Should You Rewire Your Historical Home?
The short answer: yes. Wiring processes have gotten much better—and safer—over the years. If you live in an old or antique home (something that’s over 50 years old), it might be a good idea to get it rewired. It doesn’t matter if you’re only going to live there for a little while or if you’re in it for the long term, rewiring your antique home will help to keep you and your family safe.
What’s Wrong with Old Wires?
Well, they’re old. Like most things (as your back and knees can probably attest), electrical wires wear out over time. They can fray, exposing the surrounding insulation and wood to electrical current—and you don’t need to be an electrician to see why that’s bad. If there was ever a spark, your entire house would go up in flames. If your house is 30 years old and hasn’t had any electrical work, you should probably call an electrician for an inspection.
Antiquated Wiring Techniques
If you own an antique house that was built before the 1950s, the wiring is probably antique as well. Back in the day, knob and tube wiring was all the rage. Unlike modern electrical systems, knob and tube wiring doesn’t use ground wires.
While that’s not inherently dangerous by itself (if it’s in good repair), it does have a slightly higher risk of electrical fire from short circuits. Also, you can’t use any three-pronged appliances—which is a major bummer.
Of course, not many knob and tube wiring systems are in good repair. After 70 years on the job, they’re beyond ready to retire. If you live in an older house with a knob and tube electrical system, the best thing you can do is replace it. It’ll be safer and more convenient with modern appliances. You’ll also absolutely need to replace it if you ever plan on selling your home. Banks won’t write mortgages on homes that are wired with knob and tube wiring.
How to Tell If Your Home’s Wiring Is Old
Okay, so you live in an old house. How do you know the previous owners didn’t update the wires before they left? Good question!
The easiest way to tell if your home’s wiring is outdated is to look at your outlets. Do they have three holes? Great! Move on to the next step. If they have only two holes, it might be time for a replacement. Knob and tube systems use only two-pronged outlets.
No matter your outlet style, if you notice any of these other issues, it’s a sure-fire sign (but hopefully not a real fire) that your wiring needs to be replaced:
Frequently tripping breakers
Dimming or flickering lights
Discolored or charred outlets or switches
Persistent burning smells
The second you notice any of these signs, call an electrician. Electrical fires are no joke. There are over 51,000 electrical fires in the United States every year, causing over $1.3 billion in property damage, 500 deaths, and 1,400 injuries. Fix the problem now before it gets worse.
How Do You Rewire a House?
There are two ways you can rewire a house. The first is to remove all the drywall, run new wires, and put up new drywall. Of course, this is the most invasive method of rewiring, but it’s also most effective.
It’s also possible to feed wires through the walls with rods and tape. This method only needs a small hole in the wall which can be easily patched afterward. The method that works best will depend on the extent of the rewiring job and the location of the wires that need to be swapped.
Need to Rewire Your Old House? Trust IES Home Electrical Services
Rewiring your entire home is absolutely not a DIY job. If something isn’t handled properly, you could be at higher risk for an electrical fire than you were with the old wires! The only course of action is to call a professional.
If you live in a house that was built before the 1950s or hasn’t had any electrical work in 30 years, call the experts at IES Home Electrical Services. We have almost 50 years of experience keeping Dallas-Fort Worth area homes powered and safe. We can help you get your house up to modern electrical standards and so you and your family can stay safe for years to come.
IES Home Electrical Services is a McKinney-based electrical company dedicated to providing area homeowners with the best quality of work and unparalleled customer service, backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Proudly serving McKinney, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Gunter, Anna, Aubrey, Bonham, Crossroads, Melissa, Sherman, Farmersville, Little Elm, Princeton, Prosper, Van Alstyne, Hackberry, and Denison.
Contact us to schedule a service call, and share this on: