Is Your Electrical Wiring Outdated? Here Are 5 Signs to Look For.

Is Your Electrical Wiring Outdated? Here Are 5 Signs to Look For

Is Your Electrical Wiring Outdated? Here Are 5 Signs to Look For.

With a history dating back to the 1600s, it’s little wonder that the average age of a building in New York City is more than 50 years old. Thousands of these buildings are more than a century old, and in many cases, the electrical wiring behind the walls hasn’t been updated in many years. This can be dangerous for two reasons: first, the wiring itself can get corroded; and second, older systems aren’t equipped to handle the increased electrical demands of our modern-day lifestyle. In either case, outdated wiring can lead to dangerous situations, causing fires, injury, and sometimes even electrocution.

Do you know the age of the wiring in your home, business, or building? If not, how can you tell whether the wiring is out of date? Here are 5 key ways to know.

Flickering Lights

One of the biggest signs that your electrical wiring needs to be looked at is if you notice flickering or dimming lights on a regular basis. If you’re experiencing this, it’s likely that your current wiring is either shorting out or isn’t able to handle your electrical demands. Consider having a professional inspect the wiring to make sure everything is up to date.

Circuit Breakers Trip Frequently

Circuit breakers are designed to protect your home from overloads and power surges. If you find that one or more circuit breakers is being tripped on a regular basis, it’s a sign that your electrical system isn’t keeping up with demand–which can lead to overloads and damage. It’s a good bet that the wiring behind the walls isn’t up to date and needs to be upgraded.

Hot Outlets or Odd Burnt Smells

Outlets should never be hot to the touch. If they are, it means that electrical energy is being converted to heat in a place it shouldn’t be–either because the circuit can’t handle the electrical power or the wiring itself is faulty. If you notice an outlet is warm, or if you notice scorch marks on an outlet, it’s a danger sign. Similarly, if you smell a burning odor coming from outlets or switches, again, it’s likely due to overloaded wiring. In either case, heat or burning smells mean that you’re at a higher risk of electrical fire. Have your system inspected as soon as possible.

Buzzing Noises

Electrical systems may make a natural low “hum” which some people can hear–but if you’re hearing louder buzzing noises coming from any outlet or switch in your home, it’s a possible sign that loose wires are touching each other and creating an electrical short, which can lead to more serious problems down the line if not fixed immediately.


Sparks coming from any outlet should never be ignored because it could mean there is an underlying issue with the wiring itself that could lead to an electrical fire if not addressed quickly. If you notice sparks coming from an outlet, shut off the power to the outlet and call a professional electrician right away.

If any of these signs sound familiar or if it’s been more than 20 years since your wiring was updated, it’s time to have a professional inspect your system to make sure your wiring is safe and up to date. With many years of experience across the Tri-State area, the team of electricians at Apollo Electric are well-versed in the electrical infrastructure of this area. One of our technicians can inspect your wiring and let you know right away what needs to be done to bring your electrical system up to date. Contact us here to schedule an appointment.

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