Home Maintenance: How Do I Know if I Need New Wiring?

For most people, electrical wiring stays hidden away in their walls, out of sight – at least, until something goes wrong. So how do you know when the electrical wires and cables in your home are getting worn out and may need to be replaced? Here are several signs that you may need to check your electrical work for replacement.

Flickering and dimming lights

This is one of the most common signs that something is wrong with a house's electrical components. Look for lights that flicker, dim and hum regularly, especially in the same location. If changing the bulb doesn't make any difference, that's an indication to look further and see which components need to be replaced.

Weird outlet behavior

Generally, anything wrong with your outlets is cause for concern. If outlets are humming on their own, or have char marks around the outlet sockets, then it's time to think about an inspection. Outlet problems can be a sign of dangerous, faulty wiring inside the walls that can cause electrical fires if ignored.

Frequent tripping circuit breaker

Sometimes breakers trip naturally, especially if a lot of appliances are running at the same time. However, if a breaker isn't overloaded but it's still frequently shutting down, something else may be wrong – the electrical system in that area of the house may be damaged, or the breaker itself could be malfunctioning.

Physical signs of damage and fraying

Not everyone gets a chance to look at their electrical wiring, but it's often visible during renovation and repair projects. If the wires can be seen, take a closer look: Watch for any signs of damage, age, cracking, and fraying. These signs point straight toward a replacement.

Old materials and installation

Electrical wires that are a few decades old may need to be replaced, not only to keep up with local codes but also to improve safety. Even older aluminum wiring is a sign that electrical components are severely outdated (or may have been damaged by pests). Like everything else, wiring ages.

Electrical wiring is important to the home – but it can also be a fire hazard. If you think something may be wrong, contact Ragsdale and let us known what's happening. We can provide inspections and find out just what the problem is -- and what solution will fix it.

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