Learning About Electrical Circuits

« Back to Home

3 Electrical Problems To Look For In An Older Home

Posted on

When you buy an older home, you can encounter a host of problems, including those that involve your home's electrical wiring. In some instances, a complete overhaul of your wiring is necessary, but some issues can be handled separately and allow you time to raise the money necessary to get the work done. To help you plan for electrical issues in your older home, here are some of the most common ones you can face and what you should do.


A common issue that you will encounter is overlamping. Overlamping is the result of newer, higher watt light bulbs being placed into light sockets that are not equipped to handle them. As a result, you could create a fire hazard by inserting the wrong light bulb.

There are two available options to handle overlamping. Your first option is to simply stick with using only the light bulbs that fit the wattage limit for each socket. It is important that you educate everyone in your home on the correct wattage for each socket to avoid problems in the future. 

You also have the option of hiring an electrician to rewire the connections to the sockets so that you can use higher watt bulbs. 

Aluminum Wiring

Older homes are sometimes outfitted with aluminum wiring. The wiring was thought to be a safe option that was inexpensive compared to other materials, such as copper. However, this turned out to not be true. Aluminum wiring eventually starts to corrode and your home is then at risk of fire. The risk of fire is particularly greater when the aluminum comes into connection with other types of wiring materials. 

Hiring an electrician to replace the aluminum wiring is an option, but it can be a costly one. Until you have the funds available to completely get rid of the aluminum, have dielectric wire nuts installed on every connection between the aluminum and other materials. The specially made nuts helps to keep the aluminum from corroding, which buys you more time to save for the repair. 

Few Outlets

In the past, the need for multiple outlets in each room of a house was not as great as it is now. Unfortunately, if you buy an older home, you could be forced to use power strips and extension cords to keep everything plugged in around your home. 

If you are comfortable with using extension cords and power strips, avoid overloading them. Pay close attention to the specifications of the cords and strips to stay within the recommended limits. 

You also have the option of hiring an electrician to install new outlets. If you do hire an electrician, be aware that he or she will need to cut into your walls to install the additional wiring. Look for an electrician who is willing to patch up the holes to avoid additional costs associated with closing them up.

To determine if there are other electrical wiring issues of which you should be aware, get an assessment from an electrician like Crown Electric Ltd