Ageing wiring: A Safety Concern in Older Homes

Posted on October 4, 2013 by admin

The electrical wiring in your home is something many homeowners don’t give much thought. Because it’s hidden it often falls into the “out of sight, out of mind category” – that is until something goes wrong. Over time this insulation surrounding electrical wiring becomes worn and brittle and becomes downright dangerous – especially in older homes. Our domestic electricians here at North Gold Coast Electrical explain how to minimise this risk in our latest blog post.


All electrical wiring is insulated to protect the copper wiring from damage, magnetic interruptions and corrosion. Over time wiring insulation can become degraded from overheating, climatic conditions and also from the activities of household pests who chew through wiring insulation. Breakdown of wiring insulation causes many electrical problems in the home, not to mention being attributed as the cause for more than 30 per cent of household fires in Australia. This makes worn electrical wiring a safety issue that all homeowners should be concerned with.


Homes that are older than 30 years and have not had wiring replaced or inspected during this time are at risk. There are many signs a home owner can check for to determine if their wiring could be a cause for concern. Warning signs of ageing electrical wiring include:

  • Circuit breakers or fuses regularly go out
  • Dimming and Flickering lights
  • Buzzing, charred or discoloured power points or light switches from heat build up
  • Switches or outlets that send an electrical shock.


Electricians can inspect the condition of your wiring by using an insulation tester. Insulation testing is measured in Ohms, and insulation on an electrical circuit must be at least 1 million Ohms to be considered safe. Our electricians can also assess the thermal insulation in your roof to make sure that electrical cabling is not buried and at risk of overheating. This is also an important consideration when building a new home to make sure wiring is laid correctly and not placed under heat pressure from ceiling insulation. After an inspection, if necessary an electrician will also isolate circuits and replace insulation around electrical wiring and replace any damaged or faulty wiring.

If you live in a home older home and haven’t had the condition of your wiring checked, don’t bury your head in the sand just because wiring hidden is out of sight. Protect your home and your family by arranging an inspection with our electricians here at North Gold Coast Electrical today by calling (07) 5500 0222.