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Q.When remodeling or adding to an older home, what are some things to look for that indicate the entire house’s wiring should be updated or replaced?

A. If you see any of the following conditions, you should think seriously about rewiring: ­ Any system without a ground (bare) wire.

­ Cloth insulation, or any worn insulation that deteriorates in your hands when you move the wires. This leaves bare spots along the wire, creating the potential for dangerous shorts.

­ Less than 20-amp circuits in the kitchen, laundry, or bathrooms.

­ Lights that dim as a result of an appliance being turned on.

­ A fuse box, because it generally indicates an obsolete system. Chances are good that you need new wiring, a new panel, and probably a grounded, or GFCI-protected, system.

­ The presence of branch-circuit aluminum wire. If you find this, call an electrician.