Proper rewiring is strongly recommended in many old properties. By doing so, you keep your loved ones safe and free from accidents or injuries of any kind. Even though it is an expensive process , if well planned and carried out, it may take decades before dealing with similar issues.
Rewiring means replacing old electrical cables that are or might burn, switches, receptacles, consumer units and even light fixtures with new ones. Depending on the age and the type of building, an entire rewiring may not be necessary.
Which types of faults in old houses?
Old houses used to experience the following faults :
- Corroded cables. They are identified by their discoloration. Moisture and humidity are the 02 principal sources of this discoloration. Once the wire is wet or humid, a corrosion takes place. corroded cables don’t have good conductive properties and lead to voltage and current flow degradation. This is why it is crucial to fix this type of issue as soon as possible. While an electrician can perfectly do this job, this guide explains in details how to tackle it on your own. However only do that if you have done similar work in the past. It is also important to differentiate a corroded cable from an oxidized one. Indeed, a cable get oxidized when it is exposed to oxygen not to humidity or moisture. The previous guide also help to clean it.
- Tripped circuits breakers, blown fuses or flickering lights . A Circuit breaker is made to trip and shut the power off whenever the system is overloaded. However, if it trips frequently, there’s a deeper problem in your wiring . Unfortunately ,This type of issue is very common in old houses. Indeed, the protective devices installed in these properties were not designed to keep up with modern usages. For Do-it yourselfers This article can be of great help :fix a circuit breaker that keeps tripping . But know your zone of comfort and if the problem persists, let an electrician solve it. Flickering lights On the other hand result from old and bad wiring. If lights flicker only when you plug an appliance in, there is nothing to worry about. Just unplug that appliance , wait few seconds ,turn the lamp on and continue with your tasks.
- Buzzing sound : It comes from electrical outlets and switches. It is a sign of bad , damaged or aged wiring. A buzzing sound describes a loose connection in the circuit . It is likely to happen in old properties where old outlets cannot longer hold plugs properly. The corresponding outlet or switch will surely be hot to the touch. This is simply because a loose electrical connection produces heat. Such heat comes from the power dissipated by the resistance of loose connections when a current passes through them. You may want to fix this issue on your own and if it is the case, then consider these 02 options. Replace the outlet by a new one( especially if that one was buzzing too) or tighten the connections. You can also check this article.
- Burning smell: when an electrical cable start burning inside a switch or socket, your home is in danger of an electrical fire. If you are lucky enough to smell it early , take serious issues. Locate the exact receptacle the odor is coming from. Once you’ve found it, disconnect the electrical supply and unplug the appliances connected to that receptacle. Such situation can lead to fatal lesions and even death. A buzzing sound and burning smell are inextricably linked.
Why to rewire an old property:
- It is more than 30 years old.
Such houses won’t necessary comply with current regulations. They were set at 60 or 100 amps rather than the 200 amps needed today.
Proper earthing installations were not made that time. Which is strongly recommended today in order to avoid problems related to current leakage and over voltages. The methods used for wiring (the Knob and tubes for example) did not have any ground conductor .
Aluminium cables that were used many decades ago have been replaced by copper. Copper offer good advantages today due to its properties. It reduces the number of joints found with aluminium cables, dissipates less heat and limits the risk of system failures.
- If you plan to make a partial renovation.
These are some questions to consider when rewiring your old house:
- Do you plan to work yourself or hire an electrician? Depending on your skills , you may decide to carry the work on your own. Many homeowners do that and you should give it a try. It is not a difficult task but you should be assisted by a skilled electrician . This article is a good introduction in that process. On the other hand, if you plan to hire an electrician, then look for the best. find the perfect electrician for your work.
- What is your budget ? No project can be properly done without cost estimates . How much do you want to invest? It is crucial to do that in order to avoid financial mishaps along the way. A well detailed article on costs involved in rewiring is found here.
- When do you plan to start?This is what to consider:
- Your temporary location during the work : where will you be living during the work and for how long? It’s definitively not safe to live at the workplace .
- The period: how long does it takes to finish the job.
- Your future electrical needs: Do you plan to run ethernet cables on your entire building for uninterrupted wifi for example? It is crucial to think ahead about your future needs. If you plan to install an air conditioner then talk with your electrician as soon as possible.
It is important to know which details are relevant and how to carry the work out. Otherwise, you will be left with an unfinished work and even fail the inspection.
Rewiring should be taken seriously. You should have a qualified electrician handle wiring issues and repairs . This smart decision is of paramount importance if you want your home’s wiring problems being diagnosed and fixed in no time.