Older homes, particularly those built before the 1980s, offer current and prospective homeowners with incredible charm. According to a 2018 report by the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Eye on Housing, older homes also account for half the houses in the United States.
However, older homes also can have aging, outdated electrical systems that may not meet today’s standards. Ideally, you should hire a certified electrician to inspect your electrical system, especially if your home was built more than 40 years ago or you plan to purchase an existing property.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires between 2012 and 2016, accounting for thirteen percent of residential fires. In addition, three out of five of these structure fires were caused by a dangerous heat buildup caused by arc faults.
Also, according to the NFPA, “aging electrical systems in older homes can be a source of arc faults, either through normal wear and tear or because the systems cannot accommodate the greater demands of modern appliances.”
Arc-Fault Definition and Prevention
Arc-fault refers to a hazardous problem with your residential electrical system caused by damaged, overheated, or stressed wiring or devices. Further classified as either parallel or series arcs, arc-faults often go undetected, which is why the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires residences have arc-fault circuit interrupters installed.
Section 210.12 (A) of Texas’s National Electrical Code (NEC) 2020 requires arc-fault circuit interrupters installed on all 120-volt, single-phase, 15- or 20-amperage circuits in dwelling units. These are typically installed in your main electrical panel to provide whole-home protection from hazardous arcing. Once installed, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recommends testing them once a month, at minimum.
The NEC also allows combination-type arc-fault circuit interrupters that provide enhanced protection from arc faults to be installed. AFCIs should be professionally installed in your home by an electrician to ensure your property is up to code and that they are working correctly.
Leave AFCI Installation to a Certified Electrician
With over thirty years of experience in Montgomery County, TX, A&H Electric Co. is your local licensed electrical service, repair, and installation company. We offer a suite of commercial and residential electrical services such as electrical safety inspections, arc-fault circuit interrupter installation, and electrical system upgrades.
Our electrical contractors can troubleshoot, repair, service, or install your electrical system Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. We also provide 24-hour emergency repair. To schedule an electrical service appointment with a licensed, certified electrician, please give A&H Electric a call at (936) 756-0442 today.
“Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs)” Prevent Electrical Fires.” Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), March 29, 2016.
Campbell, Richard. “Home Electrical Fires.” National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), March 2019.
“Electrical Circuit-Interrupters.” National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
“NFPA 70, 2020, National Electrical Code 2020 of Texas: Section 210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection (A) Dwelling Units.” UpCodes.
Zhao, Na. “Half of US Homes Built before 1980.” National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): Eye on Housing, August 10, 2018.