Could Your Acadiana Home Have Faulty Wiring?

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As your home and electrical system age, you may find you need more power than your wiring has the capacity to provide. For example, a home built in the 1940s is wired for 60-amp service, while modern electrical appliances require double that amount of amperage to perform correctly. If your wiring hasn’t been inspected to ensure it can support the electrical load you put on it, you could be at risk for a fire.

The United States Fire Administration estimates that each year faulty wiring causes 67,000 fires, resulting in more than $800 million of damages and hundreds of lives lost. The vast majority of those fires can be prevented.

The United States Fire Administration estimates that each year faulty wiring causes 67,000 fires, resulting in more than $800 million of damages and hundreds of lives lost. The vast majority of those fires can be prevented.

When was the last time you had an electrical inspection done in your home?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends electrical inspections be done once every 10 years or any time you renovate or build your home. If you’re not sure when your electrical system was last inspected, go check your electrical panel for the date of your last inspection. If that date was more than 10 years ago or if there is no date listed at all, you should call Doug’s for an electrical inspection.

5 Signs Your Electrical Wiring Is Bad

Regardless of when you last had your electrical system inspected, there are signals you should be on the lookout for that can tell you when your wiring has a problem. In order to keep your home and family safe, call Doug’s for electrical service when you notice any of the following signs.

  • Frequently tripping breakers can mean a couple of things. One possibility is that you have too many electrical fixtures drawing current on the circuit, and its capacity is being overloaded; you can solve this problem by reducing the electrical load on the circuit or by having us upgrade your panel. Another possibility is that you have a short somewhere on the line that will need to be repaired.
  • Mysteriously flickering lights also signify several potential problems. It could be something as simple as the bulb not being screwed in tight enough. Or you could have too many electrical fixtures drawing current and it’s stressing the circuit but not enough the trip the breaker; this is especially likely if the flickering only occurs in rooms with major appliances. It could also mean your wiring is due for an upgrade. A quick assessment by a Doug’s electrician will solve the mystery.
  • Getting shocked by electrical fixtures is a clear sign you have a problem. However, depending on what shocked you, the problem may not be with your wiring. For example, if your coffee maker shocks you, it could mean you need to replace the coffee maker. Try plugging something else into that outlet to test whether other appliances shock you before calling in an electrician. But if you get shocked by an outlet, that’s a wiring problem and needs attention from a licensed electrician.
  • Hot or buzzing outlets need an electrician’s attention ASAP. Your outlets should never be hot or noisy, and if they are, it’s a clear sign you’ve got faulty wiring going to the outlet. You should be especially concerned about outlets that appear charred, as they pose a serious fire risk. Doug’s is available 24/7, so don’t let an overheating outlet wait; call us as soon as you notice it.
  • A burnt plastic odor is a sign that your electrical wiring is overheating, which poses a serious fire risk if the overheating wires melt their protective casing and the surrounding insulation. Insulation is treated with flame-retardant chemicals to reduce fire risk but can still ignite when exposed to high heat. If you smell something burning and can’t figure out what it is, call us to inspect your wiring right away.

BONUS TIP: If your home was built in the 1960s or 1970s, you probably have aluminum wiring instead of copper. This doesn’t mean you have bad wiring, as aluminum carries current just as well as copper; however, aluminum expands and contracts with season changes—something copper doesn’t do. This expansion and contraction can lead to loose connections over the years. If your home has aluminum wiring, you may want to budget for a wiring upgrade to prevent issues caused by loose connections.

Call Doug’s To Solve Your Wiring Problems

Smokey the Bear is famous for saying, “only you can prevent forest fires.” Well, here at Doug’s, we say, “by making sure your home is current on electrical inspections and calling us to investigate any signs of faulty wiring, you can prevent electrical fires.” So when you see a sign of wiring problems, no matter how minor, call (985) 746-1116 to have Doug’s check it out.

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