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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes


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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes

When I bought an old house because I fell in love with the charm, I was completely unprepared for some of the issues that come along with homes of that age. One of the biggest surprises to me was the electrical issues I experienced. Everything from having to unplug everything in the kitchen to use a compressor in the garage to tripped breakers from a single air conditioner left me frustrated and confused. I called an electrician and learned a lot during his inspection. If you are thinking about buying an old house, this blog is for you. I hope that my knowledge and first-hand experience can help you avoid some of the disasters that I faced.

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Electrical Problems That Can Lead To Fires At Home

Many homeowners have lost their properties to electrical fires, and one can only imagine the emotional turmoil after such an ordeal. If you want to protect your home from the same fate, you need to know what causes these electrical fires to help stay vigilant and call in an electrician as soon as possible. Keep reading to find out more.

Damaged Power Outlets and Appliances

One of the common causes of electrical fires is old, worn-out outlets or appliances. Sometimes, you are likely to ignore this sign because the outlets or appliances might still be working, but it is only a matter of time before they become a fire hazard. While some of these damages can happen internally, sometimes, they are easy to spot. For instance, you might notice that one of the cords on your appliance is frayed. If such a cord gets into contact with a combustible surface, a fire will start. If you know that your power outlets are old, look for an electrician to do some upgrading. Also, make sure to replace old or damaged appliances.

Not Being Careful When Buying Bulbs

A watt rating in a bulb is the amount of energy it uses. When looking for bulbs to install in your home, you have to be careful with the wattage. If the bulb wattage is higher than that on the fixture, the bulb will heat and burn the insulation around the wires. Perhaps your fixture reads 60 watts while the bulb you have purchased is 100 watts. It means the bulb will draw more heat than the fixture can handle and will eventually start burning. If the bulb is covered by a fabric or plastic shade, it can easily catch fire and spread to the rest of the house.

Your Wiring Is Outdated or Worn-Out

The older your home is, the higher the likelihood of outdated wiring. Old wires overheat easily, and many appliances will soon overload the system, risking starting a fire. Furthermore, since these wires are hidden behind the walls, you might not know if they are indeed worn out. Fortunately, some signs will guide you to the outdated wiring. For example, you will notice flickering lights, heating appliances, sparks when using an outlet, and burning smells. The only solution to worn-out and outdated wiring is having your electric system upgraded by an electrician.

Once you upgrade your electric system, make sure to purchase bulbs with the correct wattage and keep combustible materials away from them, to minimize the chances of electric fires. Also, call an electrician whenever you have an electrical problem instead of attempting a DIY fix as it poses the risk of a fire should anything go wrong.