Signs That Your Home's Wiring Might Be in Trouble

Posted on: 18 August 2020

Like most people, you probably rely upon your home's circuit breaker to let you know when something is wrong with your wiring. It's pretty reliable, as there's usually something wrong with your electricity when your home cuts it off. But this is not the only indication that something is amiss with your home's wiring. What are some of the other signs that can point out a potentially serious issue with your home's electrical wiring?

Multiple Trips

Isolated incidents of your circuit breaker tripping are nothing to be concerned about. You generally just reset the breaker and that should be the end of the matter. But when the breaker trips repeatedly, then there's likely to be a wiring issue that is overloading your system, requiring electrical repairs. 

Flickering Lights

Additionally, flickering lights can indicate fluctuation in the supplied voltage in your wiring, meaning that your electrical system is struggling to regulate the voltage. Such fluctuation can be experienced by various electrical appliances in your home, but your lights are generally the easiest to spot. You should unplug a few appliances to reduce your chances of overloading your home's circuitry, but this is only a temporary stopgap, and you will still need to have your wiring professionally inspected.

A Touch Test

You can perform a touch test on your electrical outlets — and this is most reliable when an appliance is plugged in and operating. You shouldn't prod at the outlets themselves but gently touch the wall directly around the outlet. Does it feel excessively warm to the touch? This is potentially hazardous and indicates that your wiring is under a great deal of strain.

Discoloured Walls

When an outlet feels warm, you should also inspect the paint or wallpaper. Has it become discoloured? This can indicate that the issue is more serious than you thought since the wiring is consistently hot to the point that it has begun to affect its immediate surroundings.

A Burning Smell

Additionally, a burning smell that cannot be attributed to anything else can mean that your wiring has overheated and is burning the interior of your walls. This is extremely dangerous. Although it does not conclusively mean that there is an active fire inside your walls, this is a real possibility. If you should notice this, manually trip your circuit breaker, and call the fire department if you suspect that there might be an invisible fire inside your walls.

Your home's wiring won't last forever, and it's absolutely crucial to be aware of the signs that your wiring requires professional assessment and electrical repairs.