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Home Outlet Wiring: Pros, Cons and Costs

Determining the most effective and cost-efficient outlet wiring for your home and budget

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Today's builders are unconcerned with the price of copper wire, yet they choose it above all other types because it lasts for a long time and performs well. Elevated electrical wire prices can be a pain, but the peace of mind that comes with using quality wiring materials is worth the added cost.

Most people give little or no thought to their home's wiring until some sort of problem arises. If you live in a newer home, then you may not need to concern yourself with wiring, although all homeowners should be diligently watchful of the need for home wiring repairs. If your home is older, you may want to look into home outlet wiring upgrades at minimum. A better idea may be to completely replace your old wiring system.

home outlet wiring (credit: Rennett Stowe)The leading cause of fires in homes, according to the National Fire Prevention Association, is faulty wiring. The safety concerns presented by old aluminum wiring have long been established. While new homes can be wired erroneously, most fires are the result of wiring that is outdated and unsafe. The older the home, the bigger the chance that your home's wiring is not up to code. Upgrading or replacing your wiring can prevent disastrous fires and damage.

When determining whether your home's electrical wiring has a problem, look for indicators like tripped breakers in the breaker box. If your home is old enough to be wired with a fuse box, look for blown fuses. Tripped breakers and blown fuses indicate that something is not right in your system.

Lighting that dims or flickers or weird burning odors that come from one part of the home should prompt a call to an electrical inspector right away. An outlet or switch plate that is warm when you touch it is also a sign that your wiring has a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Older homes that have not undergone an electrical system upgrade can present special hazards. Homes constructed during the 1960s and the early part of the 1970s likely used aluminum wiring, which can loosen over time to leave gaps between the wiring and connections. These gaps can potentially catch fire. All aluminum wiring should be replaced with copper wiring to improve the safety and reliability of your home’s electrical system.

Hiring an electrician to come out and give your system a thorough once-over is a smart decision. Reply! can help you easily find a qualified professional to inspect your system or a certified electrician to replace your wiring. Although the inspection may cost a few hundred dollars, it can end up saving your home or the lives of your loved ones if a tragic fire should break out. Despite the high costs of copper and other electrical wiring, you will feel at ease knowing your family is safe from harm if you choose to make an investment in your home and install copper wire.

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