Wiring to your electrical system is like pipelines to your plumbing—the important conduit through which a needed resource (in this case, electricity) can travel. Much like your plumbing lines, electrical lines can also eventually wear out and experience problems, and it usually leads to some pretty serious problems for your home when they do. While it might be fairly easy to recognize the signs of faulty or worn-out plumbing lines that need to be replaced, worn-out wiring is generally a lot harder for the average homeowner to diagnose.
When your wiring is worn out, our electricians usually recommend a whole-home rewire. This is essentially a complete remodel of your electrical system with new wiring and components that can safely and reliably allow you to take advantage of electrical energy. However, this is a major service that will involve significant impact to your home, so it isn’t something you’ll want to have to do on a whim. On this blog, we’ll briefly discuss five common signs that could be telling you that your wiring is worn out and needs to be replaced with a whole-home rewire service.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
Flickering or dimming lights could be a symptom of a number of different things in your electrical system. However, they’re primarily indicative of an overloaded circuit or not enough current to feed the energy needed. As a result, when something else begins to demand power, the lights themselves begin to dim as the current and voltage they’re drawing begins to diminish.
In some cases, this diminishing power capacity has to do with worn-out wires. As wires age, they deteriorate, and when they deteriorate through oxidation or general wear and tear, they begin to lose their ability to carry energy with as little resistance as possible. As this resistance increases, your wires begin to lose energy in the form of heat, and that lost energy manifests itself in reduced power to different devices on the circuit. While it may be hard to see reduced power in something like a washing machine, it’s far easier to spot when the amount of light in a space constantly flickers up and down.
Humming or Ringing Sounds
Humming and ringing noises are fairly common for any electrical component that has worn out. What you’re hearing is yet another form of released energy that happens as a result of electrical resistance. This is mostly common with outlets and switches that have exceeded their useful life, but it also can happen as a result of old and worn-out wiring. For example, if you have an outlet or switch that is making a soft humming or whistling noise, and you replace the component but the problem doesn’t go away, then what you’re really dealing with is outdated wiring that needs to be swapped out.
High Energy Bills
We already touched on this briefly, but when wires age, they begin to lose their ability to carry energy with minimal loss. When you begin losing energy to waste in the form of heat, your energy bills begin to climb. Eventually, you’ll find you’re spending far more on energy for something as simple as turning on a light than you would be with newer, better-conditioned wires carrying your energy. While it might be hard to determine if your high energy bills are the result of outdated wiring, your wires are absolutely something you should consider. Talk to a professional electrician to learn more—they can guide you on the right path to helping you save energy and keep your home safe with high-quality wiring.
Frequently Tripping Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers are constantly monitoring the flow of electricity through your home. When they detect an overcurrent through one of your lines, meaning unsafe conditions, they trip and shut off, shutting off everything on that circuit in the process. When certain devices require a certain amount of power, they will pull that amount of power from your circuit, whatever it takes. When a circuit is already bogged down due to worn-out wires, this extra current draw will often times trip a circuit breaker, forcing a safety shutdown of the circuit. Thus, if one particular breaker seems to always be giving out on you, then you could very well need to replace your wiring.
This last sign might be perhaps the hardest to detect or discover for yourself. Aluminum wiring was used in the construction of new homes and businesses from the 1960s through roughly the mid-1970s due to its lower cost and availability, particularly when compared to the sky-high copper prices of the time. However, aluminum wire is prone to a number of faults and flaws that actually make it significantly more dangerous than the copper wires you typically find in most properties.Need your whole home rewired? Schedule a service by contacting the pros at Lightning Bug Electric at (404) 471-3847 today.