Can the old wiring in this building start a fire? We hear this question a lot and the scary truth is that yes, it can. Electrical fires are a major concern in old buildings and homes. Out of sight, out of mind is a dangerous practise when it comes to your home’s electrical systems. If you have an old home or commercial building, you should have it checked to make sure you don’t have outdated electrical wiring.
Common Electrical Problems In Older Buildings
No matter if you’re living in an older house or working in an aging commercial building, there are plenty of electrical problems that can occur in older structures. Depending on how old your system is, it might be necessary to replace certain parts to improve their performance and importantly, your safety.
What Are Some Common Electrical Issues In Old Buildings?
While we can list off the common electrical problems in old buildings here, it’s important to have your specific home/building checked by a licensed electrician to ensure that all of your systems are working properly. Some common electrical issues that can occur in old buildings include:
Faulty Cables and Wires
A lot of old wiring systems can still work even many years after being installed, however they can also begin to turn into safety concerns. Particularly if the insulation around the wires is deteriorating, an electrician will need to replace the wires before they can hurt someone or cause an electrical fire.
Insufficient Electrical Loads
The world’s reliance on technology has grown hugely over the years and will only continue to increase as we go on. Because of this, many old buildings have circuits that are not equipped to handle the load that modern day electrical devices need. If your old circuits are being overloaded it can lead to major problems. Contact a qualified electrician to inspect your building before anything can happen.
Knob and Tube Wiring
Knob and tube wiring is an electrical antiquity that can be particularly prevalent in heritage homes and old buildings. This old fashioned system uses copper conductors that run inside your walls and ceilings, supported along their length with knob insulators. Because this wiring is only single-insulated, it can become easily compromised or hazardous with age and fraying. It needs to be replaced if discovered, as left alone it is a safety and fire hazard.
Poorly Modified Wiring
While electrical wiring installations now require qualified electricians and follow strict rules, it wasn’t always this way. Unfortunately, the electrical health of many older buildings and homes is suffering from decades of DIY interference. It’s all too common for us to find wiring that shows signs of being modified by people trying to do a quick fix or who had no electrical training. The older your building, the higher the risk that there will be faulty, or badly executed wiring and connections.
Old Electrical Parts
Another common issue that we find in older buildings is when they are running on very old electrical parts that need to be replaced. Old light fixtures can develop loose wiring and flickering lights, older outlets will often not have a hole for a ground wire and obsolete breakers that have been discontinued will need to be replaced.
How To Know If Your Older Building Has Electrical Issues
Many of these electrical problems will make themselves known in flickering lights, a burning smell or tripping fuses. Unfortunately, there are still a large amount of electrical issues that will show no signs that they are in your home until they cause permanent damage to your systems or worse, start an electrical fire. Have your older building inspected by a qualified electrician before you start living or working in it to ensure that your electrical systems are all working correctly. If you’d like an electrician to inspect your older building for any faults, contact our team today on 1300 084 303 or send us a message online.