Is My Old Wiring Going to Start a Fire?
Should I be worried that I’ve fried the electrical wiring within the wall and I am going to start a fire?
Electrical Wiring Problem
Electrical Question: Should I be worried that I’ve fried the electrical wiring within the wall and I am going to start a fire?
Ian in Utah asks:
- I’ve owned and lived in a 1938 cape cod bungalow for 3.5 years. The home has some new line/connection from the street, new breaker panel, new lines to main junction boxes (which I can see in the unfinished basement), new outlets and new light switches, but it has the original line within the walls to the overhead lights, to the outlets and to the light switches.
- I recently created a diagram to know what lights and outlets are on which breaker. to my horror, I found that around half the house is on a single breaker. I have plans to have this remedied, but I have an immediate concern. on one of the outlets that is on the overloaded breaker, I have a power strip with an eight foot cord.
- I’ve plugged an iron into the cord most mornings for several years. the only time the breaker has ever tripped is when I’m running a space heater in the bathroom at the same time I have the iron on. (I think the kitchen fridge is on this breaker, too.) Recently, when I plug the iron in, even when the space heater is not on, the breaker on the power strip (not the breaker on the main panel) trips off. yesterday I wondered if I smelled burning, but I’m thinking it may have been the iron. Today when the power strip tripped off after a couple of minutes, I decided I better ask an expert what they think is going on.
- Should I be worried that I’ve fried the line within the wall and am going to start a fire? do I need to have my plaster walls torn apart to replace all the line?
Thanks for taking a question.
Additional Comments: Very grateful for your service. I’ll hire someone if I need to, I just need to get the lay of the land to know the right things to ask.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Ian.
Tripping Breaker for a Wall Outlet
Application: Tripping Circuit Breaker for an Outlet.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the Wall Outlet, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the Wall Outlet should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in your specific area. A permit and inspections may also be required.
How to Fix a Tripping Breaker for a Wall Outlet
This electrical wiring project is about a Tripping Breaker of a Wall Outlet in an Old Home.
Wall Outlet Tripping Breaker, Half the House is on a Single Breaker
- Ian, from the information you have provided, the electrical integrity of all of the old house wiring and the new house wiring should be inspected and checked.
- I would have the electrical wiring of the outlet circuits checked to see if the wiring has over heated. If so then the circuit wiring may need to be replaced depending on the extent of the damage.
- All of the existing outlet circuit wiring that has been connected to the newer wiring in the junction boxes should be checked to make sure the wire types and sizes are amperage compatible, and the circuit breakers in the panel that the newer wiring is connected to should be checked to make sure they are sized correctly as well.
- The electrical circuits of the home should be updated and brought up to the current electrical codes. For example, this would include installing dedicated circuits into areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms, and installing smoke detectors and GFCI outlets in the required locations.
- Also, keep in mind that plug strips will have electrical specifications showing the amperage or watt rating, however high energy appliances such as an iron should not be plugged into a plug strip.
More about Tripping Breaker a Wall Outlet
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
Home Electrical Codes for Main Service Panels
Electrical Wiring Codes
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Electrical Panel Circuit Listing
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
Electrical Boxes for Electric Repairs and Home Wiring Projects
Electrical Junction Boxes for Home Wiring
Understanding electrical junction boxes and what they are used for. Home electrical wiring is the process of installing electrical wire to a location that will serve electrical devices or an appliance. One very important component is the box where the wire will be installed. The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.
How to Install Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
How to Install Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Bathroom Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Bathroom Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
How to Install Basement Electrical Wiring
Basement Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Basement Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Basic Home Wiring Diagrams
Electrical Wiring Diagram Symbols
Learn about the symbols used for home electrical wiring diagrams.
Electrical Wiring Diagrams
Articles about Electrical Wiring
Home electrical wiring diagrams are an important tool for completing your electrical projects. An electrical wiring diagram can be as simple as a diagram showing how to install a new switch in your hallway, or as complex as the complete electrical blueprint for your new home or home improvement project.
Electrical Junction Box Splice
Electrical junction box splices can be made safely when you understand the method. This example will show you how its done step by step and shows how to make a junction box splice and the related electrical codes.
Emergency Electrical Splices
Wiring Electrical Codes
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
|More articles about Electrical Wiring and Home Electrical Wiring:|
|« Previous||Next »|
|Preventing Basement Water Damage or Flood||Motion Sensor Controlled Landscape Lighting|