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What to Do About Aging Wires & Outlets | HedgeHog Electric

Unless something refuses to work, most people don’t think much about their home’s electrical systems. This lack of thought can leave wires and other critical electrical points—like the outlets, circuit breakers, etc.—deteriorating with age.

If you have aging wires, outlets, or other electrical systems, then you need to request an electrical replacement by a licensed electrician. That way, you can be sure the work was done safely and up-to-code.


Having aging wires and older, potentially flawed outlets can represent a serious risk to your home. With weak points in your electrical system, you are at risk of an electrical fire. There are hundreds of residential electrical fires in the U.S. alone, and many of them could have been prevented with some simple maintenance by professional electricians.

It is best that you don’t try to perform the repairs yourself or have a handyman work with your electrical system. Without the proper training and knowledge of local building code, your home can be left in a more dangerous situation after the electrical system is worked on.

Instead, choose HedgeHog Electric to do your electrical repairs, and enjoy the protection of working with experienced, insured, and licensed electricians.


To help you discover if you are in need of our electrical services, you will need to know what to look for when it comes to aging wires and outlets. Asides from the outlets, you shouldn’t be seeing your home’s wiring.

So, to help you uncover issues before they cause a problem, here are some of the most common signs of wires and outlets that need to be replaced.

Look For Signs Of Staining, Smoke, And Scorch Marks

A fairly obvious sign that there is an issue with your home’s electrical system is if there are any smoke or scorch marks. Generally, these clear signs are found near malfunctioning outlets. You should definitely stop using an outlet that has these signs and have them replaced.

As for staining on the wall or discoloration, it can indicate that there is damaged wiring hiding or someone stained the wall. If cleaning doesn’t fix the discolored spot and it only extends in an even pattern, you likely have wiring that needs to be replaced.

Feel Your Walls For Warm Spots

Another way you can check for issues within the walls of your home is to feel for warm spots. There shouldn’t be any warmth around your switches, outlets, and other electrical connectors in your home. So, as you go on to turn on lights or plug something in, take a moment to check for warmth that shouldn’t be there.

Also, if you have discoloration, checking for a warm spot can be another way to find faulty wiring in your home’s walls.

Watch Out For Chewed Or Visibly Worn Wiring

There aren’t many places in your home where you will have your wiring visible, except for likely the attic and basement. However, these areas of your home tend to attract pests that can damage the wiring. So, as you are in these areas, do a quick scan to see if any of the wirings has become damaged.

Also, pets can do a certain amount of damage to your home’s wiring. Anxious and high-energy dogs have been known to chew through drywall, and small pets like hamsters and gerbils that escape can also cause electrical issues. If you have had an escapee or destructive pet damage your walls, be sure to double-check that they didn’t manage to reach the wiring.

Track How Often Your Breakers Trip

Your circuit breakers are designed to trip and shut off power to protect you and your home from electrical surges. But if your circuit breakers are frequently tripping, that can indicate that there is an issue with your wiring.

Our electricians may recommend a new dedicated circuit if the issue is an overloaded circuit, or you may need weakened wiring replaced. It will require an evaluation to be sure what the problem is behind your tripping breaker.

Investigate Any Odd Or Burning Smells

A major warning sign of an issue with your wiring is if you smell something burning or odd bad smell you can’t place. An aging wire that has some of its plastic sheath stripped can melt the insulation in your walls and spark, scorching the wood.

If you do smell something and there are no external or obvious reasons—like cooking—then it is best if you shut off power to the suspected part of your home and contact us immediately for electrical assistance.

Listen For Lights Buzzing Or Flickering

Flickering lights can be a normal occurrence when you initially turn on a high-energy draw appliance. However, if the light continues to flicker, that can mean there is an issue with the wiring to that light.

As for buzzing, most lights should not make noises. Fluorescent tube lights may make a certain amount of noise, but your average compact fluorescent and LED bulbs should operate silently. If you hear buzzing, it can indicate that the bulb is not completely screwed in or that there is a wire causing a problem.


If you are concerned about your electrical wiring or other parts of your electrical system, you can count on HedgeHog Electric to help. We can perform a wide variety of electrical repairs and replacements, and our electricians are licensed and insured.

Even if you aren’t sure what’s wrong, you can contact us and schedule an electrical inspection just to be sure that everything is in good working order.