Old Home Rewiring: It’s All About Safety

It’s hard to deny the alluring charm and style of a traditional home that has spanned multiple generations, dating back to a simpler time. Except when it comes to the electrical system! There’s no doubt the electrical system was suitable for the period in which the home was built. However, old home wiring problems begin when these antiquated electrical systems are expected to meet the demands of a modern world.

Two types of old home wiring

There are two types of old home wiring that can cause serious safety issues when homeowners try to add on more than the current wiring system can handle. In some cases, many generations of electricians and handyman’s patchwork are a ticking time bomb within the walls of an old house. If this is sounds like your house, it may be time to look into our old home rewiring services.

Knob and tube wiring

Homes built between the early 1900s and 1960s had the classic knob and tube wiring, which consisted of a cloth coated wire supported by ceramic insulators and sleeves. In the 1960s, the average home was acquiring more and more appliances. Electric power coming into the home was increased to 60-amp service and in some cases aluminum wire replaced knob and tube wiring.

There are 3 inherent dangers associated with knob and tube wiring:

  1. These electrical systems often had a fuse panel. Many fires were started because the homeowner replaced blown fuses with higher amperage ones.
  2. Knob and tube electrical is not a grounded system. It is dangerous to mix two-prong and three-prong electrical systems.
  3. Knob and tube wiring was designed for 30-amp systems. It does not meet the demand of today’s 100- or 200-amp systems.

Aluminum wire

Not all aluminum wiring used in home construction is dangerous. Aluminum wire is still used today, mostly for larger wire applications that aren’t being spliced. However, homes built between 1965 and 1972 used an inferior aluminum alloy that expands and contracts more than copper. Any connection point in a home with this wiring has a potential to heat up and cause a fire.

What can you do if you have old wiring in your home?

If your house was built before the early 70’s chances are you have some two prong receptacles and/or outdated, unsafe wiring. The best way to know the condition of your electrical system is to contact us and discuss scheduling a whole house inspection. It only takes an hour.

We will look inside every switch and outlet box as well as assess the outside service and panel. Then we can provide an accurate estimate with the best solution to bring your house up to today’s electric code and safety standards. The solution may not be rewiring the entire home. Depending on your home’s wiring situation, there can be multiple options presented to fit different budgets.