Today, we expect more from our aging homes. The lifespan of a home in the United States is continuing to increase. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average age of a home has jumped from 30 years in 1997 to 35 years in 2005. In addition, with the advent of new technology and electronics our use of electricity in our homes is constantly increasing. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, average monthly energy consumption by household has increased from 830 kWh in 1993 to 920 kWh in 2006. The result of these two trends is that greater demands are being put on older and antiquated home electrical systems.
According to a report conducted by Underwriters Laboratory, electrical problems in older homes can be attributed to a number of factors, including: inadequate and overburdened electrical systems, reinsulated walls and ceilings burying wiring, misuse of extension cords and makeshift circuit extensions, worn-out wiring devices not being replaced, poorly done electrical repairs, socioeconomic considerations resulting in unsafe installations, defeated or compromised overcurrent protection.
The following are signs of wiring electrical hazards commonly found in aging homes: Circuit breakers that frequently trip or fuses that often need replacement , Dim and/or flickering lights
Arcs and sparks flashes of light or shower of sparks anywhere in your electrical system , Sizzles and buzzes unusual sounds from your electrical system.