A home fire is devastating, and the fact that most of them can be completely avoided just adds insult to injury. Thousands of homes experience an electrical fire each year which leaves homeowners with millions in repair costs. The problem often lies in outdated electrical wiring, that had it been replaced, would have eliminated the risk all together. Sentry Electric is here to talk about some of the hidden dangers within the walls of old homes, and the steps that need to be taken to ensure your home is safe.
Inspect Old Electrical Wiring
Did you know that most old homes were built with electrical wiring prepared to handle about 30 amps? With the increase in appliances as well as electronics that we use, your home needs to be equipped to handle much more. Today, the electrical wiring in your home needs to be able to handle at least 200 amps to avoid risk of fire. Signs of inadequate power may include frequent power loss due to blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. Another huge sign that you need to update your wiring is the overuse of extension cords. Too many extension cords is a red flag and a qualified electrician should be called to assess the situation before danger strikes.
How to Make Aluminum Wiring Safe
In the 1960s and 1970s, many electricians used aluminum wiring. For short term use this is okay, but over the years this type of wiring oxidizes and corrodes much faster than copper wiring will. Terminals and splices are known to overheat and are a real risk of electrical fire. You may not need to have the entire system replaced right away, but an electrician will be able to assess the situation and repair potential problems. Copper connectors can be used to buy you a little bit of time before replacing the entire system.
Electrical Arcing Faults Are a Leading Cause of House Fires
When there is any damage to the wiring in your home, it can cause an arc fault. This happens when electrical current veers off the intended path due to damaged wire. Arc faults are the leading cause for electrical fires, and can be avoided completely. Damage to your wiring happen easily when you are hanging pictures on the walls and other small household tasks. When you have an AFCI, or arc fault circuit interrupter, installed in your home, these abnormalities in the wiring or your appliances will shut down the circuit before it gets the chance to overheat. AFCIs are very valuable in older homes where there is often undetected damage to wiring.
Electrical Wiring & Lighting Consultations in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut
If you live in an older home and are concerned about the electrical wiring, you have good reason to be. The skilled electricians at Sentry Electric offer electrical inspections and upgrades to get your electrical system up to code and safe for your family. Don’t let an ignored issue end up causing an electrical fire in your home. Call us today!