10 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Electrical Wiring in your Kelowna Home
Tips & Advice from your Kelowna Electricians at Greenway Electrical
Damaged, outdated, or poorly installed electrical wiring can be a serious problem. Every year there are tens of thousands of residential fires caused by electrical faults. These fires can cause homeowners expensive repair and medical bills. Don’t let your home become another statistic. Keep your eyes peeled for these 10 warning signs of faulty electrical wiring.
Usually caused by rodents or pets, any chewed, cracked or frayed wiring is a definite shock and fire hazard. If you spot any damaged wiring, you need to call a professional electrician to inspect and replace it immediately.
TRIPPING THE CIRCUIT BREAKER
A home circuit breaker tripping now and again isn’t a bad sign: its purpose is to shut off the power whenever the system is overloaded. Just switch it back on and go back to what you were doing. But if your circuit breaker trips repeatedly and continuously, then it’s a sure sign you have an electrical fault with your wiring, and it’s time to call in a professional electrician to find and fix the cause.
SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE PROBLEM
Another symptom of outdated or damaged wiring is flickering, buzzing or dimming lights. If your lights buzz when they’re turned on or flicker or dim when you have multiple appliances running, then this is a definite sign that your home’s electrical wiring is in need of an upgrade.
THINGS ARE HEATING UP
One way to find out if the wiring in your home is deteriorating is to move your hand across your home’s electrical outlets and feel for any heat or vibrations. In the case of either, something is wrong, and you need to call in an electrician.
Look at the outlet points in your home and check for any discolouration, scorching, or smoke signs. If you notice any of these symptoms, you can be sure that the wiring in your home has been damaged in some way and is releasing heat. If unresolved the heat damage will only get worse.
WHAT’S THAT SMELL?
If in doubt, try sniffing out the problem by smelling for any burning, smoky or odd odours at the point of electrical outlets and on your circuit breaker. If you smell burning it could mean that fire damage has already begun and, if that’s the case, it’s imperative to have it fixed immediately by a professional electrician.
A SHOCKING REVELATION
If you feel a mild shock or tingle when touching an appliance, a ground fault in the appliance or improper electrical wiring may be the cause. The cause of the ground fault needs to be found and corrected or the offending electrical wiring replaced.
An undisturbed wiring system will more or less work forever if it’s left alone. But when it’s disturbed or altered, there’s potential for trouble. Running an extension cord creates additional points where cords can short out or get pinched, leading to tripped breakers, damaged outlets, or even the risk of a fire. Use extension cords sparingly and only for short periods of time.
NOT ENOUGH OUTLETS
A lack of wall outlets creates a heavy reliance on extension cords and power strips to satisfy your electrical requirements. This can overload outlets and pose a physical hazard. Call an electrician to add more outlets. This will require cutting holes in walls and ceilings to snake the wires.
Because water is an excellent conductor of electricity, kitchens and bathrooms both require special shock-resistant outlets called ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). A GFCI is specifically designed to protect people against electric shock from an electrical system. GFCIs typically have two small buttons at the centre. If the hot wire inside the outlet were to accidentally touch the neutral wire, the fuse would heat up faster than the wire and burn out before the wire could start a fire. If outlets in your kitchen or bathroom look no different from those in your family room or bedroom, swap them out with GFCIs to add an extra layer of shock protection around water.
Always remember that these warning signs are meant for identification purposes only; unless you (or a family member or friend conducting the work) are a qualified electrician you should not attempt to fix these electrical problems. Instead contact Greenway Electrical. We are an experienced, professional and fully licensed residential and commercial electrician serving Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.
From electrical emergencies any time of the day or night, to wiring and routine maintenance checks, we are at your service. Contact our Kelowna electricians today. (250) 448-7474