How to Spot and Repair Bad Wiring

Wiring can wear down over time. As with any household item, careful maintenance helps keep your wiring in great shape. Especially in older homes, you may find that the wiring hasn’t been cared for in the best way possible.

Fortunately, there are ways to spot and repair bad wiring. Look for these signs of bad wiring in your house to take care of them before they become bigger problems.

Man flipping light switch.

8 Signs of Bad Wiring in a House

  1. Frequently tripped circuit breakers: If you have an older home, it’s possible that your individual circuits are being overloaded with too many appliances and fixtures. Have a professional inspect the whole electrical system to confirm that it’s safe to use, or to recommend an upgrade to your electrical panel.
  2. Flickering or dimming lights: There can be a lot of harmless reasons for flickering lights, such as a loose light bulb or an incompatible dimmer switch. Flickering and dimming can also mean bad wiring, like an overloaded circuit or a faulty electrical component. Dimming is something to pay attention to, especially if it happens when other high energy consumption devices, like appliances or vacuums, are used.
  3. Buzzing or crackling sounds: A lot of people can hear electricity, and it’s not a problem. But if you hear significant buzzing or crackling, that’s not normal! Consider a home electrical safety test from Mr. Electric®, a trusted Neighborly brand.
  4. Frayed wires: If a single area of your home seems to be having electrical problems, look at the wiring for switches, outlets, and anything with a plug. If any wires are frayed, they should be replaced as soon as possible. You should also look for signs of a rodent problem, including in your air ducts, as rodents tend to chew on wires.
  5. Aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring: These types of wiring are outdated and could be dangerous due to sheer age and inferior design. Better to update your wiring than to be sorry later.
  6. Warm or vibrating spots on outlets or walls: If there are hot spots anywhere, something is wrong, and you should hire an electrician immediately.
  7. Smoke coming from outlets or appliances: Now it’s getting serious! While you could test the electrical components of your appliances to troubleshoot further, it’s safest to get professional appliance repair and electrical services immediately if there are any signs of fire.
  8. Burning smells or scorch marks on electrical fixtures: Like the previous sign of bad wiring in a house, this one indicates an urgent problem that should be evaluated by an experienced electrician as soon as possible.

Act Fast When You See the Signs of Bad Wiring

If you’ve seen the above warning signs of bad wiring, especially any that leave damage or give off heat, call on the Neighborly family of home service professionals to keep your home protected and up to date. Our trained, experienced pros can help with your electrical system and any other aging parts of your house:

Need any other home services? Our professionals are ready to lend a hand to repair and improve your home.

Invalid zip code