If there is one system we take for granted the most in our homes these days, it’s probably the electrical system. After all, we’ve had it available throughout our lives—for decades. It’s just always there and we’ve come to expect it. This is a great thing, however, it can lead homeowners to neglect the potential hazards involved with electricity, particularly if they need rewiring.
So, today we want to discuss some of the warning signs that indicate you may have an issue with your electrical wiring. Not all of these are indicative of an emergency situation, but they can certainly become an emergency if ignored for too long. Compromised wiring leads to electrocution risk as well as fire risk—both of which we’d like to help you avoid at all costs.
Check for Frayed Wiring
No, we aren’t suggesting you go digging behind drywall to find your wiring—that would achieve the exact opposite of what we’re trying to in this post.
But, if you’re having work done in your home, or if you do have any exposed wiring (perhaps in a garage or attic), we encourage you to take a look at it. Frayed wiring can occur do the way the wires are bent, or it can happen due to excessive heat (which is a problem all on its own). However, it’s often the result of nails and screws being put into the walls blindly.
Have You Noticed Hot Spots?
We’re not talking about when you’re walking through your home and notice a warm pocket of air—something like that is usually an indication that you have a breach in your ductwork. This is a less urgent issue, but we do encourage you to follow up with an HVAC pro on this matter.
Anyway, for the purpose of this post, we’re talking about hot spots on your walls, outlets, or light switches. When electricity is being routed somewhere it shouldn’t be, it throws off energy as heat, and this is why you’ll feel a hot spot.
It is important for us to note here that dimmer switches are often warmer to the touch than other types of switches. If you’re still concerned about the level of heat it’s worth it to have it checked by an electrician, but just know that for the most part, this is normal.
What to Do about Frequently Tripped Circuit Breakers
Your circuit breakers are in place to protect the rest of your electrical system and appliances from power surges. When too much power output is created by an electrical component, it will cause the circuit breaker to trip.
If this happens once or twice and you reset it with no further issue, then it’s not typically a cause for concern. If you frequently find yourself resetting tripped circuit breakers, though, then something may be going on that needs attention from an electrical pro. If not a rewiring need, this might signal that your electrical panel is taking in more electricity than it’s meant to handle, and you’re due for an upgrade.