How to Make Your Electrical Wiring Last

Extend the life of your wiring—tips to keep sparks flying safely.

Your home’s electrical system is a vital component of everyday living. So much depends on your electricity and if the power goes out, you face a number of inconveniences. In addition, faulty wiring can cause blown fuses and even home fires, both of which threaten you and your family’s safety and security.

Here is some helpful information on maintaining electrical wiring for the long haul, and making repairs where and when needed.

Electrical Wiring

If your home has copper wiring in it, experts believe that it can last 100 years or longer. However, the insulation around the wiring should be inspected closely, as the life expectancy can vary. If you live in an old home with decades-old knob and tube wiring, it should be replaced once the insulation becomes brittle.

Installation process

Do you know if the wiring in your home was installed correctly? Most often it is, but sometimes simple factors like the temperature can have an effect on the insulation around the wiring and can reduce the insulation’s lifetime. In addition, if you have noticed pinched wires in your home, this could be a sign that the wiring was not installed well. It may not cause a problem right away, but over time, it could cause the insulation to fail, which could turn into a serious fire hazard.


Circuit breakers play a large part of the overall electrical system and more often than not, these are what fail, rather than the whole panel itself. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors reports that ground-fault circuit interrupters and arc-fault interrupters usually last about 30 years and some regular circuit breakers can last up to 40 years.

Service Panels

This panel is the box that holds your circuit breakers and they generally have a lifespan of 60 years, though it can vary depending on its location. Humid climates can create corrosion on the box and excessive dust can also shorten the duration of its lifespan.

Switches and Receptacles

Lighting controls usually last about 30 years, but this is often dependent on how often they are used. A switch that isn’t used very much can last for decades, but if it’s used a lot, it can malfunction sooner than that. The same goes for receptacles. If a plug is continually pushed in or pushed out, it can fail quickly.

Looking for ways to have the electrical system in your home last longer and function at its peak capacity? Contact the team at Prairie Electric for help.

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