Three Common Electrical Problems in your Newport, RI Home

January 26, 2015 by Valerie Griffiths

Living in Newport County for most people means beautiful vistas and charming historic neighborhoods. We love the slate roofs, wood shingles, and window shutters, but we don’t love the old electrical wiring that often comes with these homes. From the antiquated to the downright spooky, here are three of the most common electrical problems in our area and tips to solve them:

1. Old homes = old wiring. It doesn’t mean the previous homeowner is trying to pull one over on you—many old electrical systems are grandfathered in. Knob and tube was very popular up until 1940 and is common in the Newport County area. The problem is that it’s not designed to meet the high-energy demands of today. While knob and tube (and other old wiring) may not present an immediate safety hazard, they could in the future. You’ll want to have your electrician replace wires that have bent, broken down or frayed. Also be sure to identify any loose connections and bring everything up to code.

2. Your lights flicker. Could it be a…gh-gh-ghost?! It could be something even scarier! Flickering lights throughout your house could be a sign of loose service conductors or frayed wires. Frayed wires can arc or burn through the insulation and cause fire. If your lights flicker, it could also mean you’re demanding too much of your home’s electrical system and it’s struggling to keep up. Don’t ignore dimming or flickering lights or consider it part of the old-home charm. Flickering lights are a warning sign to have your electrical system inspected, so don’t wait!

3. Stroll the local neighborhoods and you’ll notice that many homes in our area are multi-floor and multi-family. It can be a great way to live! Whether you’re a landlord or tenant, it’s important to remember that the wiring on any floor can affect your own unit, too. A fire that starts in one unit will not discriminate! Make sure the wiring is brought up-to-date within the entire property for everyone’s safety and convenience. A licensed electrician who is familiar with Newport County will be accustomed to troubleshooting in multi-family homes.

Rest assured, there are simple solutions for each of these electrical problems. Let your electrician solve them so you can sit back and enjoy Newport County living!