Older homes are full of features that are quite desirable to the prospective homeowner. From architectural features that have long been forgotten, to sturdy building materials, antiquated homes have a lot to offer. However, when it comes to electricity, do not be surprised if you find that your lovely older home is found lacking -- in some cases, so much so that your home is not completely safe.
Unfortunately, you may not always know that the features in your home are in need of an overhaul, unless you get advice from a professional electrician. Here are five often missed indicators that the electrical components of your home need to be updated:
1. Fuses Blow or Breakers Trip Frequently - If you find blown fuses or tripped breakers often, it is a good sign that your electrical panel needs to be upgraded. Thrown breakers and blown fuses are indicative of an electrical overload. Electrical overloads are a good sign that you are not supplying enough power to your home in the first place, which will require a complete electric panel upgrade.
2. Lights Flicker and Wane When the HVAC System Kicks On- When lights flicker and wane, this means that they are not receiving consistent current. Inconsistent current is a sign that the wiring leading to the light fixtures is either damaged or in need of replacement.However, when the lights flicker and dim due to the HVAC system kicking in, you have a different problem altogether. This likely means that there is no enough power supplied or available.
3. Your Outlets Only Have Two Prongs, Not Three - If your electrical outlets are outdated, you will find that they do not offer the third prong, which is vital for grounding electrical current for some electronics and appliances. Most modern plug-ins will have a three-prong plug for safety and efficiency purposes.
4. Paper Insulated Wire Covers Instead of Plastic or Cloth - Early versions of electrical wiring were often coated with paper covering for insulation. This paper insulation easily crumbles, and can be considered a fire hazard.
5. Lack of Electrical Outlets - Years ago, there was not such a dramatic need for electric outlets because there were just not as many electrical devices in the average home. If there are extension cords everywhere, while they may be convenient, having too many devices reliant on extension cords can cause the electrical system to be overworked. Call the electrician to talk about adding additional circuits.
When it comes down to it, there are several indicators that you should be on the lookout for in your older home to make sure your electrical components are up to modern standards. If you suspect that your home is in need if of electrical upgrades, talk to a residential electrician for a thorough assessment and inspection.