If you live in an older home, you may encounter electrical problems from wiring and electrical components that were never upgraded. While older electrical systems may still work, they can pose safety hazards in the home. Sometimes, they can also damage appliances or shorten their lifespan. Therefore, it's essential to monitor your electrical system and look out for risks associated with older systems. With this in mind, here are three electrical problems you are likely to encounter.
Inadequate Electrical Loads
Older electrical wiring and circuitry were designed with the needs of the older home. Electrical systems came with fewer outlets because most households didn't use multiple electrical appliances. Nowadays, homes use electrical energy in cooking, washing, heating water, heating and cooling, running security systems, powering entertainment systems, and much more.
A home with old circuitry may not have sufficient load to handle modern devices. Therefore, you may experience problems such as:
- Dimming lights
- Tripping circuit breakers
- Tingling outlets
- Burning odors in outlets
- Low voltage in electrical appliances
These problems point to an electrical overload. Upgrade your residential electrical system to accommodate the appliances in the home. Also, install dedicated circuits for power-hungry equipment such as water heaters, fridges, washers, dryers, and entertainment systems.
Most older homes have a two-wire electrical system, which has hot and neutral wires only. These systems do not have a ground wire. Ground wires allow systems to discharge excess current to the earth instead of passing it through the appliances. The lack of grounding can cause your devices to suffer irreparable damage during a voltage overload. In severe cases, an overload can lead to an electrical fire.
If your home has two-prong outlets, it has inadequate or non-existent grounding. You need to ground the wiring to protect appliances and prevent electrical fires. As you ground the wiring, remember to install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) as well. These circuits prevent electrocution and appliance damage by cutting off power when they sense a ground fault.
Dead or Burnt Outlets
Does your home have dead or burnt outlets? Are you forced to use power strips due to inadequate outlets? If so, you need to upgrade your electrical system. Outlets are the connectors that allow electrical appliances to draw power. Therefore, they play a critical role in determining the efficiency and safety of your electrical system.
If your outlets are not working, you will be forced to use power strips, which can overload the circuits. Therefore, replace burnt or dead sockets in the home. If your home has fewer outlets, you can install more to increase convenience and avoid circuit overloads.
Does your home have an old or outdated electrical system? Contact a residential electrician for electrical system upgrades.