An efficient electrical system is an essential part of every modern household. Our lifestyle depends on devices that need a stable electrical supply. However, homes with outdated systems have a higher risk of fires and accidents. How can you tell if your circuit needs an upgrade? Here are some parts you’ll find in an outdated system.
Aluminum and Knob-and-Tube Connections
Knob-and-tube is one of the oldest wirings you will find in older homes. The connections consist of a black hot wire and a white neutral one. They are cloth-covered and have ceramic insulators to prevent the two wires from touching.
Typically, knob-and-tube wiring does not have provisions for a ground connection. In case of a power surge or lightning, it cannot protect your appliances. The wires can also melt if a high current passes through them.
Older homes have aluminum wiring, which can also be unsafe. Aluminum was popular in the 1960s and 1970s as an affordable alternative. Unfortunately, aluminum corrodes when in contact with copper. It can raise the risk of electrical arcing and may start fires.
Since you can’t install grounding on knob-and-tube wiring, the most feasible option is a replacement. Consider consulting Arc Angel Electric electricians for an inspection in Cumming, GA. A professional team will ensure the circuit is compliant with the National Electrical Code standards.
Circuit Overloading and Insufficient Outlets
Another problem with older homes is that they have outdated systems with a low power rating. A typical modern home will have a 100-amp circuit while older ones may have a 60-amp system. They also have insufficient outlets to power all the appliances and devices in your household.
Without sufficient power, it’s easy to overload the circuit. While you can add new connections, in theory, the current from your electrical system will be inadequate. Overloading can cause connections to melt, raising the risk of a fire.
Some homeowners may choose to power their appliances with extension cables. But overusing extension cords can also increase the risk of electrical hazards. Always check the extension cord’s ratings before using it in your home.
Abandoned Electrical Circuits and Defective Wiring
It’s also possible that your home has abandoned electrical wiring that can pose hazards. You ought to watch out for any exposed connections. Someone could have abandoned the cables during the last system upgrade.
An abandoned circuit could be in the basement, crawlspaces, or the attic. Touching exposed conductors can be lethal. All unnecessary connections should be terminated correctly or removed for your safety.
Also, be sure to check the condition of your current wiring. Look out for missing insulation. Knob-and-tube wiring can start fires if surrounded by insulation material in the attic. For the best results, consult a certified electrician for repairs.
Check Outlets for Electrical Grounding
A ground connection is a critical aspect of modern electrical systems. Grounding keeps your electronics safe from electrical leaks. According to the Electrical Power Research Institute, 80% of electronic failures result from wiring or grounding anomalies.
Old homes will have a two-prong outlet with no third prong for the ground. Grounding can increase incidences of electrical noise, making your lights flicker. Additionally, your valued electronics will require repairs more frequently.
The absence of grounding is often a sign your home has knob-and-tube wiring. Unfortunately, that means you can’t replace the two-pronged receptacle with a three-pronged one.
You may have to rewire the whole house to install the grounding connection. Even if you have a modern circuit, the grounding could still be defective. Such issues may occur during installation. Arc Angel Electric electricians in Cumming can install code-compliant connections with grounding for every outlet.
Defective Receptacles and Absence of GFCI Outlets
Defective receptacles are much more prevalent in older homes with outdated systems. The higher electrical resistance in outdated wiring increases the risk of overheating. In such instances, you may notice warping, cracking, or discoloration on the outlet.
Additionally, outdated outlets deteriorate faster than their more recent counterparts. Most older receptacles are not built for the power demands of a modern household. So, even if they are no signs of deterioration, you should consider replacing the outlets to avoid hazards in the future.
You should also check to ensure that your bathroom and kitchen have GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets. GFCI receptacles are critical for areas of your home where there’s a risk of electrocution.
GFCI outlets can detect voltage irregularities in the circuit and break the connection. You ought to install the receptacle even if there is no grounding in your home.
A GFCI outlet may not provide adequate protection for your appliances. But it will keep occupants in your home safe from hazards. Call Arc Angel Electric electricians to get more information on upgrading your electrical system.
An Outdated Electrical Service Panel
If your home was built before 1990, you could have an outdated electrical panel. Its purpose is to regulate and distribute power to different parts of the circuit. Outdated panels do not always provide the same level of safety as newer models.
For example, older panels had fuses you would have to replace in the event of a circuit overload. Circuit breakers are more convenient to use. You can merely flip the switch back on to restore electrical power.
Another problem with fuses is that they are fewer than the circuits they should protect. Therefore, there’s a higher risk of a hazard from electrical overloading. If your home has a fuse box, you should consider upgrading your circuit.
You could also look out for signs of corrosion and deterioration on the panel. It may indicate your electrical system has malfunctions that may require repairs or an upgrade.
Most electrical panels more than 20 years old will need an upgrade. If you have a more recent model and it’s defective, you should schedule an inspection of your electrical system.
Why Upgrade Your Electrical System?
Upgrading your home’s electrical system is critical for your safety. Outdated circuits and ungrounded outlets can leave you with losses from damaged electronics and electrical fires. Replacing your wiring is an investment that will benefit your home in the long term.
Some insurance companies will not cover a home with outdated connections like knob-and-tube wiring. The company will require you to upgrade your system before applying for the policy. It’s better to fix electrical systems issues punctually to avoid rushing to meet compliance.
Outdated wiring can discourage prospects from purchasing your property. Electrical faults are dangerous, and such issues will discourage most home buyers. On the other hand, an upgrade can improve the perception of your property on the listing.
When upgrading your home’s electrical systems, you should work with a licensed and experienced electrician. A professional has a grasp of the local building codes and regulations. You can have peace of mind knowing your home is safe and compliant with the latest electrical standards.
Our BBB-accredited Arc Angel Electric is the leading company for electrical services in Cumming, GA, and the surrounding areas. Our staff is committed to exceeding our customer’s expectations. You can expect our Google 5-star rated crew to work with exceptional attention to detail and top-notch craftsmanship. We offer electrical panel upgrades, surge protection, indoor lighting, and EV charging installations. Our electricians also have experience with remodels and new construction.
Contact our staff for a world-class experience with a 100% guarantee for all our services.