Of all of your home’s major infrastructure systems, its electrical wiring is among the most critical. Many of the things you depend on in your home couldn’t work without it. You’d have no air conditioning, no refrigerator, and or other appliances or devices, either. Whenever you have reason to suspect that something’s gone wrong with your home’s electrical wiring, it’s a big deal. However, it’s not always easy for the average homeowner to know when your wiring needs to be repaired or replaced. To help, here are some ways to gauge the severity of a problem with your home’s wiring so you can choose the right option.
Begin by Assessing the Age of the Wiring
Although electrical wiring is quite durable, the materials can deteriorate over time. If your home has a wiring problem, the first thing to figure out is the age of the wiring.
Wiring that is between 30 and 50 years old is likely due for replacement. For one thing, older wiring is often degraded to the point that it poses a potential safety risk to your home and family. Secondly, the electrical demands of the home when it was built were far different from those of modern homes. Older wiring is simply not designed to support homes with computers, smartphones, tablets, and even modern microwaves.
Additionally, if your home’s wiring dates to the 1970s, there’s a good chance it may be aluminum rather than copper. Aluminum wiring isn’t as durable as copper and can wear out faster. It also isn’t as efficient. Aluminum wiring’s resistance makes it an inferior conductor compared to copper. Its one advantage is that it’s less expensive, which made it soar in popularity briefly among builders of the time.
All this means that repairing your aging wiring only delays the inevitable. Having your home rewired increases its value and improves the reliability of its electrical infrastructure. You’ll even have the opportunity to upgrade your electrical service at the same time so that it’s ready to meet the demands of your household over the next several decades.
Consider the Scope of the Problem
If the wiring in your home isn’t old, your next consideration should be the scope of the issue you’re having. For example, if you’re noticing that a single outlet or circuit is having problems, you might simply need a repair. With a traceable problem somewhere along the line of that circuit, an electrician should be able to locate the fault and fix the issue.
However, if you’re seeing symptoms of a bigger failure, like lights in multiple rooms dimming or flickering, that may indicate a more systemic problem. It could mean that the wiring in your home has multiple issues in multiple places. Or it might mean that your home’s electrical panel has an issue. In most cases, though, it’s a sign that your home’s wiring can’t handle the demand you’re placing on it.
Overloaded wires wear out faster, which increases the odds you’ll have more problems. In those cases, rewiring is typically the right choice, because it will fix all existing and potential problems in one fell swoop.
Consider Your Safety
Whenever your home has a problem with its wiring, you need to consider how much of a risk it poses to your safety. After all, malfunctioning electrical work is the second-most frequent cause of house fires, with an average of 51,000 such incidents each year in the US. If your home’s electrical issue is anything more serious than a single faulty outlet or bad circuit, you’ll have to decide how much risk you’re willing to take.
Since a malfunctioning electrical system can damage the wiring in places you can’t see, the problem you’re experiencing could be just the beginning. After getting your problem diagnosed by a licensed electrician, you should ask them about any longer-lasting damage the problem might have caused. If there’s a chance that there’s hidden damage lurking, you should choose a wiring replacement to solve the problem.
Consider Your Electrical Needs
The next thing to consider is what your electrical needs are. Are you using extension cords and power strips all over your home? If so, it’s a sign that you’ve outgrown your home’s existing wiring. When an outlet stops working, repairing the problem would only leave you with a different problem: too few outlets.
Replacing your home’s wiring allows you to add additional outlets where you need them. You wouldn’t have to keep relying on extension cords and power strips, which can increase the risk of fire in your home. This would simultaneously make your home more convenient and safer.
You should also ask yourself if you’ll be increasing your home’s electricity needs shortly. For example, if you’ll be purchasing an electric vehicle anytime soon, you’ll want a place to charge it in your home. If your home’s existing wiring isn’t up to the added demand, you may wish to forego wiring repairs in favor of replacement and upgrades.
Consider Your Budget
As you may have noticed, there are an awful lot of good reasons to opt for rewiring when your home has electrical problems instead of choosing a repair. However, that doesn’t mean that you should always rewire. Rewiring a part or all of your home can be a costly endeavor. You’ll always have to weigh the factors detailed above against how much money you’re willing or able to spend.
The best thing you can do when you have an electrical problem in your home is to work with a qualified electrician like those at Home Team Electric. They’ll diagnose your issue and let you know what your options are. If repair is a viable option, they’ll tell you. If a replacement of parts or all of your home’s wiring is the only real solution, they’ll tell you that, too. Either way, they’ll also work with you to help you choose the option you’re most comfortable with.
Trust the Electrical Experts
Here at Home Team Electric, we’ve served the Palm Springs area since 2006, offering a variety of quality electrical services. Our licensed and professionally-trained expert electricians can handle everything from complete home rewiring jobs to repairs, ceiling fan installations, EV charging station installations, and everything in between. Plus, we offer 24/7 service, so you can always call us for help whenever an electrical problem strikes your home. And we offer an ironclad 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can be confident that you’ll never regret choosing us for your home’s electrical needs.
If your home’s wiring has a problem and you’re not sure if a repair or a replacement is the right choice, contact the experts here at Home Team Electric and we’ll help you make the right decision for your home and family.