Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

How to Find Out What the Age of Your Home’s Wires Is

As your home’s wiring ages, it can become increasingly unsafe. The insulation degrades over time, which leads to overloading, short-circuiting, and even fires. If your home is more than 30 or 40 years old and the wiring has never been replaced, then it likely poses a safety hazard. What if you don’t know your home’s wire age, though? Here are a few signs that you need new wiring.

  • Circuit breaker tripping. When too much power flows through your wires, your circuit breaker trips, shutting everything off to prevent a fire. This typically happens when you’re running too many appliances at once. However, if the circuit breaker trips frequently, even when you’re being careful, it may be a sign of aging wiring. The wires can’t handle as much as they used to and thus need to be replaced.
  • Outdated outlets. If you want a clue to your home’s wire age, check your outlets. They should all have three prongs. The third prong grounds the outlet, allowing excess electricity to be redirected through it. Ungrounded, two-pronged outlets were phased out years ago and are no longer up to code. Also check the outlets in your kitchen and bathrooms for test and reset buttons. Since they’re in close proximity to moisture, the buttons let you ensure the outlets are functioning properly and won’t pose a hazard if used.
  • Burning and discoloration. If there’s a dark, discolored mark on your outlet or the surrounding wall — particularly one that looks like scorching — then your wiring isn’t adequately protected and is causing surges. Likewise, if there’s a burning smell coming from a particular appliance or outlet, have your wiring checked immediately.
  • Tingling. Sometimes, when you plug in an appliance, you’ll see a small spark. This is nothing to worry about as long as the sparking doesn’t continue once it’s plugged in. However, if it’s accompanied by a tingling sensation when you touch the outlet or appliance, then it’s cause for concern. Call your electrician to check your wire age.

For help with the wiring in your home and with figuring out the wire age, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We keep Yuma homes safe and efficient.