Anyone that buys an older home knows that homeownership often comes with a lot of work. Repairs, redecorating, and refinishing walls and floors are part of the package when buying an older house. The one thing that you may not consider is your electrical system. Before you bought your home, you likely did a minimal electrical inspection to ensure that all of your lights and switches worked properly. Even if everything seems in order, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues lurking just under the surface.
Older electrical systems should be inspected by professionals before you move in. In the same way that you would devote time to research the best homeowner’s insurance quote, it’s recommended that you do your research before you hire a trusted electrical contractor. If you notice any of these smaller signs that your electrical panel needs to be updated, it’s time to call an electrical contractor.
When you turn your lights on and off, you might notice that the switches feel warm to the touch. This could mean that you have an electrical overload to that switch. As the power is transferred to that switch when you turn it on, it can generate a small amount of heat. Faulty switches or overloaded circuits can draw more electricity than they can handle, causing your switch to get hot. This excess heat can lead to a deterioration of your wiring and even a fire.
The breakers in your electrical panel are there to prevent an overload. If the panel senses an overload, it will automatically trip the breaker to avoid any damage. This safety system is in place for a reason so it’s not unusual to have the occasional breaker trip. However, if you are getting breaker trips regularly, it could mean there is a problem with your wiring.
Newer appliances could be drawing more power than your original panel was designed to handle and is causing a trip. If this is happening, it’s good to update your panel to handle the extra load.
If you notice flickering or dimming lights in your home, you don’t need to panic. If there is flickering in just one room, it could end up being just a faulty bulb. If the flickering occurs when your HVAC system turns on, it could be due to a significant draw on the network. Problems occur when you start to see flickering lights throughout your entire home or neighborhood when there aren’t any other apparent draws on your power. This flickering could indicate either a problem with your panel or with the local power lines.
If you spot a charring mark or intense yellowing on your outlets that can’t be wiped away, you already have a problem. These marks indicate a buildup of extreme heat, sparks, or even a small fire. If you have any discolored or soot-stained outlets, you need to stop using them at once and call in an electrician for an inspection.
Most homeowners take their electrical systems for granted. If everything seems to be working in order, much consideration isn’t given until it is too late. If you notice any of these subtle signs, it’s time to talk to a professional about having your electrical panel updated.
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