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9 Signs of Faulty Wiring

These signs can cause bigger problems if not resolved immediately.

While residential fires claim lives but can be easily prevented - a study from the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre found that preventable house fires in Australia have claimed at least 900 lives from July 2003 to June 2017.

That’s more than 60 deaths per year, or more than one per week and one of the top causes of house fires is faulty wiring.

What are the Signs That Your House has Faulty Wiring?

Taking measures to prevent fire in your home can save your and your family’s life and valuables. Knowing the signs of faulty wiring can help you avoid house fires. Get started by familiarising yourself with these eight signs or ways to identify faulty wiring.

1. Damaged or frayed wiring

Any visible wire damage is clearly a sign that there is something wrong, yet many people see it as a minor problem and tend to overlook it. However small the damage may be, it is better to fix it as soon as possible than putting your safety at risk.

Look out for frayed wire ends and bite marks on the wiring. You might think that wires with bite marks is nothing more than cosmetic damage, but you can never tell when a rodent’s teeth have sunk deeper to cause serious damage. Also, don’t forget to check proximate wiring carefully if there are similar damage.

2. Look for scorch marks and discolouration

If your power outlet has scorch marks or any discolouration, this indicates that the wiring in your home has been damaged and is heating up. The heat coming off of a compromised wiring also damages the outlet plate and is uncomfortable to the touch. Should this happen, stop using the outlet immediately and call your trusted electrician, such as someone from the team at Real Electrical Solutions.

3. Frequent circuit breaker trips

It is not unusual for circuit breakers to trip - they were designed to shut your power off whenever the system gets overloaded – but sometimes this also causes fuses to blow.

This happens when you are using appliances with high power ratings, such as air conditioners, heaters and dryers. However, if your circuit breaker trips multiple times a month, you should call an electrician immediately.

Frequent breaker trips are signs of faulty wiring, and you wouldn’t want to wait for something serious to happen, such as your house catching fire.

4. Tangled or messy wiring

A well-organised wiring does not necessarily mean that it would work better than a slightly disorganised one. But this doesn’t mean that the electrician should intentionally make a messy job of installing your wiring. While a little disorder is quite acceptable, extreme disorganisation can be an indicator that the job was rushed or done poorly.

Junction boxes that resemble a rat’s nest, or excessively tangled wires, can indicate a slapdash job. It is your cue to conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s electrical system and fix whatever needs to be fixed immediately.

5. Buzzing and other unusual sounds

Normally, an electrical current should produce no noise that humans can hear. However, when wiring is outdated or damaged, the current may jump and create a buzzing sound.

Another symptom of faulty wiring is flickering or dimming lights. This indicates that the current isn’t flowing smoothly and can cause undue stress on your electrical system. Try unplugging appliances on the same circuit to see if the lights stop flickering.

You can also consider moving the lights to another circuit that does not have electricity. If none of these resolve the issue, you may have a much bigger wiring problem that calls for a professional Level 2 electrician.

6. Burning and other unusual smell

It’s okay to worry if you smell something burning, so long as you search for the source of the smell, checking your appliances and power outlets. If your home’s wiring is heating up too much, it will melt the insulation plastic surrounding it which will place your home at risk of fire.

Take immediate action. Firstly, disconnect everything from the circuit and then trip the breaker manually. Then, look for the source of the smell. Check the breaker box as well as each lamp and other fixture. The important thing here is to not ignore anything. Ask your electrician to inspect your electrical system if this will put your mind at ease.

7. Warm or vibrating power outlets

Another way to find out if there is something wrong with the wiring in your home is to check by feel. You can do this by feeling your home’s power outlets for heat or vibrations without touching any wire directly. If you can feel any vibration or if it feels unusually hot, have your electrician check everything.

8. Look for loose outlets

If you notice that the insides of an outlet are moving around when you plug a cord into it, it’s time to pop it open. A loose and moving power outlet can pull wires free. This can lead to shorts, sparks and even fire hazards. There are DIY books and websites that can teach you how to secure outlets safely, but calling a trusted electrician is the most practical and safe thing to do.

9. Noticed signs of rodent activity?

Have you seen rodent droppings or nest material especially near your electrical wiring? Immediately check for bite marks on the wires. Bitten wires can shock anyone who touches it and can easily become fire hazards when the exposed wire begins to spark or overheat.

Don’t Settle for Anything Less Than a Level 2 Electrician

Many faulty wiring problems are the result of installations done by inexperienced electricians. Don’t leave your safety to chance. At Real Electrical Solutions, we only hire licenced Level 2 Accredited Service Provider (ASP) electricians. This means that they are trained to handle extensive installation, repairs and maintenance of both underground and overhead service lines.

Our services span all areas of domestic and commercial electrical solutions. You can call on us to handle service and barge fuses, point of attachment upgrades, switchboard upgrades, solar metering and domestic metering. You can also come to us for anything involving underground and overhead connections, private pole installation, disconnection/reconnection, and much more.

Visit us at, or call us today on 0403306842. We service Newcastle, Maitland, Central Coast and Hunter and are ready to help you.



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