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From A.B. May
Call Your Service Tech
From A.B. May

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Old House Electrical Problems

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Older homes are often full of character, beauty–and lots of old house electrical problems. They take some extra care, and many homeowners gladly give it. If you live in an older home, you may wonder if your wiring can go bad or what kind of electrical problems you may have. This blog outlines some common old-house electrical problems, so you can better understand what may happen in your home. If you have problems like frequent circuit breakers tripping, lights flickering, hot outlets, buzzing, or sparking, give us a call today. We want to get your house working smartly and safely for you.

Common Old House Electrical Problems

Older homes often require greater care and attention. If you live in an older home, we can guide you on how to care for your electrical system. Many old house issues do not need immediate repair, but you may want to pay extra attention to several common electrical issues in older homes. These include problems with wiring, outlets, and your main electrical panel. Here are some of the most common electrical problems we see in older homes.

  • Overloaded panel–Over time, previous homeowners may have added more circuits than your breaker panel is rated to carry. Frequently tripped breakers, buzzing, sparking, and hot breakers are common signs you may have an overloaded panel. 
  • 2-Pronged outlets–An outlet with two prongs is ungrounded, creating a greater risk of shock or damaged electronics. Avoid unsafe plug-in adapters to create space for 3 prongs.
  • Uncovered junction boxes–When boxes are uncovered, you are at risk for accidental electrical contact or fire. Inexpensive covers usually make a simple solution.
  • Flickering lights–Lights can flicker with a simple loose lightbulb or an incompatible LED light on a dimmer switch. But flickering lights can also be a sign of a loose electrical connection, which needs professional attention.
  • Not enough outlets–Old houses were not set up for our modern, plugged-in way of life. You may want to consider adding outlets for kitchen or bathroom appliances, electronics, or a vacuum. 
  • Missing GFCIs–GFCIs are special outlets (identified by “test” and “reset” buttons) designed to protect you from shock anywhere water may come into contact with your electrical system. Kitchens, baths, basements, laundry rooms, garages, and outdoor receptacles should be protected with GFCI. 
  • Old wiring–If you live in an older home, you may have outdated wiring behind your walls. Aluminum wiring, knob and tube, armored cable, and two-wire plastic-sheathed cable are all examples of old wiring that could be dangerous. An electrical inspection is a good idea.

Preventative Electrical System Checks

Electrical problems are often invisible until something goes wrong. Every home can benefit from a professional electrician walkthrough. During an Electrical System Check, our licensed electrician will inspect the main features of your system, including your main panel, GCFI outlets, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and surge protection. Scanning for common safety issues helps avoid accidental shock, emergency repairs, and appliance damage.

The evaluation takes about an hour, and it also includes a written report for your records. There’s no service fee for our Plan Members unless you also want a repair completed during the visit. Don’t wait until you have an electrical problem in your home – protect your family, home, and valuable electronics by scheduling an A.B. May System Check today.

We are here to help

Concerned about an electrical issue? One of our expert electricians would be happy to take a look. We take the time to listen to your concerns and help you understand your home. Call 913-386-3677 or use one of our forms below to request service.


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