When you are in the market for homeowner’s insurance, you know that insurance companies will ask a thousand questions (just a slight exaggeration) during the process. It’s their job to make sure your Lubbock, TX home doesn’t present any undue risks because guess what: Insurance companies don’t like writing checks because your house burned down.
ELECTRICAL WIRING CAN SPARK INSURANCE PROBLEMS
What does this have to do with Armstrong Plumbing, Air, and Electric? Well one area of concern will be the home’s electrical wiring, and this is where Armstrong can help. Because many damaging house fires are electrical in nature, insurance companies want to make sure the wiring in your home meets all code requirements.
BEWARE OF THESE SITUATIONS
Most of the time a home’s wiring will pass inspection with very little trouble, but there are at least two situations that will raise a red flag for an insurance company.
- Knob & Tube Wiring: Insuring historic homes can often be a problem and this is one reason why. This type of electrical wiring uses porcelain knobs or mounts and tubes to carry wiring throughout a home. It was common from the late 1800s until the 1940s. Problems and/or dangers include:
- This type of wiring is unreliable and it’s prone to things like flickering lights, unusually warm or hot switch plates, and sparking outlets when unplugging a device.
- Because it’s old the insulation can dry and crack exposing the copper wiring.
- It’s easy to overload knob and tube wiring because it wasn’t designed for modern electrical needs.
- There is no ground wire which increases the danger of electrical shock.
You may very well be faced with the prospect of hiring an electrician to rewire the entire home in order to qualify for homeowner’s insurance.
- Aluminum Wiring: This was quite common in the 1960s and 1970s. Homebuilders started using aluminum wiring when the price of copper skyrocketed. Insurance companies tend to be more forgiving of aluminum wiring than knob and tube wiring, but some companies may still refuse to write a homeowner’s insurance policy. Reasons why aluminum wiring is considered dangerous include:
- Many if not most problems occur at the connection points on outlets and switches. This is in part because aluminum heats and cools at a greater rate than copper.
- This leads to expansion and contraction which causes loose connections. They can go undetected for years until they get hot enough to start a fire.
- Aluminum wires are prone to oxidizing. The aluminum oxide increases resistance in the wire causing overheating and fires.
- There’s an increased risk of electrical shock in homes with aluminum wiring.
It would be wrong to call aluminum wiring inherently dangerous, but it’s critical to have it inspected by an electrician. He or she must verify that all breakers, switches, and outlets are compatible with aluminum and copper and that all connections appear to be in good shape.
READY TO HELP
Whether it’s related to your homeowner’s insurance or not, if you’ve run into an electrical wiring problem in your Lubbock, TX home, call Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric to make an appointment with one of our licensed electricians. For more great information don’t forget to check in on social media.