Monday, 15 June 2020 08:00

Why Do Electrical Wires Wear Out?

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Electrical wiring may be one of the most vital things in your home. It brings power to everything, from your lights to your morning coffee. With the wires being tucked into walls and so rarely seen, it is also probably one of the aspects of your home that you think about least. However, when something goes wrong – maybe a flickering light or a burning smell – you may begin to wonder if electrical wires wear out and need quality electrical repair.

How Long Does Electrical Wiring Last?

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the copper in the electrical wiring in your home can last more than 100 years. However, the outer protective sheathing is what determines how quickly the wiring will wear down. Depending on the sheathing, electrical wiring typically lasts 50 to 70 years. Some things can affect the deterioration process, such as:

  • Exposure to UV light
  • Exposure to heat
  • Chemicals
  • Excessive flexing
  • Attack by pests such as termites or rodents
  • Installation

Warning Signs of Electrical System Deterioration

While your electrical system in your home is one of the most beneficial systems in your house, it can also be one of the most dangerous if not properly maintained. It is imperative to keep an eye on your electrical wiring to ensure it is safe and operating at full capacity. There are some key indications that your electrical wiring system may be wearing out or unsafe, including:

  • Breakers Trip More Often
  • Blown Fuses on a Regular Basis or More Easily
  • Dimming or Flickering Lights
  • Light Tingling Sensasion When You Touch A Wall Switch or Appliance
  • Burning Smell When Lights or Appliances Are On
  • Discolored Outlets or Switches

Dangers of Worn Out Electrical Wires

All electrical systems will deteriorate with age needing new electrical installation from time to time. The location, amount of use and upkeep will impact how quickly the system in your home will wear out. Worn out wiring can lead to electrical safety issues such as arcing, electrical fires or electrical shock. Some electrical systems may wear out quicker or pose more of threat in your home. Here are a few things to keep in mind in your home.

  • Wiring installed before the mid-1960s may be insulated with rubber. We now know that rubber deteriorates over time, crumbling after becoming hard or brittle, which can expose live wiring.
  • Many homes built in the 1920s through 1950s may have knob-and-tube wiring, an outdated system that insurance may want you to replace with a safer alternative before they’ll insure your home.
  • Two-conductor wiring, common in homes from the 1950s-60s, does not have the ground wire that is necessary for safety and many common appliances. This system is generally thought to be too small for modern living.
  • Aluminum wiring, used primarily in the 1960s and 1970s, was inexpensive but created safety issues when connections loosened over time.

What to do if Your Wiring is Worn Out

Electricity is one of our greatest inventions, but it can also be deadly when not managed safely. If you are concerned about the health or safety of the electrical wiring in your home, contact a trained professional such as the team at Central Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical to inspect the wiring in your building.

The team at Central Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical is an established Kalispell business, trusted by our customers. Our team of electricians provides the most comprehensive and trusted electrical repair solutions. Before any repair work starts, our customers know the exact cost of the work; the price quoted at the beginning is the price you pay, with all work and satisfaction guaranteed. Contact our team today to get started.

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