If you’ve lived in your home a considerable length of time (or if you’ve just moved into an older house) the chances are that it will require some repair work. Some things are obvious and other things not so much. You can tell if a chipped or cracked patio will need fixing, because it’s plain to see, but how do you tell if your home needs rewiring?
The older a house becomes, the more aged the electricals inside will be. The inevitable wear and tear that comes from using electrical items everyday can lead to serious electrical damages over time. Your electrical wires should maintain their healthy state for a long time, but for older homes the wires can be a concern and rewiring should be considered.
According to studies carried out by ESFI, faulty electricals account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year. To stop these types of fires occurring, your wires should be looked at by an electrician to establish what state they are in.
How to tell if your house needs rewiring
There are several signs you can look out for to tell whether your home needs rewiring. If you are reluctant to call a local electrician to inspect your home, looking out for these 7 warning signs will be able to give you a solid idea before you make any decisions.
Find an electrician near you
- Burning Smells
If you can regularly smell burning around the home, but are unable to identify the source, there’s a possibility that there may be an electrical fault somewhere.
As burning smells will often mean that something is burning, quickly turn off the power at the circuit and contact your local electrician to check it out for you.
- Discoloured Switches / Outlets
Discolouration of the outlets or switches can be a sign that there is either a loose connection or that the wiring is faulty. Arcing or sparking can be a result of loose connections which can lead to small fires that cause the surface of the outlets to become discoloured.
Ignoring the discolouration can lead to life-threating fires, so it’s a wise idea to do some digging and call an electrician to look at your sockets/outlets for you.
- Flickering Lights
If your lights flicker or get dimmer on occasions, you may need to replace your light bulbs or check that they are screwed in properly. There’s also the possibility that there is a more serious underlying problem that you aren’t aware of, such as faulty wiring.
If you suspect that your lights may be flickering due to an electrical rewiring fault, calling an emergency electrician is a wise idea.
- Blown Fuses or Tripping Circuit Breakers
Designed as a safety measure to prevent electrical fires, circuit breakers will cut off any electrical flow when a circuit can no longer handle the number of amps. When your electrical system becomes worn and can no longer handle the amount of electricity required for your home, the chances are fuse with blow or the circuit will trip. Bad wiring is usually a direct cause or trips and blows, and will certainly need addressing sooner rather than later.
When appliances become too hot, this can also lead to trips and blows. If you are unsure what is causing your circuit to keep tripping, bringing an electrician in to investigate is a clever thing to do.
- Socket Problems
Over time, sockets can wiggle or even fall out the wall, which means they will need replacing.
If your wall sockets are hanging out the wall, wiring can become exposed. This is clearly dangerous for young children and any pets that you may have in the home that like to play.
Sizzling or buzzing noises are also a frequent problem for wall sockets and will also need investigating by a professional who knows what to look for. They will be able to tighten the outlets back into place or replace them altogether.
- Aluminium Wiring
According to the consumer product safety commission, aluminium wire connections are more likely to fail which can cause overheating. Overheating will eventually lead to a fire, with aluminium wiring considered to be more of a risk that copper wiring.
The letters ‘AL’ on the jacket of the wiring will indicate that the wires are aluminium, but if you aren’t sure, an electrician will be able to assist you.
- Electrical Shocks
Even the smallest of electrical shocks is a huge warning sign. If plugging in an electrical appliance to the wall socket has ever resulted in a shock, then more often than not there will be an issue with the outlet, rather than the appliance.
Electric shocks of any kind should never be ignored. If you have experienced a shock, step away from the wall socket and contact an electrician at the earliest opportunity.
Does your home need rewiring?
If you have come across any of the 7 warning signs recently, this may indicate that your home needs rewiring. To avoid violating any electrical codes or putting yourself/others at risk, please DO NOT attempt to rewire your home yourself.
Find an electrician near you
Tell us what you think
What others think of this cost guide:
Need More Information?