Electricity is a vital part of your home. It operates appliances and provides light and heat. But due to its invisibility, electricity is often taken for granted. Many people never even consider getting their electrical wiring systems checked until something goes wrong.
Yet the consequences of continuing to use faulty or worn-out wiring can result in fire. However you can keep your home and family safe through quick and inexpensive routine maintenance.
How Your Electrical Wiring Deteriorates
Whenever you switch on your electricity, it immediately becomes active. It travels along the wires through millions of electrons that form electricity. They are hauled along the wire by an electromagnetic field. But as each electron moves, it can’t help colliding with the atoms that make up the wiring itself. Every collision produces kinetic energy that is released as heat. The longer the electricity flows, the more heat is produced. It’s this heat that gradually damages the wires and can set them on fire.
Signs You Need an Inspection
As your electrical wiring deteriorates, it provides you with clues that something is not quite right. To begin with, an appliance might not work as efficiently as usual. But in many cases, people blame the gadget and never think of their household wiring. Here are the main signs that your electrical circuitry is failing:
- Excessive heat coming from an appliance
- A sensation of tingling when touching sockets or appliances
- Low humming noise when using an electrical outlet
- Outlet is discoloured
- Burning aroma near an outlet
- Lamps flicker or produce low light levels
- Circuit breaker trips for no apparent reason
Reasons why Routine Electrical Maintenance is Important
By the time any warning signs are noticeable, your wiring may have been deteriorating for a long time. A serious fault can even occur without warning. Electricity is extremely dangerous if it’s out of control and can cause the following:
The heat from the electricity traveling along the wires can set on fire. This can easily spread to the rest of the surrounding area before you’re aware of what’s happening. It’s always sensible to have a hard-wired smoke detector installed to warn of an impending fire. It’s an inexpensive piece of equipment that can save your life. But what if faulty wiring affects its reliability? By having your circuit regularly checked, you’re helping to protect your home and family from all types of fire.
As your household wiring deteriorates, it can be harmful in several ways. It can send an electric shock to anyone touching a socket or even an appliance. The system can also overheat or become overloaded and cause a complete failure. When this happens unexpectedly, it’s not only a huge inconvenience, but it’s also very expensive to correct. With routine maintenance checks, you’re protecting your family while staying in control of your system and expenditure.
When your electricity supply is down, it may take days to fix. Imagine how uncomfortable your home might be without hot water, heating or air conditioning. All the food you have stored in your refrigerator will defrost and be ruined. It’s an additional expense you can do without. If you’re working remotely from home, you’ll be unable to complete assignments leading to an even greater loss of money. Regular maintenance means your daily life is less likely to be disrupted by power failure.
Areas Checked during Maintenance Inspection
A routine electrical inspection must be carried out by a fully qualified electrician. A reputable company is aware of the current regulations and is competent at checking the circuitry of your home. A routine electrical check usually lasts for one or two hours, but if your home is large, it could take longer. These are some of the issues that will be inspected:
Main Panel and Circuit Breaker
The panel supervises the whole circuit. Any signs of scorching could indicate a problem. Circuit breakers are saving lives every day. Ensuring your circuit breaker is working properly is vital in keeping you safe. It’s a valuable component as it cuts the power to an appliance if any fault is detected. This is particularly important when you’re using hand-held power tools.
During the inspection, your electrician will check items such as electrical sockets or outlets, light switches, extractor fans and smoke alarms around your home. An electrician will quickly identify worn wiring, signs of scorching and faulty switches. It’s an opportunity to fix loose wires and check for safety compliance.
An electrician may recommend you have additional sockets installed to accommodate the number of appliances you use. Overloading a circuit often results in power outages, electrical surges or damage to an appliance.
Outdated Wiring and Home Insurance
One of the oldest electrical circuits is known as Knob-and-Tube Wiring. It was installed in homes from the 1920s to the 1950s. As the wires of a circuit ran throughout the house, they were attached to ceramic knobs to prevent them from encountering joists and ceiling panels. Surprisingly, some homes still have this antiquated method in place, even though it’s a known fire hazard. New electrical systems are much safer.
However, you’re unlikely to find an insurer who will agree to pay for a claim in the event of a fire even if this type of wiring wasn’t actually at fault. Many homeowners aren’t even aware of which type of wiring they have or how many amateurs have adapted it. But if your wiring is older than twenty-five years, it should be replaced to ensure it has all the safety features of today’s systems.
Electrical wiring that hasn’t been checked for a long time is a fire hazard. Each wire becomes hot during use causing it to deteriorate. The effect can even impact your appliances, prompting them to be inefficient and short-lived. Routine electrical inspections should become an important part of your home maintenance plan. Through regular inspections, problems can be corrected with small, inexpensive repairs, avoiding the costly interruption of a serious fault. An electrical inspection by a fully qualified, registered electrician is the only way you can make sure your wiring is safe.