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How to Spot Bad Wiring in Your Home

Home wiring needs to be maintained in order for it to last. Wiring in older homes often isn’t up to par and needs to be replaced. Here are some key signs your wiring has seen more productive days.

Signs of Bad Wiring

Frequently Tripped Circuit Breakers. This is a sign individual circuits are overloaded with too many appliances and fixtures. Have a professional inspect your home electrical system. An upgrade may be necessary.

Wonky Lights. Bad wiring can result in flickering or dimming lights. Reasons include an overloaded circuit or a faulty electrical component. Lights can dim when other high energy consumption devices, like appliances or vacuums, are being used. A loose light bulb can be blamed for flickering lights. Get your wiring checked.

Buzzing or Crackling. If you hear these sounds, something is wrong. Invest in a home electrical safety inspection. This is especially recommended for homes over 40 years old or after a major renovation.

Frayed Wires. If one area of your home is having electrical issues, check the wiring for switches, outlets, and items with a plug. If the wiring is frayed, it needs to be replaced. Rodents also like to chew on wires. Look for signs of a problem.

Outdated Wiring. Aluminum and knob-and-tube wiring are outdated. Their old age and inferior design are dangerous. Update your wiring and stay safe.

Outlet Damage. If you notice any discoloration or scorch marks on your outlets, it’s a sign of damaged wiring that is releasing heat. Also, feel your home’s electrical outlets for heat or vibrations. If there is any, call an electrician.

The Nose Knows. If you smell burning, smoky, or odd odors by outlets or your electrical panel, you likely have a problem. Burning smells mean that fire damage may have already started. Get it checked out immediately by a professional.

Origins of Faulty Wiring

Inexperience. Many wiring problems can be traced to work done by people who have little or no electrical experience. A cheap price is attractive, but not always the best option. Keep safety at the top of your list and hire a professional to do the job.

Fuse Boxes. Although modern circuit breaker panels are the most common, fuse boxes can still do their job. Unless someone installs fuses with a higher amperage than the wires can handle. This can damage wires and increase the risk of fire. To fix the problem, the fuse has to be replaced and the old circuit must be rewired.

Older Homes. If you’re buying a home that’s more than 50 years old, get it inspected. A licensed electrician can give your wiring a thorough check-up. Don’t be alarmed if code violations turn up. They need to be addressed and fixed.

Let Us Handle Your Electrical Needs

The folks at CKElectric can handle all your electrical projects, big or small! Need a service call? Our electricians can help you figure out why your outlets have stopped working or your panel keeps tripping. We serve Sykesville, Eldersburg, Frederick, and all of Central Maryland. Call us at 443-920-3078 or email us at We are happy to serve you!