Your home's electrical wiring is one of the least visible yet most essential systems to facilitate a comfortable modern life. In fact, your electrical contractor may have told you that if the wiring is incorrectly installed, insufficient, or damaged, your home systems can malfunction and you can even be at risk of electrical hazards.
Here are some of the ways that old, outdated wiring can cause electrical hazards inside your walls.
1. Creating An Arc Fault
An arc fault can occur inside your walls for a number of reasons. In many cases, the arc can be partially or totally due to an unsafe wiring practice or product used in the past, worn-out wiring connections, or some other issue related to the age of your wiring system. Arc faults can be very dangerous, as they can cause sparks and start a fire without your knowledge.
2. Attracting Pest Damage
Some types of antique wiring have different insulation than is typically used for more modern wiring. In some cases, you could even have wiring in your home that uses cloth-based insulation. This type of product can increase the chances that pests (including rodents and cockroaches) will try to snack on your wiring's insulation.
Since many house fires are caused by rodents electrocuting themselves on wiring, this possibility isn't something to take lightly.
3. Corroding and Fatiguing
Some types of older wiring, such as single strand aluminum, may more easily experience corrosion and metal fatigue. And any older electrical wiring, even if it's not necessarily more susceptible to corrosion, has had more time to develop a corrosion problem simply due to its age and the length of time it's been in service.
Corroded wiring or fatigued wiring may not conduct electricity well, which can increase the chances of overheating and starting a fire inside your walls.
4. Providing Low Capacity
Older wiring systems that haven't been updated typically have lower capacity, with fewer circuits, fewer outlets, and even thinner wires. Because of this fact, an older wiring system can be much easier to accidentally overload. An overloaded wiring system can be an electrical hazard because it's more likely to experience problems such as overheating, which can cause fires.
5. Using Unsafe Outlets
Since it's one of the most accessible parts of your home's wiring, a malfunctioning electrical outlet could very easily provide a risk of direct personal injury such as electrical shock. Homes build more than a few decades ago could have outlets without any modern safety protections such as ground fault circuit interruption (GFCI) or even grounding.
As you can see, an older wiring system isn't just another quirk of an antique house. Instead, the older wiring is a known hazard that should be updated as soon as possible for safety reasons. Get in touch with your electric contractors, like those at Gotto Electric and other businesses, today to learn more.