There are a lot of positives to buying an older home. For one thing, you can often purchase one at a lower price than a newer build, and older homes often have a charm that you don’t always see in more modern homes that are built with similar floor plans. But problems can arise when it comes to the electrical systems in an old home.
Some homeowners keep their homes updated as electrical building code changes, but many never considered that our increasing dependence on technology has led to greater demands on our homes’ electrical systems. If you are considering buying an older home or have recently bought one and want to make sure that it will be safe, your local electricians here at HedgeHog Electric are here to help.
COMMON SIGNS THAT YOUR HOME’S WIRING IS TOO OLD
In most cases, if you are looking at homes that aren’t foreclosed fixer-uppers, it’s likely that you can’t tell that the electrical system is outdated, especially if you don’t know what to look for as you walk through the home. Below are some of the most common signs that your potential new home’s electrical system is outdated and that you’ll need our wiring services to bring your house up-to-date.
Unless the older home you are considering has been damaged, you likely won’t find exposed wiring in most of the house. However, if there is a basement or attic, you should definitely check these areas for exposed wiring, as many of them hide issues like electrical wiring with no insulation and other problems.
If you do find areas where the electrical wiring is exposed, proceed with caution. The current that wiring carries can cause an electrical fire if it is not properly taken care of by professional electricians.
Outdated Fuse-Based Electrical Panel
In older homes, often rural-based homes or vacation getaway houses, you will find outdated fuse-based electrical panels. Now, fuse-based electrical panels are not necessarily dangerous when taken care of properly. However, this type of electrical panel was not designed with modern electrical needs in mind, which can leave you with constantly blown fuses and other issues.
Some people try to get around this issue by using fuses that are bigger than they are supposed to use so that they blow out less often. But in doing that, too much electricity will flow through that electrical system, which can lead to an electrical fire. To prevent all that, you can have our electricians replace your fuse-based electrical panel with a circuit breaker electrical panel.
Aside from being annoying when you need to plug in something that has three prongs, having two-prong outlets in your older home can indicate that your electrical system can’t support modern electrical demands.
Along with not being able to power your devices without an adapter, one of the biggest issues with two-prong outlets is the lack of a ground. The ground part of a plug that comes with modern appliances is to help protect their delicate electrical circuitry from power surges, which can burn out your appliances and other electrical devices. Swapping out your two-prong outlets is an easy fix that our electricians can do to upgrade your electrical system.
No GFCI Outlets In Wet Rooms
Another outlet issue you may notice in older homes is the lack of GFCI outlets in wet or more humid rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. GFCI outlets are designed like mini circuit breakers, shutting off the flow of electricity if there is a surge of electricity.
This function is especially vital in rooms that are regularly exposed to water and high humidity, as an electrical surge can lead to a dangerous electrical shock. As with the two-prong outlets, our electricians can safely install new GFCI outlets in your older home to provide you with greater protection.
Knob And Tube Wiring
With knob and tube wiring, as long as the insulation still covers the wiring, this type of wiring is safe. However, often the bulky insulation has been stripped by DIY homeowners who don’t realize the danger. It has become a common enough problem that some insurance companies refuse to insure homes with knob and tube wiring.
With the help of our electricians, you can have the old knob and tube wiring removed and replaced, making your home safer and insurable.
HOW AN ELECTRICAL INSPECTION CAN PROTECT YOUR HOME
Now, you may not have noticed these issues and already bought your older home, or maybe you are in the escrow process of buying an older home. In either case, having an electrical inspection performed by HedgeHog Electric can be an invaluable electrician.
Our electricians are trained to look for potential issues that your home may have, from the things we mentioned above to other issues that require specialized tools to determine. Also, after you have an electrical inspection performed, our electricians can more easily work with you to determine what electrical upgrades your home is eligible if you want to do something like installing solar panels.
CONTACT HEDGEHOG ELECTRIC FOR YOUR ELECTRICAL NEEDS
To have your home’s electrical system inspected or to have specific electrical upgrades done, contact us. You can count on HedgeHog Electric for fast, courteous, and professional electrical services.