Most people want to believe that their home's electrical system is safe. Unfortunately, though, electrical inspections performed at the time of a new home purchase have revealed shocking shortcuts and safety violations. Even if your inspection didn't reveal anything, there could still be problems lurking behind the walls where the inspectors couldn't see. For this reason, it's vital that you keep an eye open for issues any time you open a wall or do a DIY project around the house. Following are four electrical problems you should watch out for.
Knob and Tube Wiring
Whenever you uncover knob and tube wiring, you have to replace it. This wiring was used from the early 1900s to the 1950s, and is often found in older homes that haven't been updated. Even homes with new electrical panels can still have knob and tube wiring within the walls. The real danger with knob and tube wiring is that it becomes more of a safety hazard with time. The wires aren't capable of handling today's electrical loads, and the insulation can disintegrate over time.
Aluminum wiring was used in the 1960s and 1970s. Aluminum wiring oxidizes and corrodes easier than modern copper wires, which can result in a fire. If you suspect that you have aluminum wiring, you should have it inspected and updated appropriately.
When opening up a wall, you may find junction boxes buried behind the drywall. They're not supposed to be there, and they can start a fire. All junction boxes and housing fixtures should be exposed or mounted where they are accessible. In older homes, some people remove a light fixture and simply drywall over the housing. If you find anything that looks suspicious, call an electrician.
Taped wires and wires that are cut off should not be in your walls. If you find anything that doesn't go somewhere or isn't capped off properly, you should have an electrician address it. Live and hot wires can easily cause fires if they come into contact with a combustible material, such as insulation.
If you have any electrical concerns regarding your home, do not be afraid to ask for a professional opinion such as KNEC Inspection Services. Do not assume that your electrical was installed correctly. To put your mind at ease, you may want to have an inspection performed each time you open a wall. Depending on the scope of your project, an inspection may even be required.Share