Older homes often come with an elegance that's hard to come by in newer builds. However, they also tend to bring electrical problems. Your home's electrical circuit powers your phone, computer, HVAC system, and other essential household appliances, so you must ensure it's working properly. If you live in an old home, look out for these common problems and call an electrician for upgrades.

What Electrical Problems Are Present in Old Homes?

1. Poor Grounding

In older homes, electrical circuits often have two-wire systems instead of three, meaning outlets may only have two prongs. In some cases, homeowners might try to remedy this problem by adding a wire to the system, but this can also cause issues by creating an additional path to the ground. With two or more paths to the buried grounding rod, there's a potential for shorts and shocks. In this case, an electrician will check to make sure your home is grounded correctly and see if your fuse box needs to be upgraded.

2. Insufficient Power & Outlets

electricianPeople are now more reliant on electricity than ever before, as standard devices, including smartphones, laptops, and household appliances, use power continuously. The circuits in older homes were designed for older technology, so they must be upgraded to support the latest devices. You'll also likely want more outlets to accommodate your electronics without relying on extension cords.

3. Old Wiring

As a general rule of thumb, electrical wiring may last up to three decades. However, outside factors, including moisture and pests, can shorten that lifespan. For example, if insulation is damaged and wires are exposed, it'll put your home at risk for an electrical fire.

Also, most homes have terminals on the backsides of outlets to keep wires in place. In older homes, wires might be stabbed to the outlet instead of being wrapped around the terminals. Although this method is easier, it can create a fire hazard if wires come undone.


Upgrade your home’s electrical system with the experienced electricians at Zelek Electric in Old Lyme, CT. For over three decades, this family-owned and -operated business has provided residential and commercial customers with a range of services. Whether you want to troubleshoot wiring issues or ensure your system is up to par, call (860) 434-9726. You can also learn more about their offerings online.