Identify the Dangers of Electrical Work in an Old House
Older houses often have more character and are more spacious than newer homes. These houses have great potential as investments for anyone who wants to become involved in real estate. But older buildings come with their own set of challenges.
Older electrical systems typically use cotton-covered wires. These are a common source of harmful asbestos and other safety hazards. TCA Electrical has set out to tackle this problem to give homeowners peace of mind.
If you are living in or looking to buy an older house, keep in mind certain factors. Ask yourself the following questions to make sure the house is safe for the inhabitants, whether they are family or tenants.
1. When was the house constructed?
Houses built between the 1950s and 1960s typically used cotton-covered wires in their electrical systems. If you are interested in an older house, ask your estate agent when it was constructed. Additionally, ask them if the home was maintained and how. This is usually the easiest way to determine the safety of the electrical system. With the information gathered, you can determine the chances that the electrical system needs replacing. Not all electrical systems in older buildings have cotton-covered wires, as some have already been replaced with modern alternatives.
2. What should I look for when determining the safety of my electrical system?
From the building’s age to the extent of its maintenance are indicative of the condition of the electrical wiring system. But other factors demonstrate a faulty electrical system.
You can smell something burning from the outlets.
Cotton insulation becomes brittle and deteriorates over time. When it cracks, the exposed wire makes the network more susceptible to heat melting plastic sockets or sparks leading to a smouldering fire.
You hear a buzzing noise coming from the outlets.
Cotton-covered wires are ineffective insulators of heat. The constant temperature change causes the copper wires inside the lining to contract and expand, loosening them over time. The extra space in their cotton insulation causes the vibrations that make the buzzing noise.
3. Do I need to replace the wires even though they’re not damaged?
There is no guaranteed way of determining when an older electrical system will give out. When it is left as it is, a chance always exists that it will trip the circuit breaker or blow a fuse. Any faulty electrical system is a hazard that increases the risk of the structure catching fire. Replacing your cotton-covered wiring with modern cables improves safety. Although this decision seems costly, it will help you save on repairs and maintenance in the long-term and can keep the cost of house insurance down.
4. Can I replace the wires myself?
Although some DIY enthusiasts would take on this challenge, it is best left to the professionals. They have the necessary know-how and equipment to effectively and efficiently update your electrical system. Additionally, they have the expertise to manage the possible asbestos fallout when they start removing wires. If the asbestos is a major problem, they will have to consult removal experts.
TCA Electrical has a team that is fully trained to handle this type of wirework. Our services are available throughout Sydney to provide commercial and residential property owners with high-quality electrical work.
Get in touch with our team today! Call us on 0422 607 548 to book an appointment.