Photo By Alessandro Cancian at Shutterstock
It’s true that the “bare bulb” look is coming back in LED light form and other old-school electrical styles are great design elements for industrial-style loft spaces. At Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach, we’d like to convince our customers in the Conway, SC area that including these features in your home is a great idea, but leaving original electrical wiring, outlets, and fixtures in your older home is asking for trouble. Our emergency electrician spends plenty of time responding to calls where the old wiring has finally started smoking or sparking, and the ungrounded outlets are allowing risky electrical situations to develop. A lot of new ideas have made electrical power a lot safer for homes, even as we find new ways to add convenience and decorative style with electricity as well.
Knob-and-Tube Wiring and Other Electrical Curiosities
Hopefully, your older home in the Conway, SC area doesn’t still have knob-and-tube wiring, which was popular between about 1880 until the 1930s. Even cloth-covered wiring is a sign that the original electrician has probably been retired for quite a while. If you do have these, saving a few photographs or using the ceramic knobs for some other purpose will preserve the memories while you preserve your home and family by updating your power. The electrical code has evolved quite a bit since then, probably even since your parents’ home was built, and bringing your wiring, outlets, electrical service, and fixtures up to date is a good plan. Our emergency electrician agrees because there are a lot fewer calls from updated homes.
The Main Reasons Our Emergency Electrician Gets Called Out
Some of the top reasons that people call for emergency electrician service include these:
- Sparking outlets, smoke, heat, electrical smells
- Bare wires or melted insulation
- Humming or buzzing from electrical components including circuit breakers
- Partial or total power outages affecting your home only, or frequent circuit breaker tripping
- Water and electricity combining to create hazards, corrosion, or power outages
People also call when they know that their outlets, switches, wiring, and other electrical components need updating. That’s what we’re talking about here.
About That Aluminum Wiring
It’s not quite as classic as old-school wires strung around ceramic posts, but it was popular a lot more recently. In the 1960s and 1970s, when copper was quite expensive, some homes were wired with aluminum wire instead. Some homes have continued to operate with aluminum in the walls, but there are specific hazards that aluminum wiring presents that keep our emergency electricians on their toes. In particular, wiring outlets and fixtures or splicing with copper wire can produce connections that aren’t safe or reliable, and older aluminum wiring can have other problems that have developed over the years as well. We encourage you to talk with us about your options for ensuring that your vintage home with aluminum wiring remains safe, and keeps the electrician away until the place gets rewired with copper at least.
Fuse Boxes and Frustration
At this point, fuse boxes are by definition old, and replacing them is a great idea on that point alone. They also provided temptations when the right fuse wasn’t available, and it’s worth taking a look to make sure that each of your circuits is properly protected with a fuse of the right rating and nothing else. The same goes for both the screw-in circuit fuses and the cartridge fuses for your whole house and major appliances. You might even have those cute little screw-in circuit breakers that were popular during the transition to circuit breaker panels. In fact, why not catch up with the times and have your fuse box replaced with a modern electrical box? We can perform the upgrade, and even upgrade your electrical service at the same time if you need more power these days. There’s one specific case where you might need your existing circuit breaker panel replaced if it includes a Federal Pacific breaker panel and Stab-Lok breakers. These breakers were found to be unreliable protection and should be replaced. Dates of installation for them range from 1950 to 1990.
Degradation and Infestation, Additional Risks of Older Wiring
Even if your older wiring has survived the years well, it’s worth replacing because of the passage of time. This is especially true of the plastic-coated cloth wire, which has all sorts of risks from animal and insect damage to cracking from brittleness and age. Insulation problems leave bare wire sections prone to arcing, a significant source of fire risk. Chances are, our emergency electrician will have to get into the walls to address arcing problems, so it’s worth just getting in there and running new wire. For both cloth-covered wires and knob-and-tube, the older copper may not be up to the job of handling modern current loads, too. Grounding is also an important issue, as even fairly recently wired homes can be without grounded outlets, and there are good safety and fire hazard reasons for providing access to grounds wherever there’s power. Just ask our emergency electrician.
Even with New Wiring, Our Emergency Electrician Plays a Role Sometimes
Things happen, from nicking a wire when you cut through the wall to lightning strikes and plumbing disasters. Our expert electrician can come, take a look, and make sure your family is safe whenever there are electrical concerns.
At Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach, We Know Conway, SC Homes and How to Bring Them Up To Date
Let our team of expert electricians help you bring your beautiful older home up to date with the right wiring, electrical service, and fixtures to meet your family’s modern needs. We’re ready to help you design renovations and upgrades for any home. Our emergency electrician is on call to help with everything from electrical storm damage to water leaks so you’ll be safe until repairs are done. Give us a call with your questions and to schedule a visit from our professionals.