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How old should my home be before I need to think about upgrading old wiring?

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Historic houses offer a unique home environment, but they come with numerous maintenance issues, including the need for electrical home improvements. There is no set number of years that determines the necessity of wiring upgrades, but certain circumstances in your home may point to a need for updated wiring. Keep an eye out for the following signs of outdated wiring:

  • Aluminum wiring needs to go
  • Not only is aluminum wiring less practical than today's standard copper wiring, but it's also a huge fire hazard. If, somehow, your home has not been updated with copper wiring, now is the time to make this necessary switch.

    • Update spaghetti wiring
    • In addition to dangerous aluminum wiring, historic properties may also include even older ceramic or cloth-insulated wiring. Often, older homes feature a mix of several different types of wiring, which experts refer to as "spaghetti wiring." In such situations, it's generally safer and more cost-efficient to get rid of all existing wiring and start from scratch.

    • Regular circuit breaker tripping
    • Regardless of the type of wiring used in your home, regular tripping of your circuit breaker indicates that it's time for an update. In older homes, it’s usually overloading that causes tripping, as the wiring is just not cut out to handle the demands of today's electrical appliances. However, frayed wires can also cause tripping via short circuits or ground faults. Regardless of the cause, regular tripping may indicate that the wiring in your home is not safe, and thus, due for an upgrade.

    • Minimum upgrading frequency
    • Even if nothing seems to be wrong with your current wiring, it will need to be upgraded, at a minimum, every few decades. If the wiring in your home has gone more than thirty years without an update, it's in your best interest to get in touch with an electrical expert. The right technician can assess the current safety of your home's wiring and determine how extensive of an upgrade is necessary.

    Don't let old wiring compromise the safety of your loved ones. Contact our friendly team at Hammond Services to learn more about electrical home improvements.


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