Monday, November 24, 2014

Old Wiring: Is It Safe?

Faulty wiring is the leading cause of residential fires. Old wiring in your home may not be inherently dangerous, but if it’s not up to code it can be hazardous. If your house was built over 40 years ago, consider replacing your electrical wiring. Here’s what you need to know about residential wiring systems:


Knob and Tube
This system, including a hot wire and a neutral wire, is known as the earliest residential wiring system. Ceramic knobs anchor the wires to the house framing and ceramic tubes are used where wires cross or penetrate the framing.

Soldered connections can melt if too much current passes through. Insulation can cause this wiring system to overheat.

Armored Cable (Bx)
Bx cable is a flexible steel sheath that covers hot and neutral wires. The sheath provides a grounded receptacle so retrofitting is easy.

Sheath must be anchored securely to a metal outlet box and should be checked every couple of years. It degrades over time and can become a problem if too much current flows through the circuit.

Two-Wire Plastic-Sheathed Cable
This system consists of an early PVC-insulated (Romex) wire. The plastic is easily damaged and grounded receptacles cannot be retrofitted to this wire.

Warning Signs of Old Wiring
  • Breaker trips frequently
  • Tingling sensation when you touch a wall switch or appliance
  • Lights flicker or dim
  • Discolored outlets and switch plates

For more information on old wiring and the dangers that come along with it, check out this article from This Old House.

Don’t fall victim to a residential fire due to old wiring in your home. To find out if your wiring system is up to code, give GEN3 Electric a call today! Our professional electricians will make sure your wiring is safe and can install new wiring if your home’s wiring system needs an upgrade.

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