Just because your electrical sockets still work does not mean your home's electrical wiring does not need to be updated. Wiring does not last forever, and the wiring that was put in homes a few decades ago was not always of the best quality. So, how do you know it's time to rewire your abode?
Dimming or Flickering Lights
If one or more of your lights are frequently dimming or flickering, this could mean the wiring connected to them is starting to fail. You may notice this when you first turn the lights on, or it may be most prevalent after the lights have been on for a little while.
Warm Switchplate Covers
After you turn the lights on and they have been on for a while, feel the switchplate covers. The covers should be no hotter than the wall surrounding them. If they feel warm to the touch, this means the wiring connected to them is heating up, which means it's no longer in great condition.
Is there a burning odor in your home that you just can't place? Pay attention to when it appears. If it's after you turn on certain switches or appliances, your wiring may be to blame. The burning associated with wiring usually has an odd metallic quality, such as that you'd notice when working with a car battery.
Buzzing noises coming from your outlets when something is plugged in -- or from your lights when they are turned on -- are a big indicator that the wiring has begun to give out. Sometimes, the noise may sound more like humming coming from inside the walls.
Black or Discolored Outlet Covers
If the outlet covers are turning black or becoming discolored, that's probably because there has been some arcing when you plug items in. This can be a serious fire hazard. So, don't just call the electrician -- stop using that outlet until they're able to work on your home.
Frequently Tripping Circuits
Having a circuit breaker trip every now and again is not a huge concern. However, if the circuit breaker is tripping several times a week, this is a bigger deal. Your wiring may be faulty, or it may just need to be updated to support the added appliances and electronics in your home.
Talk to an electrician in your area to learn more about replacing electrical wiring and what it will cost.