Hidden Wiring Issues You Should Fix Immediately (Guest Post by Prairie Electric)

By Guest Blogger, July 9, 2013, News

Hidden Wiring Issues You Should Fix Immediately (Guest Blog from Prairie Electric)Our homes are energy hungry. We fill them with lighting, electronics, gadgets, and appliances that gobble up electricity all the time. Many times, the wiring in older homes just isn’t able to keep up with the demands of this level of electricity usage, and this could damage your possessions, threaten your family, and even destroy your home. Make sure that you are aware of hidden wiring issues that you should fix immediately to allow for safe and available power when you need it.

Owners of older homes may be at risk of an electrical fire or electrocution because wiring insulation may have dried out and started to fray. These hidden wiring issues may not be supporting your electricity demands, and because the wiring is out of sight, the problem may not be noticed until it is too late. The wiring should be inspected by a professional every 5 years to identify any hidden damage. As soon as faulty areas are detected, these concerns and the surrounding wiring should be replaced.

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, aluminum wiring was popular because it was less expensive than copper wire. Even though it’s no longer considered a safe alternative, it may still be within the electricity code for many areas because it has been grandfathered in by subsequent regulations. This wiring should be replaced before the corroding aluminum arcs, as it could cause a fire if the connections become loose.

Wiring on overhead light fixtures can be damaged simply by using the wrong bulb. If the fixture was manufactured before 1985, do not risk using a bulb over 60-watts. If the fixture is newer, it will state the wattage limit. The wrong bulb can melt the socket and insulation of the wires, possibly causing an arc and electrical fire.

Many people notice that their lights flicker during storms or bad winds and assume the problem lies with their energy provider. Don’t take the chance of not investigating the cause and allowing an electrical fire to start. Wire may be frayed at the point where the cables from the power line come into the house. Contact your utility company and see if they will replace the weather head at no cost to you.

There are signs that you have hidden wiring issues, even though your needs for electricity are being met. If your rooms have power strips and extension cords that use a single outlet, you may need to add more outlets. Modern codes require that an outlet be placed within 4 feet of each doorway. Additional outlets should be added every 12 feet. The new wiring will be hidden behind the walls.

Outdated, two-pronged electrical receptacles can cause major problems if an adapter is needed to allow a three-pronged device to be used. Not only can your device be destroyed, the chance of electrocution is increased. Replace these outlets with grounded three-pronged receptacles and test to see that they are properly grounded.

Ultimately, no one wants to deal with the aftermath of an electrical fire due to old or faulty wiring. By addressing these potential hidden wiring issues as promptly as possible, you will keep your home and family safe.

Located in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR, Prairie Electric has been servicing the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years.

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