We all love a bit of DIY from time to time and we all like the sense of fulfilment we get from completing a project, but some things just need to be left to those qualified to complete the tasks like electrics.
Faulty electrical components can result in a fire and possibly death. The daily interaction that many people have with their home’s electrical components is limited to flipping a switch or plugging in an appliance. However, behind every wall is a maze of electrical wires connected to breakers, boxes and ultimately the community’s main power grid. A while a basic knowledge of faulty electrical goods can come in handy at times it’s not sufficient to take on major re wiring tasks.
Whether the problem exists with the panel boxes and breakers, aluminium wiring or the old knob-and-tube wiring found in homes from the 1940s, electrical problems can create havoc in the home to prevent unwanted surprises and costs, always have a licensed home inspector or electrician carry out the tasks.
Many DIYers put to much trust into their own limited knowledge putting themselves at risk, a lot of people don’t even know what kind of wiring system they are dealing with.
The wiring inside many houses is also out of date, straining to supply our ever-growing collection of electricity-hungry appliances, lighting, and electronics that have become part and parcel of our modern day lives.
Today’s standard household wiring is a plastic-sheathed, insulated three-wire cable, universally known by the trade name Romex. But the vintage copper wiring in many older houses works just as well as the new stuff, as long as it’s in good condition. Here are some wiring systems you’ll find in older homes.
- Knob and Tube -The earliest residential wiring system has a cloth-covered hot wire and a neutral wire, which run parallel about a foot apart.
- Armoured Cable (Bx) – The successor to knob and tube. A flexible steel sheath covers hot and neutral wires, which are insulated with cloth-covered rubber. The sheath provides a ground, so grounded receptacles are easy to retrofit.
- Two-Wire Plastic-Sheathed Cable – An early PVC-insulated (Romex) wire.
- Aluminium Wiring – A type of wiring, used in the 1960s and 1970s as a cheap substitute for copper, that is no longer considered safe.
Some home insurance companies are not covering homes with known faulty electrical equipment issues, and this trend is expected to continue. Even though you might not be able to see it, faulty electrical wiring problems can cost you a fortune, or worse, your life. Make sure you hire professionals with the relevant qualifications such as the 17th edition wiring regulations.