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How Do You Know If Your House Needs Rewiring


As your home slowly ages, it will eventually require some repair work. And this may include having to rewire your whole house.

The older a house becomes, the weaker the electricals. Wires begin to wear and tear which could lead to serious damages, including electrical fires.

Studies have shown that faulty electricals account for an estimate of 51,000 fires each year. Therefore to prevent any fire outbreaks, or other serious injuries caused by your home electrics, you need to stay one step ahead.

But how do you know if your house needs rewiring?

There are a few ways in which you can find out.

First and foremost, you can get in contact with a professional electrician who will be able to provide you with a full home inspection.

Alternatively, there are several warning signs that you should look out for and pay attention to. If you happen to notice one or even a combination of the following, then your home may need rewiring:

1. Persistent Burning Smell

If you happen to notice a persistent burning smell and cannot identify a source, then it could be possible that your house may have an electrical issue.

If you do notice a burning smell and you suspect you have an electrical issue, turn off the power at the circuit and contact and electrician immediately.

2. Discoloured Outlets and Switches

Discolouration of the outlets or switches can be a sign that there is either a loose connection, or faulty wiring.

Loose connections in the outlets can cause arcing and sparking which might result in small fires causing the surface of the outlets to char and discolour.

It is also possible that if you cannot see any discolouration of the power outlets or switches that the issue may come from the wiring within the walls.

Ignoring this discolouration could eventually lead to more serious, life-threatening issues.

3. Flickering Lights

Flickering or dimming lights may just be the result of a bulb not being properly screwed in or just simply needing changed.

It could also be the cause of something more serious. If the flickering appears to happen throughout your home, then it could be a sign that the wiring is faulty.

4. Blown Fuses and Tripping Circuit Breaker

The purpose of your circuit breaker is to cut off electrical flows when a circuit exceeds the number of amps that it can handle. It is designed as a safety measure to prevent electrical fires.

When your electrical system begins to wear out or cannot handle the amount of electricity you need in your home, then it may blow or trip. If this occurs, then it may be a directly caused by bad wiring.

There are other reasons why your circuit breaker may trip including faulty or overheating electrical appliances. If you do not know the direct cause, then you can use a circuit breaker tester to check that everything is working properly.

 5. Outlet Problems

As time progresses, outlets can begin to wiggle and fall out of the wall. If you notice this, you must replace them.

Outlets which hang out of the wall expose wiring which is extremely dangerous. You should contact an electrician who will be able to tighten the outlets back into place, or replace them entirely.

You may also noticed that when you plug an appliance into an outlet that there is a buzzing or sizzling sound. Again, this is extremely dangerous and you should contact an electrician to take a look immediately.

6. You Have Aluminium Wiring

If your home happens to have aluminium wiring instead of copper wiring, then you may be at a high risk of serious injury.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, aluminium wire connections are more likely to fail which cause overheating, resulting in potentially starting a fire.

You can identify whether your wiring is aluminium by the letters ‘AL’ written on the jacket.

7. You Have Experience Electrical Shocks

Experiencing electrical shocks, even the tiniest tingle is a huge warning sign. If you have gone to plug in an electrical appliance to an outlet and experienced an electrical shock, then you have an issue with your electrics.

Electric shocks from your outlets are extremely dangerous, and you should never ignore them. If you experience even the smallest shock, step away from the outlet and call an electrician immediately.

Final Thoughts

To avoid violating any electrical codes, creating any unnecessary fire damage risks or potentially injuring yourself or others, please do not attempt to rewire your home yourself.

Instead, get in contact with a professional electrician who can ensure that the job goes quickly, smoothly and most importantly, safely.

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About Keith Gunn Electrical Solutions

Keith Gunn Electrical Solutions is an established electrical contractor with over 30 years’ experience providing comprehensive services for domestic and commercial properties in Edinburgh. Specialists in lighting design, lighting installation and landlord services including EICR and PAT testing.

If you have any further questions regarding the wiring throughout your home or any additional electrical queries, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 0131 225 3205 or email us at


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