Saturday, 22 June 2024
Home and Garden

10 Signs your House Needs Rewiring

10 Signs your House Needs Rewiring

Sometimes when people buy an old property, part of the attraction is its age. Old houses can be more charming than new ones, with their sense of history and perhaps attention to detail that doesn’t feature so prominently in contemporary buildings.

From a practical point of view, though, this can be a big drawback, because there is nothing quaint or charming about faulty electrics.

Even if your property is just 25 years old, rather than being a grand old edifice of the Civil War-era, it is best to look for warning signs that the electrics are out of date and potentially dangerous. Here are ten things to look out for.

1. Lights that flicker or fade. 

Electricity is a constant, smooth-flowing thing (except when the supplier has problems, which is rarely the case in the US). If your lights vary in intensity, it probably means there are loose connections or faulty circuits, and these can cause all kinds of problems including fire.

2. Light bulbs burning out

Bulbs typically have a long life, and when they do expire, it’s in a quiet, unseen way. If there is blackness around the base, where they are attached to the socket, that’s another sign of bad connections and circuits.

3. Fuses blowing for no apparent reason.

Trip switches clicking off are less dramatic than blown fuses, but both are signs that all is not well.

4. Sparks when you plug something in

The only time you want to see a spark indoors is when you light a gas hob and the little electrical ignition does the job. If it happens when you put a plug into a socket, that is a sort of volatility that has to be resolved.

5. Blackened patches on switches or sockets.

Another sign of heat and volatility. These indicate a tiny fire has occurred and the issue needs to be fixed before something bigger happens.

6. Electric shocks when you touch an appliance

The most alarming of all signs. You need to get a trusted electrician on the case, and fast.

7. A smell of burning

Wood burns, coal burns and gas burns. Electrical systems do not. Turn everything off and call that trusted electrician.

8. Extension leads all over the place

Modern electrical systems have plenty of sockets in each room. Extension leads are not harmful in themselves, but they’re unsightly and you can trip over them. Better get the place upgraded.

9. Cables running over the surface, rather than embedded in the wall.

These are not necessarily dangerous, but they are a sign that a job has been done on the cheap, and if they didn’t even take the trouble to bury the cables, what else have they cut corners on?

10. Light fittings and wall sockets hanging loose

All of these should be firmly attached. If they are loose, it’s a sign of decay, bad workmanship, or both.

Conclusion: this is not an area where you should take chances. Electricity is an incredible boon that enhances so many areas of our lives, but it can be dangerous and it doesn’t age well. So every aging property needs to have its electrical wiring assessed before something bad happens.


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