Electric Safety for Older Homes

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Do you own an older home?

If so, you should be aware of some of the hazards associated with the electrical systems of older houses.
Square D and Wurtsboro Electric Service have partnered together to bring you an informative brochure discussing electrical safety and steps to take to ensure that you and your family stay safe in your home

Click here to download this brochure

Other topics concerning older houses

I have aluminum wiring in my house. I was told this is unsafe. Should I be worried?

While remodeling our bathroom we replaced an old light fixture above the vanity with two new ones. The new lights aren’t very bright even though they both have three 60 watt bulbs in them. It’s like they’re not getting enough juice. Is it possible we didn’t wire them right?

360 watts is a lot of light for a vanity! Try checking the fixtures with a volt meter to see if you are getting 120 volts, as you may have a loose or oxidized connection (common for wiring in older houses). Check for 120 volts both between the ‘hot’ wire and neutral, as well as between hot and ground. A bad connection is always just limited to the ungrounded conductor. If none of this helps, you may want to hire a licensed electrician to check your work to make sure it’s safe.

I was replacing a light fixture when I saw that the wirenuts on the wires are rusted and breaking apart. Do I need to take any extra precautions before disconnecting and reconnecting the wires? Is it safe to do myself?

It should be OK for you to do so long as the power is off; however, you should make sure that there is no deteriorating insulation on the wire after you change the fixture, as this may cause a future short circuit. Either strip the wire back to good insulation, or wrap the exposed conductors with electrical tape.

I have a 3 year old son who is fascinated with electricity. Last night he wanted to play with an extension cord in the rain and he got upset when I insisted that the cord be unplugged from the wall. My husband looked at me as though I was being overly protective. What's your opinion?

We’re with you - we don't play with live wires in the rain, and we're master electricians!

I want to rewire my house while renovating one room at a time. Can I buy new wire and run a room without changing anything at the box?

I suppose you could, but how are you going to power that new wire if you don't connect it at the panel?

Keep in mind that any new work must conform to the latest edition of the National Electrical Code that is in force in your community - regardless of the age of your home.

Wurtsboro Electric Service, Inc.

Licensed electricians serving Orange county, Sullivan county, and Ulster county in New York
(845) 888-8000 

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