Old wiring—even knob and tube wiring that dates back to the early 20th century—isn’t inherently dangerous, but unless you were around when the house was built, you can’t be sure the electrical system is up to code. Plus, materials such as wire insulation can deteriorate over time.
Safety issues with old wiring
Faulty wiring is the leading cause of residential fires, according to a 2009 study by the National Fire Prevention Association. And the older your house is, the greater the chances that old wiring might be outdated or unsafe.
If you don’t know the condition of your wiring, it’s worth paying a licensed electrician to inspect your electrical system. Expect to pay $150 to $300 for this service.
A good reason to consider replacing old wiring, aside from electrical home safety, is that some insurance carriers may refuse to insure houses with older electrical systems, or they may insist owners pay higher premiums.
Warning signs of outdated, old wiring
- Breakers trip or fuses blow regularly.
- A tingling sensation when you touch a wall switch, appliance, or receptacle.
- Dimming and flickering lights.
- A burning smell in a particular room or from an appliance.
- Discolored outlets and switch plates that are warm to the touch.
- Ungrounded outlets throughout the house (ungrounded outlets accommodate only two-prong plugs).
- A lack of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in your bathrooms, your kitchen, and other areas that may be exposed to damp and wet conditions.
- Your house was built more than 40 years ago.
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If you have a house with old wiring or other electrical issues, like a panel upgrade, flickering lights, faulty circuit breakers or any electrical repair or installation such as lights, ceiling fans or whole house surge protection call Rudolph Electric, your San Diego CA Electrician today.