How to Detect Faulty Wiring & How to Fix It?

(Last Updated On: February 7, 2019 )

Faulty wiring in your home can be annoying as you’ll keep losing power to appliances, probably when you need them the most. But, it can also give you, a family member, or even a visitor a nasty shock. This can range from a mild tingle to a serious shock, or even death.

That’s why it is essential that you use the Electrical Detectives to inspect your electrical installation regularly, particularly if anything has changed.

However, while it is important to get professional help with electrics, you can gain an understanding of how to find and even fix faulty wiring. This will allow you to handle small issues yourself, understand what your electrician is doing, or fix the issue yourself and have it inspected by an electrician.

Before you laugh this off, it is important to be aware that faulty wiring is one of the five most common causes of house fires.

The Signs Of Faulty Wiring

When your lights start to flicker, or your breakers are tripping regularly, then there’s a good chance you have some faulty wiring.

You may also notice a small shock when plugging items in or turning switches on. Other signs include blackened sockets or wiring, the smell of burning, or hot sockets or light fittings.

Burning is a particularly worrying sign as this indicates a fire is likely, you’ll need to take prompt action.

Look For The Cause

Before you assume that you have a wiring issue take a look at what is plugged into a circuit. If it is overloaded and trying to draw too much power for the cable rating, then you’ll have the symptoms of faulty wiring. Of course, this will increase the chances of a fire starting.

If you notice that a lot of items are plugged into one circuit see if you can lighten the load by relocating some appliance or simply unplugging the ones that aren’t in use.

Once you’re happy that the appliances are okay and the circuits are not overloaded you’re going to need to take a look at the wiring. You may prefer to get a professional for this part of the process. If you’re not sure about dealing with electricity it is better to pay a professional than it is to be one of the 162 that end up dead each year or the 1,493 that are injured through electric shocks in Australia.

You’ll need to start by shutting the power off to the affected circuit and carefully removing the socket cover of the one that you believe is faulty. Verify with a multimeter or electrical tester that the circuit is dead before you touch any wires.

You’ll then be able to inspect for loose wires or charred/blackened ones. Loose wires will need to be relocated into the correct slot and tightened into position. Charred ones need to be cut back and a fresh cable secured in the right slot.

If you find an issue it is a good idea to check all the sockets on the same circuit and to look at the wiring in the breaker box. This is potentially the most dangerous part as even with the power turned off, the breakers can still be live.

Again, if in doubt get the qualified professionals to do it for you.

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