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Common Electrical Problems in Older Buildings

Old Buildings, Risky Business

Moving into an older building to fix it up is a dream come true for many people. Some houses in New South Wales have stood for decades and are often admired for the charm and character they bring to the neighbourhood.

However, no matter how stunning the building looks on the outside, it will likely need a complete overhaul on the inside. Older buildings often conceal a wide range of electrical problems and. while some of these electrical issues may just cause an inconvenience, others are a serious incident waiting to happen.

Fire & Rescue NSW estimates that over 350 house fires a year are caused by some form of electrical fault - nearly 29 homes impacted each and every month. Most of these issues are started by preventable electrical issues such as faulty wiring or overloaded power outlets.

6 Major Electrical Repair Problems in Older Buildings

Smart homeowners should keep in mind a few specific electrical problems that are quite common in homes that are more than a few decades old. Here are 6 of the most common electrical problems found in older buildings in New South Wales.

· Overloaded Power Outlets

· Outdated Electrical Panel

· Faulty Wiring

· Flickering Lights

· Outdated Electrical System

· Improper Repairs

Overloaded Power Outlets

Overloaded power outlets are a relatively common problem, especially in older homes in NSW, so homeowners should be on the lookout for problems relating to them.

It’s a good idea to perform regular inspections of power points to look for discoloration or scorch marks. Yellow or brown marks on the power outlets indicate that the electrical wiring in your building is overheating due to an electrical fault.

It’s likely that the overheating is already causing problems with the electrical system throughout your property and has the potential to start a house fire if left unchecked.

Outdated Electrical Panels

An electrical panel contains safety devices such as circuit breakers or fuses that are designed to trip and cut off the electricity supply when too much power is being used. By cutting off the electrical supply to your building, you can prevent a fire from breaking out due to wires overheating.

Despite this, many older buildings in New South Wales have old or outdated electrical panels that may not trip correctly during an electrical surge, leaving your home vulnerable to a house fire. If you have an outdated electrical panel in your home, our advice is to have an qualified NSW electrician perform an inspection of the electrical panel to see if there are any issues.

Faulty Wiring

As professional electricians in New South Wales, electrical fires are always our main concern when it comes to old and outdated electrical wiring in older buildings. Unfortunately, for many homeowners, out of sight means out of mind but just because your electrical wiring is not in full view doesn’t mean that lack of maintenance can’t have devastating consequences.

Not only could an electrical fire caused by faulty wiring pose a serious threat to you and other residents in your property, but you could end up losing your home and everything of value inside it. The same applies to business premises and the safety of employees.

Even if you don’t suspect that your home has faulty wiring, there are a number of other reasons why it may be a good idea to book an inspection. You can read more about faulty wiring in our other blog post “9 Signs of Faulty Wiring”.

Flickering Lights

Even if you haven’t been having circuit breaker-tripping issues, there are other ways to detect faulty wiring in your home. One of the tell-tale signs of outdated or damaged electrical wiring is flickering or dimming lights.

If your lights flicker when you turn them on or dim when several electrical appliances are in use, this is a sure sign that the electrical wiring in your building requires the services of a qualified NSW electrician who can determine whether the problem is due to the electrical wiring in your home or issues with the circuit breaker.

Outdated Electrical Systems

The electrical systems in older buildings were not designed with today’s modern technology in mind. While just a few decades ago, most homes had one television and a few electrical appliances in the kitchen, modern homes in New South Wales are packed full of high-energy additions such as air conditioning units, dishwashers and tumble driers.

DIY repairs over the years and other age-related electrical hazards aside, the overall electrical design of older buildings simply isn’t up to modern standards. Australian Standards and electrical codes changed significantly over the years and it’s likely that many older buildings would not pass an inspection.

Improper Repairs

Few things can mess up your building’s electrics as badly in the long run as improper electrical repairs and installations. Many older homes have had numerous DIY repairs performed over the years by someone who did not know how to make the proper connections or used the wrong equipment to fix electrical problems. These amateur electrical repairs are often made without following best practices or Australian Standards guidelines and pose a serious threat to the safety of your home and any residents living there.

The good news is that a professional ASP Level 2 Electrician in New South Wales, such as Real Electrical Solutions, can safely and promptly correct all of those electrical repair mistakes.

Get help from an ASP Level 2 Electrician in Newcastle and surrounding areas

Just because old homes may have a range of electrical problems doesn’t mean a solution can’t be found.

Whether your building is old or new, you can depend on the professional ASP Level 2 Electricians at Real Electrical Solutions for electrical repairs and maintenance. Our New South Wales-based company serves Newcastle, Maitland, Central Coast, The Hunter Valley and surrounding areas.

We are qualified to work on homes of all ages and offer emergency repair services to customers throughout NSW. Call us now on 0403306842 or email us at for more information or to schedule a service.

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