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Questions to Ask When Checking Your Home Wiring

Your home electrical system can be a source of fires and electrical shocks. This can be the same for any of your electrical appliances. There are regular checks you should perform to keep your home safe. Use these questions to ensure that your electrical system is safe.
worker cutting yellow colored wire

Do the Switches Work?

Make sure that all the switches in your home are working properly. When switches are not working, this can indicate that wires are not connected properly, which can create a fire hazard.
Make sure the outlets or switches are not warm because they can indicate a fire hazard. Do not use this outlet until it has been inspected by an electrician. Similarly, if you notice burn marks on the outlet or switch, do not use it. The outlet will need to be replaced with a new one.

Are There Strange Noises?

Strange noises should not come from the outlet. These include:
• Buzzing
• Crackling
• Sizzling
When you use an appliance frequently and it begins to sound or smell strange, stop using the appliance until it has been inspected by an electrician. When a connection is loose, wires may be twisted together and the outlet might vibrate.

Are the Appliances Old?

All of your electrical appliances should be new. How old the appliance should be varies depending on the type of appliance. For instance, old homes may have multiple fuse boxes that are attached to a fuse board that is connected to an electricity meter. You'd be better off with an all-in-one unit.
Other appliance time frames include:
• Dishwashers: 8 to 10 years
• Refrigerators: 15 years
• Stoves and ovens: 10 to 15 years
• Washers and dryers: 10 years
Replacing them when necessary will reduce energy costs and reduce the risk of a fire started by an electrical problem.

Do the Plugs Fit?

Check plugs to make sure they fit snugly. If a plug is not inserted properly, the plug could overheat and can cause a fire hazard. If plugs do not fit in the outlet snugly, the outlet should be replaced.
Any plates that are broken should be replaced so that the wires are not exposed. Make sure that tamper-resistant receptacles are installed to protect the outlets from having hairpins or needles placed inside so that children do not insert small objects and receive an electrical shock.

Are the Cables in Good Condition?

All of your cables should be inspected to make sure they are in good condition. If cables are fraying or you see early signs of damage, have the cables replaced. If the cable is discolored, the cable may be overheating.
If you have access to fixed wires, make sure they are also in good condition. They should be:
• Concealed behind walls
• Free of exposed wires
• Rubber insulated
• Secure
Any wires that are damaged must be replaced.

Are You Using Extension Cords for Too Long?

Extension cords should only be used temporarily. Using an extension cord over a long period can create a fire hazard because they are not sufficiently enclosed. When using an extension cord, use a safety guard to protect children from shocks or mouth burns.

Are You Fully Awake When Performing Repairs?

When you do decide to perform electrical repairs, make sure that you are not tired or distracted because you can easily suffer an electric shock. Instead, follow all of the proper safety precautions to make sure the power is shut off and the appliance or wires are de-energized.
If your appliances need to be repaired or replaced after an electrical inspection, Davis FL Builders Supply has tools and supplies that will help you get the job done.