Signs That Your House May Need Rewiring

by | Apr 2, 2024

If you live in an older style house, there are often obvious signs when things need to be renewed.


Electrical systems are the lifeblood of modern homes, powering everything from lights and appliances to high-tech gadgets. However, like all components of a home, electrical wiring doesn’t last forever. Aging or faulty wiring can not only cause inconvenience but also pose serious safety risks, including electrical fires. Recognising the signs that your house may need rewiring is crucial for maintaining a safe and functional living environment. Electrics can be a different matter as the signs may not be quite so obvious. It is estimated that some 51,000 fires a year are the result of an electrical fault.Here are key indicators to watch out for:

Here are 7 signs to look out for to check if your electrics need to be rewired.

1. Smell of burning. If you can smell burning and are unable to locate the source it is probably an electrical fault. You should turn off the power immediately and contact an electrician to investigate. A persistent burning smell without a discernible source is a serious warning sign of electrical issues. This smell often indicates that wiring insulation is burning from within your walls. If you notice this, turn off the power at the electrical panel and contact an electrician right away to prevent potential fires.

2. Switches are discoloured. If outlets or switches are discoloured then this is a sign that there is either a loose connection or the wiring is faulty. Once again, contact an electrician to take a look. Noticeable discoloration or scorch marks on your outlets or switches are a clear sign of electrical issues. This can occur when wiring becomes loose or worn out, leading to sparking and small fires that cause the discoloration. Such outlets and switches should be replaced immediately, and the wiring inspected by a professional.

3. Lights are flickering. This may simply be the lightbulb failing or needing to be screwed in more firmly. If it persists, though, it is likely to be faulty wiring. If your lights flicker or dim when you use multiple appliances, it could indicate that your wiring is struggling to handle the electrical load. This is a common sign in older homes that were not designed for the energy demands of modern living. While occasional flickering can be benign, consistent issues warrant a professional inspection.

4. Tripping circuit breakers and blown fuses. Circuit breakers are designed to be a safety measure preventing electrical fires. They will cut the electrical flow when a circuit can no longer handle the number of amps. If your wiring is old and worn frequent breaks and blown fuses may result. Call an electrician if this keeps occurring. Circuit breakers are designed to protect your home by shutting off the power when the system is overloaded. While occasional trips can happen, especially in homes with high energy usage, frequent tripping suggests that your electrical system is working harder than it should. This could be due to outdated wiring that needs to be replaced to handle current electrical demands safely.

5. Problems with sockets. Over time it is not unusual for sockets to wriggle loose or even fall off the wall. This can lead to dangerous exposed wiring. The sockets should be tightly screwed back or even replaced.

6. Aluminium wiring. It is recognised that aluminium wire connections are more likely to fail than copper ones, possibly leading to overheating and electrical fires. The letters ‘AL’ on the jacket of the wiring indicates it is made of aluminium.

7. Electrical shocks. Feeling a mild shock or tingling sensation when touching appliances or switches is a clear sign of electrical problems. This usually means there’s a ground fault in the circuit, which could lead to more severe shocks or even electrical fires if not addressed. Even a slight shock is a clear indication that something is wrong with the wiring. Do not continue to use the outlet or socket and contact an electrician as soon as possible.

8. Over-reliance on Extension Cords. Using extension cords as a permanent solution to a lack of outlets can signal that your home’s electrical system is outdated. Modern homes are equipped with sufficient outlets for safety and convenience, reducing the reliance on extension cords which can be a fire hazard when overloaded.

Any of these signs may indicate that your house needs rewiring. To avoid violating any electrical codes and risk to yourself or others, contact a professional electrician to investigate for you.

Recognising the signs that your house may need rewiring is essential for ensuring the safety and functionality of your home. If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to consult with a licensed electrician who can assess your electrical system and recommend the best course of action. Upgrading your home’s wiring not only enhances safety but also increases your home’s value and efficiency, supporting the energy needs of modern living. Feel free to give us a call on 01453 764531 for more information or contact us today.