Since the late 1800s, we’ve relied on electricity as a necessary feature in our modern-day world. Just as home construction has come a long way over the decades, so has how electricity is installed in homes. If you currently have an older home, it’s likely that you’re going to face some electrical issues that are not present in newer homes with updated wiring and electrical features.
If you think back to 50 years ago, many of the modern-day appliances in your home didn’t exist. People used a lot less power, so homes were designed with electrical systems to meet only the demand of their day. As we are relying more and more on electrical devices in our homes, we need to have more power to run them. If you have an older home, you may find that you only have 100 amp service. Most modern homes are built with 200 amp service to help meet the needs of today. Unfortunately, the only way to fix this issue is to have your electrical panel upgraded from 100 amps to 200 amps of power.
In all modern homes, you’ll find an electrical panel that has circuit breakers. Whenever a circuit experiences an overload, it will trip the breaker. All you have to do to reset it is to flip the breaker off and back on again. In many older homes, electrical panels relied on fuses instead of circuit breakers. Whenever a circuit becomes overloaded, a fuse will blow out. This requires you to manually replace the fuse before you can turn the circuit back on again. A great way to address this issue is to have your existing fuse box replaced with a new electrical panel complete with circuit breakers.
Many decades ago, there weren’t as many stringent electrical codes. In fact, many places didn’t even have electrical codes that had to be followed by the residential sector. This resulted in a lot of different homeowners doing at-home repairs and wiring fixes. One of the most common DIY home electrical repairs you’ll run into is a dead outlet. This is where either the wiring was removed or cut from a particular outlet in your home. Whenever you plug anything into the outlet, it simply won’t turn on. To fix this issue, you’ll need to call an electrician to run new wires to the outlet or hook up the existing wires that we’re disconnected.
Lack of Proper Grounding
In the electrical world, grounding is a way to provide a direct route of getting rid of excess energy. Without it, that excess energy can end up starting fires or cause electrocution. In many older homes, you’ll find that there is a lack of proper grounding. One of the most common indicators is that your fuse panel will continue to pop. It’s best to address this issue by contacting an electrician to get your house properly grounded and replace any fuse box with an updated electrical panel with circuit breakers.
Knob and Tube Wiring
Knob and tube wiring is one of the most common electrical issues that will be brought up with older homes. This type of wiring is typically present in pre-war error homes. The main issue with this type of wiring is that it becomes exposed over time due to the deterioration of its coating. These exposed wires cannot only be dangerous to your family, but they can start an electrical fire. If you have knob and tube wiring in your older home, it’s best to get it updated with new wiring.
It’s not uncommon for a home to undergo upgrades as the years go by. To help supply energy to these new upgrades, it’s very common for DIY homeowners to simply add a splice to existing wiring. This is done with the intent of tapping into the existing wiring and adding a new piece of wire to whatever is needed for the new area, such as an outlet or light. These wires splices can be extremely dangerous when they’re not positioned inside of a junction box. In many older homes, you’ll find that these wire splices are simply held together by an electrical cap and electrical tape. It’s necessary to contact an electrician to install a junction box and rewire the splice to ensure your family’s overall safety.
Flickering Lights When It’s Windy
One really annoying phenomenon that you may deal with in your older home is flickering lights whenever it’s very windy outside. The root of this problem will lay within the weatherhead on the side of your home. The weatherhead is simply where the cables from the power line are attached to your home. Inside of the weather head, there will be wiring that is frayed and continues to cause a short whenever the cables are moved by the wind. This issue needs to be fixed by an electrician who can replace the wiring inside of your weatherhead.
Lack of Outlets
Another issue that many homeowners deal with who live in an older home is a lack of outlets. In fact, many pre-war era homes have one outlet per room. This does not keep up with the modern-day demands that we have. Unfortunately, many homeowners will rely on power strips on electrical cords to help provide access to more outlets to run all their necessities. This can be dangerous and cause an overload on your electrical system. It’s best to contact an electrician to have more outlets installed in your home and potentially increase the number of amps going into your electrical panel box.
No GFCI Outlets
If you walk into a bathroom or other wet room of a newer home, you’ll find outlets that have both a test and reset button. These outlets are known formally as GFCI outlets. These outlets are specifically designed to help kill power to the outlet in the event that it senses there is water present. GFCI outlets are necessary for all wet rooms to help shut down the power before they can cause deadly electrocution whenever water is present. GFCI outlets didn’t become a standard in homes until the mid-1970s. If your home was built before then, it’s likely lacking these electrical outlets. It’s necessary to upgrade all the outlets in your wet areas like your bathrooms and kitchens with GFCI outlets.
Homes that were built in the 1960s to 70s relied on aluminum wiring as a cheap alternative solution to copper. Unfortunately, it has been discovered over the years that aluminum has a very high rate of corrosion when it comes into contact with newer copper wiring. Many connections will loosen over time and lead to arching and housefires. If you noticed that you have aluminum wiring inside of your older home, it’s necessary to get it upgraded with newer wiring by a professional electrician.
Professional Electrician Services
Black-Haak provides professional electrician services for the Fox Valley, WI region. We’re also here for all of your heating, cooling, plumbing, ductless mini-split, heat pump, indoor air quality, boiler, geothermal, and commercial services. Call us today to get the help that you need with your home.