Showing posts with label Upgrades. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Upgrades. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

DIY House Wiring Corrections

Residential solar



Unless your home is new or was built in the last 5 years there’s a good chance you may have some kind of electrical components that are not up to code. Whether the problem is outdated electrical wiring or you purchased a house that was someone else’s flipper investment, or it just is a home that the previous owner liked to do all of their own remodel and maintenance, electrical wiring that is not up to code can put your home and family at risk.

Old Wiring

If your home happens to be really old you may encounter what is referred to as knob and tube wiring. When the home was built it was considered state-of-the-art electrical technology. Today knob and tube wiring is considered very dangerous because the wires aren’t grounded, the circuits support lower amperage than is needed today, and the wires feature insulation that disintegrates over time. Because of these issues, most insurance companies refuse to insure buildings with knob and tube wiring.


If your home was built before 1950 and the wiring hasn’t been updated, hire an electrician to inspect your home. A lot of home buyers sometimes are led to believe that the home inspector that came out to inspect the home before you purchased it, are licensed electricians or that they will catch everything that is a violation while they inspect your home. The truth is, most are not electricians, and even if they are, they can’t find every problem. If after you purchased your home and you find evidence that knob and tube wiring is present, you should have an electrical contractor come out to verify, and then most likely have that method of wiring removed and bring all of the house wiring up to current code. This can amount to a costly task, but when you are talking about the safety of your home and family, I feel that it is a necessary cost. If your are up to it you may find that some of this work you may be able to fix your self to help cut the cost. Just remember the whole point is to modernize the wiring and bring it up to code, so be sure you are aware of the latest codes if you decide to tackle some of the work yourself.

Adding New Light Fixtures

A common wiring issue that comes up while updating older homes is overheating existing house wiring after replacing light fixtures. New light fixtures can overload old wiring because they are rated to operate at a hotter temperature. Modern lights are manufactured with wires meant to withstand 90 degrees C, while old wires are rated for just 60 degrees C. So, what can happen after installing new lighting is that it can basically cook the old insulation off the existing wiring, which can cause shorts and or a fire.


If your home has wiring from before 1987, install a splice box and at least three feet of new wiring to connect a new light fixture to old wiring. This prevents you from having to rewire the entire circuit. If you’re unsure how old your wiring is, look for a date stamped on the insulation jacket. Wires manufactured after 1987 have a date; those made before 1987 have no date.

Non-IC Rated Can Lights

Recessed lights that come in direct contact with attic insulation must be IC-rated. Otherwise, you must keep three inches of space between the light and the insulation. When non-IC-rated lights touch insulation, they can overheat and stop working. Over time, thermal protectors may fail and allow the light to stay on despite extreme heat, potentially causing a fire.


Inspect the can lights. If you find that they are not IC rated, and that there is insulation coming in contact with them or closer than three inches, you will need to make sure that all insulation is at least three inches or more from the can lights. The other option is to replace them with IC-rated versions.

Illegal Wiring

Splices are some of the most common code violations when it comes to wiring. Most illegal splices happen when someone decides to add more receptacles or move light fixtures. If the splice is not made inside of an approved junction box then it is against code. So is trying to splice too many wires in a junction box that is not rated for the number of wires installed in it. Bigger is better when it comes to wire splicing, and it makes the wires easier to work on.


If you encounter illegal splices, then you will need to get an approved junction box to contain the spliced wires. Mount the junction box, run the wires into it, splice the conductors using the appropriate wire nuts and install a cover plate over the box.

In conclusion, we all like to save money. When it comes to our homes it seems like maintenance is that one thing that always cost more than we expect. So, if you do a little research and ask for some help usually you can cut down on the amount of money spent on your home improvements and emergency repairs. When it comes to electrical there really is a lot of things as a homeowner you can do yourself. If you fell it is out of ability to tackle an electrical problem yourself, and it looks to be a little too complicated, you should hire or at least consult an electrical contractor. In some cases, by having the professionals do it to start with is where the money will be saved.


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