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Electrical Systems in Older Homes

June 02, 2023

Whether you are investing in an older home or already own one, making sure that the home is a safe place to be in is extremely important, especially because older homes are known to have been built according to the standards of the day. Dysfunctioning alarms, old plumbing and structural instabilities may be common for homeowners to deal with in older homes. However, there’s one aspect of older homes that is often overlooked - the electrical system. In this blog, we will review some of the most common electrical problems specific to old homes and explain why electrical inspection by a licensed electrician in Toronto in such homes is necessary. 


Common Electrical Problems In Old Houses


Some electrical problems are minor concerns that may be easily addressed by homeowners or delayed until a meeting with a licensed electrician. Others, however, require the immediate attention of a professional master electrician. Below are the most common electrical problems that are found in older homes. 


Outdated fuse box


Fuse boxes were used to control the amount of electricity flowing into the house and to cut off the electricity when in case of a circuit overload. These days, this is handled by a circuit breaker. However, the beauty of a circuit breaker is that the switches can simply be flipped to cut off the electricity to a particular circuit. With the fuse box, the wires are melted in case of a circuit overload, requiring a master electrician to replace the fuse before electricity can be restored to that circuit.


Aluminum wiring


Aluminum wiring was the wiring method choice in the 1960s and 1970s. It is no longer used in modern home construction because it is known to heat up quickly, causing arcing, insulation melting and even fire hazards. If you live in Toronto or the GTA and your home is of older construction, it is likely that it has aluminum wiring throughout, so call a licensed electrician in Toronto for an inspection and advice. 


Two-prong outlets


Some older houses may still have two-pronged outlets installed. This means you can not use any of the modern three-prong appliances and have to use adapters instead. While this may be a temporary solution for one or two outlets, you won’t get away with this in the long term. There’s also a major hazard that two-pronged outlets present - they are not equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupters which are designed to minimize the risk of electrocution. If your old house has two-pronged outlets, call a local master electrician for advice.


Fewer outlets


Older homes are designed to accommodate a lower number of electrical appliances, forcing homeowners to use extension cords to connect all their electrical devices. Extension cords are a great temporary solution, but if you live in an older home and plan on adding more electrical devices in the future, consider expanding the outlets. A licensed master electrician can add more outlets within your home to accommodate your modern electrical needs.


Why Are Electrical Inspections In Older Homes Necessary?


The main reason for electrical inspections of older houses is pretty much obvious - safety. Older houses were built according to the standards of the day, and whatever electrical codes were in place at that time are no longer up-to-date, which means there is always a safety concern. 


For someone who lives in an older home, there will always be a risk of fire hazards or hidden electrical problems that will have to be dealt with sooner or later. Plus, it is always more difficult to sell a house with an outdated electrical system and the value of such a home may be less than the market value.


A.S. Electrical is an electrical services company trusted by many Torontonians and the residents of the GTA. We are a team of licensed and highly experienced electricians ready to serve you whenever you need us. In business since 2006, we have been a reliable partner to thousands of clients and continue to provide efficient and quality service to the community. Call us today!