Tips To Maintain Your Electrical Wiring
By Steven De Nazareth
Updated: June 5th, 2019
Maintenance has never been about just appearance and aesthetics – more than anything, it is vital to maintaining your home and its appliances for safety. From electrocution to sparks, and short circuits to full-blown fires, faulty electrical wiring can be extremely dangerous and must be dealt with caution and professional expertise.
What To Look Out For In Your Electrical Wiring System
Wondering how you know when to check your electrical wiring systems? Besides the fact that a routine check of all your sockets and circuits is recommended at least once a year, there are a few signs to look out for when it comes to possible electrical damage.
- The presence of live current in switch boards and sockets, however mild they might be, can be a sign that your wiring has been exposed to water or is not getting earthed right. If a switch in the washroom or kitchen gives you even a tiny shock when you turn it on and off, chances are that there is an issue.
- Notice frequent dips in voltage, flickering lights once in awhile or bulbs fusing more often than they should? Definitely a sign of internal electrical wiring damage.
- Appliances can get damaged by short-circuiting, but there are times when the only sign of the fluctuation or short circuit is through the appliance malfunctioning itself. If your plug sparks when it is in the socket or an adapter heats up and doesn’t work even though the voltage is appropriate, then there could be a problem with the electrical outlet.
- Each circuit board has a specific limit to the load it can take, but within that limit, the appliances connected to it should function perfectly. If the turning on of the dishwasher or air conditioner causes lights to dip, the circuit may be damaged and unable to take the load.
- Besides visible signs, make sure that you keep an eye out for open wiring being chewed by rats or raccoons in the attic, or rainwater accumulating around the circuits in the basement. Even though the impact may not be immediate, any noticeable damage to the wires can lead to serious internal havoc.
The far-reaching effects of faulty wiring bring to mind the much used saying ‘better safe than sorry’. A small investment in a professional, DIY check-up of your electrical wiring or getting the home warranty for your home can be imperative to keeping you and your loved ones safe. Repairs are costly and maintenance is no doubt an easier way to prevent future problems, so we bring to you seven simple tips to keep track off and maintain your entire electrical wiring system.
Mark your calendars and keep a monthly check on your electrical outlets, you can do this by yourself and won’t need any assistance. The testers are inexpensive – you can find them at any home hardware store. A three-prong plug, the tester will have indicator lights on each prong. As you plug the tester into each outlet, the lights indicate any problems with the individual outlet. The earlier you know the problem the easier it is to get it solved and the risk of fire or a greater electrical malfunction is avoided.
Out With The Old, InWith The New
Damaged and worn out wiring should be replaced immediately. The process is very simple and you might be able to change the wiring outlets on your own. If the problem seems to be more complicated do not hesitate to call a professional electrical who can perform the work. In fact, if such handy-work isn’t your cup of tea, a home warranty is a simple preemptive measure to rid yourself of unnecessary worry!
Original, Branded, Tested And Certified Electrical Wiring
There are many occasions where it might seem preferable to procure a cheap knock off, but substituting your wiring outlets is not a place to economize. It is ideal to choose parts that are certified by a recognized safety certification institution, as you are rest assured that the product is completely safe and has gone through extensive testing.
Water And Electricity Never Mix
This might seem the most obvious one, but most cases of electrocution are direct results of electrical appliances close to water outlets – kitchens, outdoor sockets, garages, and washrooms especially. Keep appliances as far from the taps and showers, constantly check the wiring in such parts of the house, don’t multitask with things like your hair curler and washing your hands and immediately get outlets tested if the tap or any pipes give you a shock when you touch them.
DIY Isn’t Always The Answer
If the problem seems to persist and is more than your normal wear and tear, it is best to hand over to a professional electrician and in such situations, you should refrain from repairing your own wiring. Large numbers of electrical fires are likely to be caused by faulty repairs. By handing it over to the professional, you become risk-free and it is cost effective in the longer run.
