Before adding a new system of computers or an audio system for the entire building, you need to consider the safety and reliability of your electrical wiring. Whether through old age or poor installation, there may be some issues with your wiring that could lead to rampant outages, information loss in connected computers or even electrical fires. Take the time to understand a few electrical issues, the dangers and other concerns associated old wiring.
What Is Wrong With Old Wiring?
Old wiring is wire that has begun to deteriorate, leading to a thin wire that can break apart and end an electrical connection.
Copper wire—like most other materials—is subject to wear and tear. The wiring can last for decades when properly maintained, but the countdown to failure is accelerated by the very electricity that the wire is designed to carry.
Over time, the constant supply of power can begin to burn away the copper and shielding from the wiring. Your walls may be full of wires that are barely touching, which can lead to sparks at the wires touch and fire dangers if there's a lot of dust or debris nearby.
The problem of old, brittle wiring can happen faster when certain electrical threats are introduced.
How Does Wiring Become Brittle?
Electricity is a source of heat, and the electricity that courses through most commercial and residential buildings is hot enough to begin a slow process of melting and stretching. Although the idea of melting wires may seem alarming, it's rare that a wire reaches its melting point for extended periods of time—but not impossible.
Wiring has to deal with threats from sources such as electrical surges from storms, unplanned electrical spikes (an irregular rise in power) from the power plan or a powerful device or machine demanding too much power.
When a high, unplanned supply of power passes through electrical wiring, the result is hard to plan. For electrical storms, it's difficult to know if you're getting the full force of a bolt of lightning or a dampened effect because of an indirect strike. With any surge in power, a short burst of extra power isn't enough to completely burn the wires away—but it can weaken the wire's integrity.
You may be lucky enough that the wiring was simply weakened, which simply shortens the lifespan of the wiring. If you're unlucky, you may have some signed wires that can lead to the fire hazard mentioned in the previous section.
Before buying any new computers, powerful entertainment systems or any expensive electronics with electrical power needs, contact an electrician for updated, robust wiring that can handle electricity at a bigger load—and maybe a few more decades added onto your building's electrical lifetime.
For further assistance, contact a local electrician, such as one from Conway Electric.