One thing that always has to be done before buying or selling a home is that of a home inspection. Your home has to be up to code and there should be no hidden maintenance issues.
A regular home inspection will include a widely trained inspector who isn’t necessarily specialized. This can be problematic if that inspector missing any specific issues such as electrical issues. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, bad wiring is the 4th leading cause of home fires.
Aged homes may have bad wiring or an electrical panel that needs updating.
An annual electrical inspection should be done to prevent problems. However, if you aren’t sure when the last time your home has been inspected or if you should get it inspected before selling (you should). The following sections will outline the why and how of an electrical inspection.
How To Know If Your Home Needs An Inspection
You might not know when the last time your home has had an inspection. If you are really borderline on having an inspection done, the following things can be a sure-fire indicator.
- The house is older than 40 years of age
- It has undergone major renovations recently
- New appliances have been added in the last decade
Common Electrical Issues
The most common electrical issues are visible but some are not (to the untrained eye).
- Exposed wiring and splices
- Ungrounded outlets/painted outlets
- Double-tapping of circuit breakers
- Reversed polarity
- Improperly modified electrical panels
- Missing knockouts in panels
- No GFCI protection
- More than one neutral wire in a slot of an electrical panel
Who Performs An Electrical Inspection
An inspection is performed by a licensed electrician or electrical contractor—prices may vary depending upon the size of your home (aside from the contractor’s usual rate). Average rates are between $150-$200.
What Will be Inspected
When you hire someone to come and look at your home, they will typically inspect the following things.
- Service and sub-panels
- Outlets and receptacles
- Light switches & fixtures
- Types of exposed wire
- Over-current protection devices (whether they are still intact)ex. GFCI and AFCI circuits
- Shock or electrocution hazards
- Grounding systems
- Surge protection
- Smoke detectors (function and placement)
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Outdoor electrical systems
What An Electrical Inspection Is
An entire examination of your electrical system is done to meet the standards of The National Electrical Code (NEC). Once the inspection is completed, the inspector will provide a detailed outline of all of the things that are right and wrong as well as recommended upgrades.
Benefits Of An Electrical Inspection
An electrical inspection will ensure the safe operation of all the electrical components in your home while identifying common mistakes made by contractors and homeowners.
After, you’ll be able to recognize outdated wiring and fire hazards (if so pay attention). Moving forward you should get annual inspections to reduce energy costs (especially if your provider is Vault Electricity) and meet insurance risk assessments.
Inspections are all about being safe —to protect you, your family, and anyone moving into your old home.
It’s important to be considerate and get an electrical inspection done when moving out and into new homes (for the sake of everyone).
For more information on buying and selling a home, check out the rest of our site!