Got an old Florida home?
Got an old Florida home?
If so, it may have old, faulty wiring, which is a cause of residential electrical fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
So how do you know if your home actually needs rewiring?
Look for these 4 signs.
1) Your home is 50+ years old
If your home is 50+ years old (and its wiring has not been updated to modern building code standards), it may need rewiring for 3 reasons:
1) Many older homes can’t handle the amperage (electrical load) needed for modern, energy-hungry home appliances.
According to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ”The wiring systems in many older homes can have difficulty handling the increasing demands being placed on them by modern appliances like microwave ovens, toaster ovens, hair dryers, electric heaters, and others.”
2) Old rubber insulation can easily crumble or flake off the wire, leaving it exposed.
3) Many older homes have aluminum wiring, which is dangerous.
Used in 2 million homes between 1965 and 1973, aluminum wiring tends to overheat, sometimes at hazardous levels, when current is flowing in the circuit, according to a CPSC report.
You can tell if you have aluminum wiring if you see “AL” written on the wiring jacket.
While older homes are more likely to need new wiring, this isn’t always the case. There are other immediate signs to look for, including...
2) Your circuit breaker keeps tripping
The circuit breaker “trips” to protect your home from electrical fires. A circuit breaker can trip for a variety of reasons, such as a short circuit. The short circuit may be caused by your old wires.
According to the CPSC, “When electrical components age or are overloaded, the system can overheat and wear out insulation. This can lead to arcs and short circuits, which are the main causes of home electrical wiring fires.”
3) Several discolored or charred outlets and switches
Discolored or charred outlets are a sign that there’s a short caused by either a loose connection or faulty wiring. This can cause arcing and sparking, resulting in a small fire that chars or discolors your outlet.
4) Persisting burnt smell with no identifiable source
Even if you don’t see faulty wiring, you may be able to smell it. The short caused by faulty wiring can happen in your walls, burning whatever is around it and thus creating a persisting burnt smell.
Summary: your next step
Do you have an old (50+ years) Florida home that’s never been rewired? Do you notice any of the other problems we mentioned above?
Energy Today is a Sarasota electrical contractor serving Sarasota, Bradenton, Siesta Key, Tampa, Port Charlotte, North Port, Venice and West Florida. If you have any questions, talk to one of our experts for help.
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