Electrical Details of an Older House


What to check before buying an older home. (Photo Credits)

Being safety conscious is very important when buying an older home.

After all electrical details should be examined, and should be safe for all occupants. Electricians        

Realtor.com for instance says electrical fixtures should be among the first things to be checked when buying an older house.

“Unrenovated homes might also have knob-and-tube wiring, the early electrical systems that were common until the 1930s. Ceramic knobs and tubes run through the floor joists or wall studs, carrying electricity throughout the home. However, the rubber insulation can degrade and create a fire hazard. And without GFCI outlets (ground-fault circuit interrupters, which trip the circuit if there is a surge in current), the system isn’t grounded. Fixing it is pricey, so get ready—and start working on getting estimates from some good electricians.”

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Outdated Wiring

Apartment Therapy also mentioned outdated wiring as a red flag when buying an older home. Builders and Contractors

“Unless the wiring in your home is faulty and/or poses a major fire risk, it will likely come up during your home inspection as simply a soft recommendation—e.g. “We suggest you replace the current electrical system” or “We suggest you have an electrician examine your wiring.” This may give you false sense of security, since it wasn’t a big enough issue to cause a hitch in the home buying process, but it’s wise to heed the advice. We’ve already spent over $2000 for electricians to fix issues in our home that have resulted from our old wiring, so it’s certainly something worth noting—especially since the type of wiring often found in older homes (generally knob and tube or aluminum) can be very expensive to replace.”

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Comfree Living suggests that when buying an older home, wiring systems should be carefully inspected to avoid larger costs once a buyer has already bought the item.

“It is critical for you to find out exactly how old the electrical wiring is in the house. The majority of older homes still use the knob-and-tube wiring. This wiring poses a dangerous fire risk, especially in the attic where insulation often hides knob-and-tube wiring. Although the system probably works, it was not built to handle the amount of electricity consumers use today. When inspecting a home’s electrical system, the best place to find knob-and-tube wiring is in the basement. You must also inspect the breaker panels in older homes for any deterioration or signs that arcing or burn marks exist. Unfortunately, many consumers who buy older homes are under the impression that breaker panels last a lifetime and there is no need to check them. This mindset can lead to dangerous electrical conditions and fire hazards threatening the safety of any home.”

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Buying an older home can indeed be challenging.

Gforce Green Electric Solutions
2920 McGraw St San Diego, CA 92117
(858) 480-6559
Gforce Older Home Electrician San Diego

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