Does the electrical wiring at your property need to be checked or replaced?
Electrical wiring installation is one of the most important aspects of any electrical system in a property.
It is responsible for transmitting power throughout your home or workplace, so it’s essential that it’s installed properly and maintained in good condition.
This is especially important in the case of electricity as if it is not installed correctly, regularly checked and updated, it can become incredibly dangerous.
In fact, of the 3,000 house fires in Victoria each year, approximately 300 of them are caused by faulty electrical wires.
Homes 20 years or older are more likely to have deteriorating or old types of wiring including black rubber cased wiring or aluminium wiring that is more vulnerable to electrical faults.
In simple terms older homes are not built to deal with the electrical demands of a modern lifestyle.
For example, most homes built in or before the 1960’s only have 60-amp service while a home these days would be built with a minimum 100 amp service.
This service capability is important if you are running high energy appliances such as air conditioning, refrigerators, washing machines (or sometimes all of them at once).
A professional licensed electrician will be able to advise you on the ideal amp service for your property.
If you need cabling or wiring installed, replaced or repaired, our team of experts are here to help.
Here are just some of the warning signs that you might need to get your wiring checked.
Warning signs to get your electrical wiring checked
Here are some of the most common signs that there may be something wrong with your properties wiring:
- Regularly tripping circuit breaker or blowing fuses.
- Dimming or flickering lights.
- Hot or discoloured switch plates, cords or plugs.
- Loose power outlets.
- Unusual buzzing or sizzling sounds or a burning smell.
- Arcs or sparks from an outlet when you plug or unplug a cord.
- Cracked or broken insulation around your wiring or outlets.
- Electrical shocks when you plug in or touch a cord, switch or outlet.
If you are experiencing any of these occurrences it is important to get your electrical wiring checked as it may have already become hazardous.
Here is a breakdown of some of these issues for a better indication of what to look out for and what action you may be able to take to resolve the issue:
Consistent power trips
If you have a specific fuse, circuit breakers or electrical circuits that keep tripping in your property could be a sign that there is something wrong with your wiring.
There are a few aspects of your wiring that could be at fault and causing these trips.
1. Too many items plugged into one circuit
Too many items plugged into one electrical circuit can cause it to overload and trip. This may mean that you need more electrical circuits in your home to handle your current electricity requirements.
2. Faulty appliances
The power trip could be caused by plugging in a faulty appliance or an appliance that is not compatible with the voltage we have available in Victoria.
Some countries operate on different voltages to Australia so it is worth plugging and unplugging all appliances to see if it is the appliance at fault rather than your electricity supply.
3. Faulty/broken electrical wires
Wires that have worn out, cracked, been chewed through, etc. could be the cause of your electrical issues. In this case you will need the faulty wires replaced to ensure safe supply of electricity.
4. Major electrical fault
If it is not an appliance, specific wire or circuit breaker causing the issue it could indicate that there is a major fault in the circuit.
In this case you need to get a professional electrician out to perform some fault finding and fix the issue.
Old switches or sockets
Old switches or sockets can be an indication that the wiring systems are also old and could require checking.
Old Wiring Covers
This is also true for black rubber wiring. This type of wiring is common in houses more than 40 years old that have not had their wiring replaced.
This older type of rubber coated wiring tends to become brittle as it ages and can therefore leave exposed wires which are a fire risk.
Constantly reaching for extension cords
If you are always in need of extension cords you are definitely short of power outlets and may also be short of electrical wiring to add these extra power outlets.
As previously stated, running too many electrical items off a single circuit can increase the chances of tripping or overloading the circuit. You may need to have new circuits installed in your home to deal with the electricity demand in your property.
Stained or discoloured power outlets and switches
Spot discolouring or staining on your power outlets or switches could be a sign that you are experiencing power surges in your property.
This can be the product of faulty outlets, safety switches or electrical wiring. It is important to get this checked ASAP to make sure your property, safety and appliances are safe.
Why you might need a check even without the warning signs
Even if you don’t have any of the signs that there might be an electrical issue in your home there are a few things that you might also need electricians to look over to ensure you have safe access to power.
- Property built 40+ years ago
- Recent home renovations or addition of major new appliances potentially adding large power loads
- The house is not earthed with old outlets
- Heavy use of extension cords
- Outdated rubber, fabric coated cabling as modern wiring is PVC coated, coloured grey or white and twin earthed.
What Your Wires Should Look Like: A Quick Guide
Electrical wiring is the backbone of your properties electrical systems that allow you to get power throughout your home.
A quick glance at current wiring colour codes will give you a good idea of when they were installed and therefore if they are still up to code. If your property wiring is up to date these are the electrical wiring colours you’ll have and their purposes:
The green and yellow wire is the protective earth wire that sends residual electric current into the ground to help prevent electrical shock.
Neutral wires should be blue in colour (they used to be black in colour).
The single phase line (where your main source of electricity comes from) will be the brown coloured wire (these used to be red wires when installed before 2004).
If your wire colours are different, you can see the casing deteriorating or you can see live wire poking through the casing at any point you should call a professional electrician to fix the issue and assess the safety of your building’s electrical system.
Contact Us Today To Book a Licensed Electrician
As our friends over at Energy Safe Victoria say beware the dangers of electricity and Dont Do It Yourself (DDIY). Wiring or anything to do with electricity can never be done as a DIY project as there is a high risk of electric shock which can be damaging and in some cases deadly.
At 181 Electrical, our professional team will always do all the necessary checks to ensure that you will have reliable and safe power access in your property.
Our electricians will also ensure your smoke detectors are up to code so you have the last line of defence in the case of an electrical fault causing a fire.
Keep yourself and your property safe by engaging a professional licenced team to complete your electrical work.