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Is Your Home’s Wiring Safe? Warning Signs & When to Call a Pro

An electrician working on a home's electrical panel in the dark.

Did you know that many Spokane homes built before the 1990s might have outdated electrical wiring? This can be a safety hazard, especially with the increased power demands of modern appliances. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you identify potential electrical issues in your Spokane home and understand the importance of a licensed electrician’s inspection:

Outlets and Switches

  • Two-prong outlets: These are a clear sign that your home’s grounding system isn’t up to current Spokane electrical code. Proper grounding is essential for safety in case of electrical faults.
  • Loose or wobbly outlets: These pose a fire hazard and can damage plugs.
  • Loose plugs: If a plug falls out easily from an outlet, it could be faulty wiring or a worn-out outlet that needs replacing.
  • Finicky switches: Switches that work intermittently or feel like they’re not functioning properly could be failing and need attention from a qualified electrician.
  • Hot switches or outlets: This is a serious warning sign, potentially indicating an overloaded circuit or a worn-out device that could overheat and cause a fire.
  • Noisy outlets: Buzzing or humming outlets are not normal and could be a sign of damaged wiring or a faulty device.
  • Reliance on extension cords: Modern electrical codes require a specific number of outlets per room to accommodate your electrical needs safely. Overusing extension cords is a fire hazard as it can overload circuits.

Missing GFCI protection 

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are required by code in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and outdoor areas. These outlets have built-in protection to shut off power in the event of a ground fault, preventing serious shock hazards.

Flickering lights

While flickering lights can have various causes, it could also indicate loose wiring connections or other electrical problems.

Aluminum wiring

Homes built in the 1960s or 1970s might have aluminum wiring.  Aluminum wiring can corrode over time, especially when connected to copper wires, leading to electrical arcing and potential fires. If you suspect your home has aluminum wiring, it’s crucial to have a licensed electrician inspect it for any safety concerns.

Frequently tripping breakers

Breakers are designed to trip and cut off power in case of circuit overload. While occasional tripping might not be a major concern, frequent tripping could indicate overloaded circuits, faulty breakers, or underlying wiring issues.

Why a Licensed Electrician is Crucial for Electrical Safety

An electrical system that can’t handle your home’s electrical needs is a safety risk for you and your family. While loose outlets or tripping breakers might seem like minor inconveniences, they could be signs of more serious underlying problems like overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, or outdated components.

A licensed electrician in Spokane has the expertise and experience to thoroughly inspect your home’s electrical system. They can identify any potential hazards, recommend necessary upgrades to bring your wiring up to code, and ensure your home’s electrical system is safe and functional for the modern demands of your household appliances and electronics.

Taking Action:

If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to contact our licensed electricians in Spokane. At Mainstream Electric, we can assess your home’s electrical system, identify any safety concerns, and recommend the best course of action to keep your home safe. 

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