Having an outdated wiring system in your home spells nothing but trouble. These systems can’t handle modern electrical loads, represent a dangerous fire hazard, often cause short circuits, consume more energy, and the list can go on and on.
Though there are several systems that desperately require an upgrade, two of them should top your list of priorities: aluminum and knob-and-tube wiring systems. Find out more below.
When indoor electricity was initially introduced, copper was the go-to wiring material due to its exceptional conductivity and durability. However, the price of this material skyrocketed during the 1960s, forcing electricians to find a more affordable substitute. Enter aluminum wiring.
If your home was built between the 60s and the 70s, chances are it has aluminum wiring. But what’s so bad about this wiring system?
Well, aluminum overheats relatively quickly, creating a fire hazard. It also contracts more than copper, which results in wires coming loose. Not to mention the issue of corrosion, which can further degrade electrical connections and increase fire risks.
If you think aluminum wiring is old, wait until you hear about knob-and-tube wiring. These systems go back as far as the 1900s.
Their age is precisely the main problem with these systems. After all, can you really expect something older than 100 years to function properly? Throw their unique construction into the mix, and you’ve got a disaster waiting to happen on your hands.
But what is it about their construction that makes these systems dangerous?
Knob-and-tube wiring systems feature cloth-insulated wires running through porcelain knobs. As time goes by, the cloth decays and the porcelain cracks, causing the wires to start sagging. And when they do, they can come in contact with flammable surfaces and potentially spark a fire.
While you can try to update this wiring system, full rewiring might be your safest bet.
- Vintage homes built before 1980 may need their wiring redone to avoid any problems later.
- For example, you may have aluminum wiring that needs replacing to avoid corrosion.
- An even older wiring system that causes even more problems is knob-and-tube wiring.
“Not only do these antiquated wiring systems have trouble handling modern electrical loads, they can create fire hazards.”