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The Dangers of Old Electrical Wiring Every Homeowner Needs to Know

How to Determine If Your Home Needs an Electrical Service Panel Upgrade - Part One by Add On Electric 505-804-9534

Yes, old wiring can start a fire. During our inspections of older Albuquerque houses, this is a question we get asked all the time. When there is old wiring or outdated electrical systems, there is a risk that there will be a fire because of this type of wiring. A fire in your house is the worst thing you can think about. Not only could such a disaster put your and your family’s lives in danger, but the material consequences can be devastatingly steep, too. There is no doubt that this is true for your business and your employees’ safety.

Many people don’t pay attention to them. “Out of sight, out of mind.” But, in our technologically advanced world, do you ever think about the energy and infrastructure that power so much of what we do?

What do we do and enjoy at work and home?

Many of us take our cars to the shop for regular maintenance because it makes us safer in everyday things. Likewise, making sure that your home’s electrical system is in good shape is both smart and cost-effective.

Putting together a list of things that could cause fires

Use this list to learn how to keep your home or business safe from electricity. If your home or business isn’t very new, some of these fire hazards are lurking. If you’re not sure about any of the following, we think you’ll agree that getting help from a licensed electrician is worth it.

Knob and Tube Wiring

You may be living with “knob and tube” wiring if you own a home from the 1800s or a building from the 1800s. There are knob insulators that hold the copper conductors in place as they run through holes drilled into walls and ceilings. Porcelain tubes are used to fill the holes. Unfortunately, there is only one insulation on this type of wiring, which means it can be damaged or become dangerous over time.

Old Insulation on Wire

A knob and tube system are not the only type of system that doesn’t have a lot of insulation. We all eventually get old and break down. Wiring, too, will eventually deteriorate and break down. It doesn’t matter if mice eat them, nails are hammered into the walls haphazardly, or the insulation on the wires breaks down. This leaves exposed wires that can cause sparks and fires.

Poorly Modified Wiring

Today, the rules for doing wiring work are much stricter than in the past. As a result of years of DIY projects, the electrical health of many older buildings and homes is not as good as it should be. Often, the wiring will show signs of being changed over time by people trying to fix things quickly and don’t have the right training. The older the building, the more likely that faulty wiring or bad connections have found their way into it. Buzzing, flickering, or dimming lights, as well as burn marks around outlets, are things that should never be ignored.

Low Amp Wiring

When you think about how quickly technology has progressed, think about how many things we have in our homes now than we did before. Is our wiring up to date? On the other hand, older wiring is often rated for less power than what today’s appliances need. As a result, the circuits could get too full, which could start a fire, so this could happen.

Outdated electrical design

We love old buildings, but you’re just not up to date with what’s going on now. DIY patchwork and other age-related hazards aren’t the only things that can cause fires in older electrical systems. The overall design of these systems can also be a problem. Electrical codes and standards have changed significantly over the years, so even if your home or business passed an inspection today, it probably wouldn’t be safe enough to live in or run.


Replace extension cords where they are used all the time and have a professional electrician run new wiring to more receptacles, too.

Replace all switches and receptacles that are broken. Any loose outlets should also be fixed and any that don’t work. This is more likely to happen when cords are constantly plugged in and out, like, at the kitchen counter. Because of a loose connection, an arc could happen. An electric cord should not be able to be pulled out of any outlet that doesn’t make any noise.

It would help if you got a new 200-amp electric panel.

If you don’t have the money to change the electrical panel, another way to protect yourself is to replace the circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters. These stop dangerous electrical arcs before they can start a fire. They look for unusual sparks and stop them before they can start a fire.

It’s important to have an experienced electrician check your electrical system.

It’s important to call a professional if you notice any signs of an electrical problem in your home or business, like lights blinking or appliances that don’t work right.

Don’t let the thought of old wiring scare you away from buying a house that’s been around for a while. They are usually in very desirable places. One of our licensed Vancouver electricians will do a full electrical inspection of the home, especially if the house has knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring. This will give you the most accurate report on the state of the electrical system. As soon as you buy the house, make sure to do any recommended electrical safety upgrades.

Rewiring services in the Albuquerque NM metro-area. Add On Electric checks old house wiring repairs it, and rewires it, among other things. So, if you live in an older house, give us a call, and we can help you. We can check the wiring for you to make sure there aren’t any hidden fire hazards, and we can fix any problems we find so that you, your home, and your family are all safe. That kind of peace of mind is worth a lot.

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