean rewiring or adding a circuit.
2. Warm Outlets
You know when your computer starts to get very hot after sitting on your lap for too long? That’s undoubtedly a sign your laptop is overheating.
Likewise, a warm outlet means the connections are working harder than they should. Strained electrical loads are likely candidates for fires.
3. Flickering Lights
While perfect for an artificially spooky atmosphere, flickering lighting is not a characteristic you want for the home. Older wiring may be made of copper and aluminum wiring. If these connections ever weaken, the result is repeatedly dimming and flickering bulbs.
If it’s just one bulb, try changing or tightening it. If not, call a professional immediately.
4. Lightbulbs Burnout
Another sign of a weakened circuit is rapid bulb burnout. Most lightbulbs can burn for hundreds to thousands of hours. A pattern of quick-burning bulbs might indicate that your circuits are either loose or overheating, the latter of which is very likely to cause a fire.
5. Old Wiring
We mentioned above that certain wiring combinations will often cause you issues if they’re loose or weak. The fact is metal corrodes over time. Aluminum wiring is more malleable than copper, so it will shift and corrode more rapidly.
It’s crucial to update your wiring if you have a home built before the 1970s. An experienced team, like the one at Bacon, will be able to provide rewiring services in accordance with strict safety codes. For more information about how your home could be at risk of electrical malfunctions, give Bacon a call today.