Expert Electrical

Know the electrical dangers of older homes

Feb 11, 2016 | Electrical Safety

Older homes generally have a character quality that can’t be seen in newer houses. These homes offer great value, and renovation improvements can bring new life into them. Unfortunately often enough the electrical wiring is never inspected during these updates for years at a time. To ensure that all your hard work is going to be safe, look for these common dangers that could threaten your older home.

Aluminum or Knob & Tube Wiring

From the 50s to 70s many homes were built with aluminum wiring. This was used because it was cheaper and more conductive than copper wiring. Unfortunately many pitfalls were found with aluminum wiring after it was used. Overheating and cracking are common problems with aluminum wiring. If your home was built in this time period, have your wires inspected. There could be a number of hazardous points behind your walls that may cause major issues. For more information and hazard signs of aluminum wiring, read our blog article.

Knob and tube wiring was used in homes in the early 1900s and even as early as 50 years ago. It is possible that these homes still contain knob and tube wiring in them. This wiring can be dangerous as it is more likely to crack and result in electrical fires.

The dangers of these two out-dated wiring systems are that they were installed without worry and the problems were not realized until years later. The electrical wiring systems in these homes were left untouched and so did the problems that came with them. Electrical fires, are especially dangerous as the fire starts and spreads quickly and out of sight. By the time the fire is visible it is too late and the damage can be done.

Improper Wiring Updates & Additions

Over the years homes can see additions: new rooms added onto the home, new electrical lines added, hot tubs, etc. If a licenced electrician did not perform these additions there can be a mess of wire connecting the additions to the original home. This problem comes to a head at the service panel. If it is not properly maintained the breaker will trip constantly and electrical outlets will be overloaded. This is very dangerous as the electrical panel is in charge of keeping your home safe from electrical hazards. It is very important that the electrical panel is upgraded in order to provide the correct control of electricity throughout the entire house, old and new. This also means the panel is properly labelled so it is easy to maintain if further updates are being made.

Purchasing or Maintaining an Older Home’s Electrical System

While there is nothing wrong with purchasing an older home, we recommend that a licenced electrician inspect the electrical system in order to identify potential electrical hazards. One of our expert electricians can provide you with a list of items that should be handled. This will help you have peace of mind that your family is safe in their home. Contact us at 604-681-8338 to setup an appointment with one of our licenced electricians or if you have any questions about your home.