10 Home Wiring Problems

Posted On: March 25, 2016

Electrical wiring problems in the home can not only cause functional issues with your lighting or electronics, but can also be a real safety hazard as well. A wiring problem could cause an electric shock or could result in the outbreak of a fire if it’s not repaired as soon as it is discovered.

10 Common Electrical Wiring Problems

The following are ten of the most common home wiring problems you should look out for:

  1. Backstabbed wiring – Backstabbed wiring occurs when wires are pushed in the back, thereby making them more likely to become loose. This is more typical on newer switches and receptacles than older.
  2. Corroded aluminum wiring – Another home wiring problem is corroded aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring was used back in the 1960’s and 1970’s as a cheap alternative to copper wiring. Aluminum wiring should be replaced because it corrodes when it comes into contact with copper in turn causing loose connections that can result in arcing (when sparks fly through the air from one wire to another), which is the main cause of electrical fires.
  3. Overlamping – Overlamping occurs when one of your light fixtures contains a light bulb that has a higher wattage than what the fixture is designed for. This is actually incredibly dangerous as the heat of the bulb can cause the socket and insulation of the wires to melt, in turn causing sparking.
  4. Ungrounded receptacles – This means that the wiring can’t safely conduct stray currents that escape the confines of the wires. This can be extremely dangerous if you try to use an adapter to fit a three-prong plug into a two-prong receptacle.
  5. Flickering lights – Flickering lights are a common home wiring problem and usually mean that there is a poor connection along the circuit. If lights throughout the home are flickering, it means there’s an issue with your main wire connection.
  6. Flickering lights in windy weather – If your lights only flicker when it’s windy outside, then it means that the wiring in the weatherhead is frayed, which is what is causing a short whenever the cables are moving in the wind outside.
  7. Worn receptacle contacts – This means it will be difficult for the receptacle to hold prongs in place, which can lead to arcing.
  8. Dead outlet – Dead outlets are a sure sign of a home wiring problem. Ground-fault interrupters will trip if there is an issue that could cause a shock, leaving the outlet dead. If you’ve tried to reset your breakers or your ground-fault interrupters and it’s still dead, it’s an issue with a poor connection along a circuit.
  9. A lack of ground-fault interrupters – Outlets in areas that get wet, such as the bathroom or kitchen, should have ground-fault interrupters to help prevent electric shocks from occurring. Old outlet receptacles that don’t have ground-fault interrupters can easily be replaced by new outlet receptacles that do have them.
  10. Over-wired panels – A panel that has more circuits than it’s rated to handle is over-wired. This typically occurs when too many single-pole breakers have been replaced with tandem breakers in a single slot. While this isn’t a danger, it is a code violation.

We Fix Home Electrical Wiring Problems In the DMV

If you live in Maryland, Washington, DC, or Northern Virginia have any of these wiring problems, schedule a wiring inspection, call Jaffe Electric today.

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