Overloading The Electrical Wiring
To help prevent power outages, make sure there are not too many appliances plugged into one circuit. Overloading is one of the widespread problems of any wiring issue. When you have too many outlets working at once that exceeds your wattage consumption, the components heat up, causing your breakers to trip or spark up. So it is prudent to know which appliances are power hungry.
All’s Well Which Ends Well!
Electrical systems should be maintained well in its entirety – outlets, cords, trip breakers, circuit box, and bulbs amongst other things – and should be replaced if they show signs of malfunction.
Bulbs are especially prone to malfunction, especially when their wattage doesn’t match that of the outlet. Open outlets are dangerous, make sure that such ones are sealed and are untouched by seepage.
Do not disregard the wattage consumption, which is a common problem with bulbs. By putting high wattage consumption bulbs, it would increase your bills and cause the bulb to burn out faster, also causing the base to heat up and in turn risking a fire.
While you are getting your home checked for faulty wiring, you should also check the wiring outdoors, in the attic and the basement. These are places that you might forget to get checked and unattended, they could cause greater damage.
Home Warranty And Added Benefits
Even with all the steps above, maintaining the entire home’s wiring can be a task – making home warranty a worthy investment, especially during the winter season. Similar to insurance but a lot more specific in nature, Home Warranty takes care of repair and replacement of your appliances and wiring systems, amongst other things.
Repair and maintenance as a task as well as a financial burden can kill the joy of being a homeowner. The responsibilities only pile up, however trivial the task may seem, and keeping track of servicing and fixing is never easy. Taking care of both regular maintenance as well as problem-solving when your electrical system may hit a snag, Home Warranty can be life changing when it comes to the keep up of your home’s electrical wiring and appliances.
In a typical Home Warranty scheme, central air conditioning and heating systems, all appliances however big or small in your kitchen, washer and dryer of both clothes and vessels, entire electrical systems, plumbing systems, leaks, and seepages are covered for all levels of repair and replacement. Nevertheless, it is a good idea for you to do some pre-research before signing the papers!
There are a few simple ways you can get a hang of how Home Warranty works, what it covers, whether or not you need it and what plan will suit you best. Besides asking for recommendations from friends and family, reading up on consumer research based websites can give you not only a clear understanding of what you are getting into, but also substantiate the information with honest reviews from consumers.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com is one such site, giving you a comprehensive list of reviews from users across the country – many of which are specific to the laws of each state. The buying and selling of a house and all the laws that go with it are essential to follow when it comes to such procedures, making it tricky if you land up getting into a deal which doesn’t go hand in hand with the policies of the state.
The website also brings you a Home Maintenance Calculator to help you understand the expenditure your home will require in the long run, as well as awards and ratings of different companies, across the country.
Here are few tips that will help you maintain your home electrical wiring:
- Routine Check
- Mixing of Water and Electricity should be avoided
- Use Branded and certificate products
- Avoid Overloading
- Replacing the damaged wiring
Cooper wiring can last anything between 40-100 years or more. Modern PVC wires can last up to 70 years. However, what’s important to keep in mind is that although the wires might last for years, the insulation around the wires deteriorates sooner. The lifespan of the wiring is also dependent on the electrical systems.
Here’s When to Replace Electrical Wiring. Here are some signs to watch for that show it’s time to replace your home’s electrical wiring: Your home is 30 or more years old. In any home built before 1985, electrical wiring could be old and outdated.
Electricians offer the following services:
- Maintenance and repair of existing electrical systems
- Electrical Upgrades
- Installation of lighting fixtures, fittings, fans
- Outside/Landscape lighting
- Modernization of electrical installations in old structures
- Code Violation Repairs/home sale inspection repairs
The cost to rewire a small house would typically run between $1,500 and $3,000. If you have a moderate-sized home and easy access for the electrician to work on your system, rewiring would likely cost between $3,500 and $8,000, depending on materials and labor.
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