4 Signs That Your Electrical Wiring Has Gone Bad

Are you experiencing electrical problems in your home? Are your lights dimming or are certain breakers regularly tripping? Electrical issues can be frustrating because it's often difficult to identify the exact source of the problem. It could be anything from your breakers to your outlets to your wiring. Issues involving wiring can be especially dangerous because the wiring is located behind your walls. It's in close proximity to your wooden frames, your drywall, and your insulation. If wiring catches fire, it could cause serious damage to other parts of your home. Here are four signs that your wiring may need to be repaired:

A breaker regularly trips even when it's running few devices. When a circuit breaker trips on a regular basis, there could be a couple of things happening. One is that the breaker's amp load is too high, which means that there's too much power running through that specific breaker. You can try taking devices off that breaker to see if that helps. You can also use a breaker tester to determine whether the amp load is too high.

If the amp load is less than the breaker's maximum capacity, then you likely have a wiring problem. A wire on the breaker has deteriorated and can no longer support the amps running through it. That wire will likely need to be replaced.

Your lights are dimming or flickering. It's not necessarily a problem if the dimming is a one-time occurrence. Even lights with good wiring can dim occasionally, especially if you're running a high-powered device when it happens. However, good wiring shouldn't dim or flicker on a regular basis. If this is happening, then it's likely that the wiring has deteriorated and can no longer handle the amp capacity that the light requires.

Charred or discolored outlets. A charred or discolored outlet is a sign of a serious problem and it should be addressed immediately. Many people assume that there's a problem with the outlet when this happens. However, the real problem may be with the wiring. The wiring could be shorting out, which leads to mini arc flash fires behind the outlet. Those mini fires give the outlet its charred look.

The danger is that the fire could get big enough to ignite the surrounding drywall or insulation. If that happens, you could face serious damage and a dangerous situation.

You smell burning. Sometimes, bad wiring will lead to a mini flash or fire, but it won't cause the outlet to be discolored. Instead, you may just smell a burning odor in and around the outlet. Again, this could be a sign of bad wiring that is causing a short. If this happens, you should call an electrician immediately. You should also stop using the surrounding outlets and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

For more help with any of these issues, contact an electrician in your area, like Palmer Electric Inc. They can inspect your wiring and make any necessary repairs.