Historic homes are treasured for their unique character and history, but they still require modern updates to make them livable. If you're considering purchasing a property more than 50 years old, these are some of the most common electrical problems you might face.
Knob and Tube Wiring
Homes built prior to the 1930s were constructed with knob and tube wiring. This means open wires were run through tubes in the walls and held up with knobs. As the materials age, the wires begin to deteriorate, creating a significant risk for fire. This type of electrical wiring should be replaced immediately, and some insurance companies will refuse to cover a home with knob and tube systems.
Lack of Grounded Outlets
If you've ever dared to run your hair dryer and the microwave at the same time, your older home's wiring might pop fuses left and right. This is due to a lack of ground-fault circuit interrupters. Old fuse boxes are safe, but they aren't able to fully handle the home's electrical load. The best solution is to upgrade the fuse box to a circuit breaker panel.
When your light switches are buzzing or popping, this indicates your switch is going to go bad fairly soon. It might also mean there are wires touching something they shouldn't be, like other wires or insulation. These switches should be inspected by an electrician immediately to prevent a fire.
Flickering lights seem like they're a normal part of living in an old home, but that doesn't mean it has to occur constantly. Even new homes will have flickering lights occasionally, but if your home is making you feel like you're living in a fun house, you should contact an expert to perform an electrical inspection. Flickering lights are sometimes caused by a short in a fuse or an overextension of the electrical system, both of which are very dangerous.
Contact Mister Sparky for Electrical Inspections
Electrical problems are inevitable in older buildings, but that doesn't mean they're normal or safe. If your electricity is giving you a big headache, contact Mister Sparky to give you peace of mind.