Crofton MD, Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Typical Electrical Wiring Problems of Older Homes – Part 2

As covered in Part 1, older houses are more likely to have hazardous electrical problems, and a thorough property inspection should be performed regularly by a licensed electrician. Part 2 will discuss five more older home electrical wiring problems.

6. Outlets Are Inadequate

Older houses typically do not have an adequate number of outlets for modern electrical usage. Homeowners must then depend on power strips and extension cords to supply electricity to all appliances and electronic devices. Unfortunately, this can lead to overloaded circuits and an electrical fire. Talk to an electrician about installing additional outlets.

7. Outlets Aren’t Grounded

Many older houses have outlets that are 2-pronged, which means they’re ungrounded without a safe way to conduct stray current. Some homeowners unsafely use a cheater plug so they can plug in electrical devices that have three prongs. This will be a fire hazard if the grounding tab is not connected to an electrical ground. An electrician will recommend replacing these outdated outlets with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) breaker outlet.

8. Overlamping

This is caused by using a light bulb that has a higher wattage than what the fixture is designed to safely handle. Intense heat from the light bulb will burn and melt the socket and wire insulation, causing arcing. This is when sparks jump from wire to wire with the potential to start a fire.

9. Panel is Overwired

An overwired electrical panel contains too many circuits than what its rating can handle. It is a code violation, so it will certainly become an issue if your house is on sale and an inspector find this problem. Fortunately, an electrician can easily add a subpanel with extra slots.

10. Worn-Out Receptacle Contacts

Worn out receptacle contacts will allow an electric plug to loosen and fall out. This is dangerous because a loose contact might arc and start a fire. A licensed electrician can easily fix this problem.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

• Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
• Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
• Electrical Service & Repair
• Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.