How to Check For Bad Electrical Wiring

June 17, 2021

checking for bad electrical wiring

When it comes to electrical safety, there are few things as crucial as electrical wiring that conform to safety standards. Faulty electrical wiring can pose many serious risks such as increasing the risk of an electrical fire, arc faults, power surges, and other serious problems. In the most serious cases, faulty electrical wiring could catch fire, putting you and your family’s lives at risk. In actuality, all it takes is bad electrical wiring to reduce your home to ashes.

To give you a clear idea of the risks of faulty electrical wiring, electrical faults are classified into three categories, depending on their characteristics:

  • Earth Fault: A loose or damaged connection could result in your appliance becoming live and could give you an electric shock.
  • Short Circuit Fault: Occurs when a power supply is attached to a closed circuit without a load.
  • Open Circuit Fault: Occurs when wires are broken or eroded, resulting in the melting of an electrical component.

In order to avoid any of these electrical faults caused by bad electrical wiring, it’s best to be diligent in inspecting your household wiring and switches.

Today, our electricians will be explaining how to check for bad electrical wiring in your home. We’ll also take this time to discuss five of the most common issues caused by bad electrical wiring. With this information in mind, you can be proactive in preventing any of the common electrical safety issues caused by faulty wiring. Let’s get started!

What Are the Most Common Problems Caused By Bad Electrical Wiring?

If you’ve noticed any of the following problems in your home or office, it is likely that bad electrical wiring is to blame. These common problems range from irritating to potentially life-threatening.

If you’re noticing any of these problems, we highly recommend contacting a licensed electrician to check the quality of the electrical wiring in your home. Our qualified electrical contractors are on standby to assess the quality of your home’s electrical wiring, so please don’t hesitate to contact us!

1. Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are by far one of the most common issues caused by bad electrical wiring. If you’ve noticed flickering lights in your home and have checked your light switches, the problem is likely due to a malfunctioning switch. In most cases, this has something to do with your electrical wiring.

When loose cables move, this disrupts the power connection and could result in arcing or even sparking! Sure, this isn’t necessarily categorized as an electrical code violation, but loose connections in a switch have huge potential to cause an electrical fire.

Further, during storms, service heads and weather caps can experience wear and tear. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have our Raleigh electricians replace your service head and repair your electrical lighting. Flickering lights may seem like nothing more than a frustrating issue, but they could be indicative of a larger problem with bad electrical wiring. Don’t leave this common electrical issue unresolved for long- you may regret it!

2. Tripping Circuit Breakers

The next most common electrical issue caused by bad electrical wiring is circuit breaker trips. Circuit breakers are electrical safety components responsible for “breaking” the circuit in the event that it has shorted or overloaded. If your circuit breaker trips frequently, however, (especially under a minimum load) an exposed cable in your wiring insulation is likely to blame.

It’s also important to note that using high-demand electrical appliances could also result in overloading. Your circuit breakers can really only do so much in this scenario. If your circuit breaker is tripping frequently, it’s best to have an electrician assess the quality of your home’s electrical wiring. You’d be surprised how quickly issues with electrical wiring can be uncovered by a trained eye.

3. Electric Shock

Faulty wiring and grounding can result in nasty and sudden electric shocks. When electricity is allowed to leak out of worn-out or old wires and appliances or faulty switches, this can energize the metal housing. In the event that you have an appliance with a metal handle that is improperly grounded, making contact with this metal surface can actually shock you!

It’s important that you keep your electrical components checked and repaired or replaced by certified electricians in order to reduce your chances of experiencing a harmful electric shock. Our Raleigh electricians specialize in all forms of electrical repair and installation and will be happy to assist you.

4. Overloading

Lightbulbs operate under very specific wattages and sockets have different power tolerances. This means that if you use a light bulb of 70 watts with a socket that is only sufficient for 50 watts, you could end up with a damaged component or, in the worst case, a fire.

Overloaded light bulbs can easily heat up and melt the socket’s plastic components and wiring. This can result in a permanently damaged light fixture and will require not only immediate replacement of the fixture but also rewiring of the damaged lighting. Be sure you’re always using a light bulb of the appropriate wattage for the socket when shopping! You’ll prevent an overload caused by wiring issues.

5. High Electricity Bill

If you’ve made some big changes in your home to lower your electricity bill and have found that it didn’t drop more than a few pennies, an electrical wiring issue may be the culprit. Take a look at your circuits and electrical components to see if any of the following are to blame:

  • Damaged wiring or circuits
  • Plugged in idle appliances
  • Lack of power surge protecting devices
  • Low-efficiency appliances or utilities

You’d be shocked to see just how much money you can save while also ensuring the safety of your family by getting to the root of a high electricity bill. Checking your home for bad electrical wiring can uncover potential problems that you may not have even known existed!

Checking Your Home for Bad Electrical Wiring

Now that you know some of the most common issues caused by faulty electrical wiring, you may be wondering how you can check the wiring of your home.

Before we start, let us just say that you should never attempt to repair electrical issues in your home on your own. The following information is only meant to offer you a way to perform a cursory check of your home’s electrical wiring before calling a professional.

You should never rely on your expertise to get the job done, but the following tips can give you a better heads up as to whether or not you should call an electrician to check your home’s wiring.

  • Check your fuse box or circuit breaker regularly. Typically found in the garage or outside of the house, you can open the box and check for any signs of irregularity. One example of an irregularity is the voltage reading 0. Another more obvious sign includes damage to wires. If you notice any of these issues, call an electrician immediately.
  • Perform regular maintenance checks. It is incredibly important that you have your wiring checked by a professional every 2 to 3 years. This ensures that no damage has occurred in the intervening years. Only a professional electrician is properly equipped to provide you with a thorough check, giving you the peace of mind you need.
  • Be wary if your home is older. Some houses require more frequent checks of the electrical wiring than others, especially if your home is older. Older homes expose you to a greater chance of danger due to the fact that more modern houses built in the last 10 years have electrical systems installed that minimize problems. If your home is older, keep a close eye on the quality of your electrical system and call an electrician to assess the electrical wiring in your home.

Call Right Electrical Services and Have Your Electrical Wiring Checked!

Remember, DIY electrical work is never a good idea. While these are a few steps that you can take to get a good idea as to whether or not you have faulty electrical wiring in your home, you should always call a professional. Here at Right Electrical Services, LLC, we specialize in performing electrical wiring assessments for homes and businesses.

Call us today at (919) 359-1017 or fill out a form submission online for immediate service! We’re here for you!

Renee is a freelance copywriter and blogger known for her expertise surrounding topics like marketing, freelancing, mental health, and more. She has written for hundreds of small business websites and is the Marketing Director here at Right Electrical Services, LLC. Renee believes that when a business prioritizes entertaining, engaging, and informational content for their readers, they can expect a loyal following that trusts their company.

One Reply to “How to Check For Bad Electrical Wiring”

  1. Thanks for pointing out that seeing strange sparks on your house outlets could signify a faulty wiring issue. I heard that my brother plans to visit the home he’s interested in before finalizing his move. I’ll suggest that he consult an electrician for help if his future home comes with these issues. //

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