Should you have an electrical inspection conducted? If so, when should you have an electrical inspection conducted? According to real estate expert Monica Dillon in an article for SF Gate.com*, the Electrical Safety Foundation recommends you conduct an electrical inspection when: purchasing a home, when the home is older than 40-years, when adding a new appliance, or when you are doing a major renovation. It’s also important that all new electrical installations have an inspection conducted to be sure it meets all minimum safety requirements.
We believe that Just like a general home inspection is important, an electrical inspection is an extremely important service that we offer and is an important component of the general inspection or as a stand-alone inspection. Outdated, incorrectly installed or damaged electrical components in your home could cause a fire.
It is important that the dwelling meets national as well as local electrical codes. Older homes should be very carefully inspected and brought up to standard and codes. Electrical failures are a common cause of house fires. Electrical inspections can ensure the safety of your home. There are 28,600 electrical fires each year in this country causing 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Faulty, outdated, or overburdened electrical wires or systems are among of the main causes of electrical fires.
Wiring and Electrical Service Panel:
The electrical panel acts in many ways as the brain or center of all your home’s electricity. It’s important that it’s updated and to code. It is also important that it’s capable of handling the electrical load of your home. If the house is more than 40 years old, it’s quite likely that the electrical panel as well as the wiring are outdated and will need to be brought up to code, learn more here. It will need to be updated by a licensed professional.
If the electrical panel contains round (outdated) fuses then the home will likely contain outdated wiring. We have included electrical problems within a previous blog post of our called 3 Mistakes Every Home Buyer Should Avoid, go back and give it a read.Without updated wiring, you could find it difficult to insure the home or pass an inspection. More importantly, failure to update wiring could pose a significant safety concern.
Lighting and Outlets – interior and exterior:
Outlets: Home with outdated electrical systems should have a professional contractor install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) in any potentially wet areas such as kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, bathrooms, garages, and exterior outlets. (All exterior outlets must be GFCIs.) Light switches much also be a certain distance from water or wet areas according to code. A reputable house inspector will red flag any areas of concern which will need to be addressed. Most electrical contractors or inspectors recommend that homeowners regularly have GFCIs tested to ensure they are functioning properly.
All lighting (interior as well as exterior), interior outlets, switches, any appliance cords currently in use, and all GFCIs should be checked regularly to ensure proper functioning and that they are in good condition. A home owner should have a licensed electrician immediately inspect any outlets or lighting producing any type of sound such as a humming.
It’s highly advisable to conduct a home inspection prior to the purchase of any dwelling or during a renovation. An electrical inspection is an important part of any home inspection.