How to Tell When You Need to Rewire Your Home

Your home’s wiring will probably tell you when you need to seriously consider rewiring. If you have persistent, pervasive problems with your electricity throughout your home, rather than just in one room or another, then your whole wiring system may be struggling to keep up with your demands.

There are quite a few warning signs that your wiring can’t keep up with you. Some are obvious, some are a little more subtle. You don’t need to have all of the following issues for something to be wrong. The more you have, however, the more likely that your wiring just isn’t working for you any more. Outdated, worn, or ineffective wiring can be dangerous, so if you notice any of the following issues, call EarlyBird for a rewiring inspection right away:

Your home is over 70 years old and still uses original wiring

This will always be the first thing we suggest you look for. If your home’s wiring is over 70 years old, then it’s outdated and almost certainly inadequate for your current needs. Your original wiring may even be outdated knob and tube wiring or ineffective and wear-prone aluminum wiring, both of which were popular before home electrical installers knew better. Even if it isn’t, however, old wiring systems aren’t set up to handle contemporary electrical needs.

If you’re unsure about how old or outdated your wiring is, there are a couple of ways to tell. Do your bathrooms and kitchens have GFCI outlets? Are your outlets three prong or two? Do you have to use several power strips in order to plug in all of your electrical devices? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you probably need to consider rewiring to better suit your needs.

Your circuits trip constantly

A tripped circuit doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong. Circuit breakers exist to protect your home’s wiring from excess voltage it can’t handle. This can happen naturally occasionally as the result of short circuits or surges. Unfortunately, however, that means if your circuits trip all the time, it’s because they’re taking on more voltage than your system can handle… all the time. The most likely reason that’s happening is because you’re inadvertently asking too much of your system.

If the same circuit trips constantly, then the answer may be simpler than whole home rewiring. If possible, try redistributing your electrical fixtures. Spread them out over multiple outlets (and therefore circuits) to help lessen the load on the overloaded circuit. If several of your circuits trip constantly, however, you may have a more serious problem. Your wiring could be shorting out or could be overloaded through the system. In either case, it has become dangerous and should be repaired or replaced.

Outlets overheat, smoke, or burn, or appear discolored

Speaking of dangerous! We probably don’t need to tell you that if your outlets are smoking or burning, that’s a bad sign. You should also watch for melting plastic components or any discoloration of the face plate. If your outlets are burning, smoking, or melting, it’s because the wiring inside them is overheating. This can happen for a couple of reasons, but they’re all bad news as to the overall health of your wiring.

Aged or overworked wires get hotter than they should. Over time, this heat may wear down the connective covers between your outlets and the wires supplying them. When they wear down enough, these covers could strip away completely and reveal the bare wires beneath. These wires spark, smoke, or burn away at the outlet and faceplate, creating the heat you see and feel. These wires can smoke, spark, or even contact one another, which is very dangerous. If your outlets are warm or smoking, call a professional for rewiring right away.

Your lights dim or flicker constantly

Do your lights flicker constantly in use? Do all or some of your lights dim when you turn on “too many?” What about if you turn on the tv? Is it a constant struggle to get your lights to produce enough light, even when you up the wattage on the bulbs? Do your bulbs burn out much faster than they’re supposed to? If any of these things is true of your home, the problem may be with your wiring.

Lights often dim or flicker when they aren’t receiving enough voltage from your electrical system. They may not receive enough because there’s simply not enough to give, especially when you’re using other devices. That’s not a “you” problem, however; it simply means your wiring isn’t suitable for your home or needs anymore. Similarly, bulbs tend to burn out faster when the wires supplying them aren’t working correctly. Like outlets, they can overheat and spark. Rewiring can solve both problems.

Keep in mind: it’s difficult to know for sure if you need whole home rewiring without a professional’s help. If you have one or more of these issues, however, we highly recommend you schedule an inspection ASAP. Even if your wiring doesn’t have to be replaced completely, there’s certainly something wrong with your system.

Don’t panic; EarlyBird is here to help. No matter what your issue ends up being, our experts can diagnose it and fix it quickly and efficiently. Whether you just have a question or you need whole home rewiring asap, EarlyBird is the place to call. Every time.