Electrical Concerns When Buying An Old Home

Posted on: 26 February 2020


If you've recently purchased an older home, one of the things you may be considering is the integrity of the electrical grid. You'll want to be sure that the home's electrical wiring is in good condition. Understanding the basics of what you need to look for can help you to spot any potentially serious issues that might lead to an electrical short or fire. Here are a few of the things you should be attentive to.

Check The Switches

One of the first things you should always check is the light switches in the house. Especially for very old homes, you may have rotary light switches which you must turn like a dial to turn the light on or off. These switches are vulnerable to loose wires. If the rotary dial wiggles or the light flickers when you move the dial, those dials need to be replaced. While replacing the switches is a fairly simple job, it's in your best interest to work with an electrician to have the job done to ensure that it is done safely and correctly as it will mean cutting into the wall without damaging the wires. 

Examine The Outlets

Another common problem with the electrical system in older homes is the presence of outdated electrical outlets. Look at the outlets that are present in the house. If they are older outlets that do not have a ground plug, meaning they are only two-prong outlets instead of three, you'll need to have them replaced.

Replacing those outlets means having to add a ground connection, so it's best that you work with an electrician to do the job. Remember that an electrical ground can help prevent shorts. In addition, by having an electrician do the replacement, you can ensure that your wiring is structurally sound so as to reduce the chances of an electrical fire.

Look At The Circuit Panel

The breaker box or circuit panel is the heart of your home's electrical grid. For older, outdated homes that haven't had a lot of modern updates, the circuit panel is likely outdated as well. Remember that older wiring and older circuit breakers aren't designed to support the electrical demand of modern electrical appliances and devices. 

Have the circuit panel inspected by an electrician to see if it needs any upgrades to meet the current electrical standards. If it does need to be modified, you'll need your electrician to do the work because it will also likely require replacement of wires and such throughout the home. Once the work is completed, you can be confident that you've eliminated the risk of tripped breakers or overloaded circuits.