After we moved into a house that seemed to have a lot of electrical problems, I had to learn how to troubleshoot things and fast. I learned how to flip the switch on my circuit breaker, deal with tripped GFCI outlets, and even how to rewire an outlet with the power off. It was a lot of work, but I was able to save a lot of money on professional services. However, after trying in vain to fix my circuit breaker on my own, I realized that I needed some help from an expert. A professional came out, took apart my panel and fixed everything. This blog is all about troubleshooting electrical issues and when to call a pro.
Part of a home inspection is to tell you all of the things that could potentially be wrong with a home before you buy it. One aspect of your home you need to pay attention to is the electrical wiring. You definitely do not want to buy a home that has many electrical problems, but some of them can be fixed. Here are some things to look out for.
Lack of Conduit
In older homes, there was a time where the building code allowed you to run electrical wires straight from the circuit breaks to the outlet. Unfortunately, this means that the wiring in the wall is a big problem to swap out if you ever needed to do it. It will involve a lot of fishing of wires through the walls and insulation, which can be labor intensive to do if you need an electrical repair.
Hopefully, your home will have the wires go through metal conduit tubes rather than going straight through the walls. This allows you to fish new wires through the walls at a later date if necessary, making any electrical problem one that can be easily fixed.
Another issue you may have with an older home is cloth wiring. This type of wire has several problems, with the main one being how the wire will become brittle with age. It is a reason why the standards for wire were replaced with plastic sheathing later on. The cloth wires can also be quite thick, making it difficult to fish new wires through a shared conduit.
Cloth wiring also lacks any type of grounding, and older systems may lack having a ground wire and a neutral wire. While the existing light switches may be fine, it is definitely not up to code. You may also find it impossible to update your switches with modern smart switches that require the neutral wire to operate.
Overloaded Circuit Breaker
The demands for electricity in an old home were quite different than what they are today. With so many electronic devices that consume electricity, the old system may have circuits that are now overloaded with too many outlets on a single circuit.
This may require a circuit breaker upgrade where more circuits are added to the home, which will require some new wiring to separate the outlets. It's definitely a task that requires a licensed electrician to ensure that it is done properly.Share
28 November 2017