How safe is your old home?

There are many reasons for someone to buy an older home, but mainly it’s for the charm. Many building companies use the same layout for their houses and therefore they end up looking and feeling the same as every other house on the street. The unique charm of an older home is desirable to many, with those little flaws that remind you of the history around you.

Unfortunately, older homes weren’t built with the same regulations as modern homes or the materials can end up simply wearing out. But what does this mean for the wiring and electrics?

It’s not all doom and gloom, these electrical problems can be fixed by a professional and restore your old home so that you can remain confident that it is safe for years to come. If you own an old home and would like to check that it is electronically safe, get in touch with Mr Sparky.

See below examples of electrical concerns to watch out for when owning an older home.

Old wiring

Naturally, an old house often has the same wiring that it was built with, which can last safely for years but as it gets older it can start to deteriorate. As well as general deterioration, there are other risks such as rats and other pests which can cause damage to your wiring. The main concern with old wiring is when it becomes exposed, as this can cause a fire within the walls. Old walls are extremely flammable and stray sparks can cause a dangerous fire in no time. Get your wiring checked, if it is particularly old, it could be worth rewiring the house.

Power usage

A modern household uses significantly more power than would have been used when your old home was built. In the past homes were built with just enough power in mind to run basic needs, compared to today’s high energy demands. This can lead to lights flickering when turning on an appliance which is a good indicator that your homes wiring isn’t coping with the demand. Get your home examined if you notice and your power struggling with your demand.

Flickering light bulbs

Flickering and dim light bulbs can happen in old houses, but this shouldn’t be accepted as normal. Flickering or dim light bulbs can be an indicator that something isn’t right and could even indicate a potential fire risk. If your lights flicker or dim regularly get a professional in to have a look as soon as possible.

Unsafe DIY projects

Part of the charm of an older home is the history and charm, this means often many different people have lived in the house before you. DIY has been a way of life for many generations and there are lots of property upgrades which can safely be tackled on your own. Electricity should always be left to the professionals but unfortunately many have taken on upgrades themselves. If something with your wiring or electrical sockets doesn’t seem right, call a professional to have a look.


Older homes can often lack ground-fault circuit interrupters. This can then lead to fuses “popping” when using more than one appliance. Older fuse boxes can still be used safely, however they weren’t made to handle the energy load of today’s households. Get a qualified electrician to upgrade your fuse box to a circuit breaker panel.



Anyone who can appreciate the charm and history of an old home understands that sometimes they require a little more TLC than modern homes. Upgrading the wiring and electrical materials can keep your home safe for you and your family, and preserve your charming old home well into the future.

Contact Mr Sparks if you have concerns over your older Auckland home.