Danger: Electrical Problems Common in Older Homes

If you live in an older home, you know they’re often filled with quirky attributes – some of them not so charming. Case in point: many older homes have electrical problems that aren’t just annoying, they’re downright dangerous.

Sometimes it’s OK to rely on our own gumption to save money. But if you think you’re in over your head – you probably are. Sometimes you have to decide between saving a few bucks and possibly saving a life.

If you read testimonials from people having electrical troubles with older homes, the issue is almost always related to old electrical wiring:

1 Plug Falls Out of Receptacle – If your outlets don’t seem to be holding plugs very well or if they fit loosely, they should be replaced immediately.

2 Too Few Outlets, Too Many Cords & Strips – Not having enough outlets leads us to rely on extension cords and power strips. Hire a residential electrician to add more outlets, as this is a job for a professional electrical contractor.

3 Ungrounded Receptacles – Replace three-pronged plugs with two-pronged plugs to avoid electrical shock and unsafe conditions (where there is no ground wire). Installing a ground fault circuit interrupter provides additional shock protection.

4 Overlamping – A light fixture’s bulb has a higher wattage than the fixture is designed to accommodate. For all fixtures made since the mid-1980s, use bulbs within the limits listed. For unmarked fixtures, use 60-watt or smaller bulbs.

5 Uncovered Junction Box – A junction box houses the splices that connect wires. If left exposed, you could get shocked or damage the wires. A new cover is an easy, inexpensive fix.

6 Lights Flickering When It’s Windy – Frayed wiring in the outdoor fitting (where overhead cables from the power line come into the house) causes a short whenever the cables move. Your electric utility may replace the fitting, called a weatherhead, for no charge.

Gary Houston Electric Co.’s residential electricians are highly skilled in wiring and rewiring, new construction, additions and remodels, planning and design, and interior and exterior lighting.

Call us today at (501) 375-8330, or click here for more information.