Common Electrical Problems in Old Homes

Have you ever been hired by a home renovator or new homeowner to fix some electrical issues in an old house? If you’ve never had to repair old electrical equipment before, there are some potential problems that you should be aware of. Here are some of the most common electrical problems that occur in old homes.

Flickering Lights

As you’re going around to test the different lights in the old home that you’re working on, you’ll probably see a lot of flickering lights. This is a common occurrence in old homes. Lights can be flickering for many different reasons. First, check to see if the light bulb is loose in the socket. This is obviously the easiest way to fix the flickering light problem. If the light is still flickering, then you might be dealing with a bad, corroded light socket, a defected and failing light switch, loose or outdated wiring, or even a faulty breaker. It is important to go through each of these possible sources of the problem and troubleshoot them to try and determine which is causing the flickering lights. Once you’ve found the source, take the time to update the parts and replace it correctly. This should eliminate the issue.

Dead Outlets

Another common issue that you’ll see in old homes is an abundance of dead outlets. This is particularly annoying in homes that weren’t built in a more modern, electronic age, when multiple outlets are needed in every room. If the few outlets that the home has don’t work, it will be impossible for the homeowner to use all of the electrical appliances that they desire. Dead outlets are usually caused by poor wiring and a bad connection, or even an overly tripped breaker. If you have some of these issues happening around your dead outlets, you might notice that some of the wires are melted due to overheating. It is better to replace the wiring and accessories once you’ve found the source of the problem.

Old Wiring

Most of the electrical wiring in the old home that you’re working on will be outdated and won’t function well. As previously mentioned, old, inadequate wiring can cause a lot of other electrical problems throughout the house. As you’re inspecting the house, make sure that you find the patches of wiring that are melted or dysfunctional that need to be replaced. It is important to realize that the wiring system in old homes might not be capable of handling all of the electrical demands of a more modern age, so you might have widespread replacement that you’ll need to do.

Bad Breakers

If you notice that issues are still occurring as you’re replacing materials throughout the home, you might have a frequently tripping breaker on your hands. For example, if you’ve just replaced a light switch, but it still isn’t functioning consistently, your circuit might be overloading too often by the power, tripping the breaker. If you replace the electrical systems and circuit throughout the house, as well as inspect the quality of the breaker, you’ll be able to eliminate these issues.

If you have an old home that you're scheduled to visit soon, make sure that you remember some of these common issues so you can be on the lookout for them. Of course, these aren’t the only problems that might occur, so make sure that you take your time researching and learning about other repairs that you might need to make. This will help you to have a successful project replacing and updating any electrical parts in old homes.

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