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How to Deal with Unsafe Electrical Wiring in Your Home

Electrical outlet overloaded with extension cords and adapters. Electricity safety, fire hazard and circuit overload concept

We all would like to think we can handle any DIY project, but anything related to your home’s wiring should be left to the professionals. This is especially true when you’re dealing with unsafe wiring. There are simply too many things that can go wrong and too many safety hazards to contend with. While you should contact a licensed electrician to take care of any unsafe electrical wiring, you’ll still need to know how to recognize an electrical problem and when to contact a professional.

Causes of Unsafe Wiring

First of all, let’s go over some of the reasons why your wiring might not be safe. These include loose wiring, frayed cords, damaged insulation, or damaged appliances. Your wiring may also be unsafe if it was installed before 1960. Wires made before this time had rubber insulation that could crumble or flake away. Electrical systems built before this time might also not be equipped to handle a modern home and can be overloaded.

When to Contact an Electrician

You should contact a licensed electrician as soon as possible if you notice the above signs or if you think your older wiring could pose a problem. You should also be on the lookout for signs of a short circuit. This will most likely cause a light or an appliance to shut off unexpectedly. You might also see a spark or smell of burning wires. If this happens, check your circuit breakers to see which switches are flipped and inspect the wires around the light or appliance for damage. You can usually prevent this from happening again by avoiding the outlet connected to the broken circuit or simply by not plugging in as many appliances or electronics into the outlet. If it keeps happening, you might have a bigger problem that will require serious repairs.

Making Simple Adjustments

If you feel like you know enough about wiring to fix a small problem by yourself, make sure that any wiring or outlets you adjust are firmly in place. Loose wiring is one of the reasons why your electrical system may not be safe. If you aren’t confident enough to do this or you notice any other issues, do not attempt to fix anything yourself. Avoid using any appliances or outlets that frequently overheat or short out until you can contact an electrical company to fix the problem.