A home inspection is meant to discover whether a home is up to code, is safe for the prospective buyer, and doesn’t have any expensive maintenance issues. While there may be some issues that are apparent to the buyer, electrical issues can be very difficult to diagnose via the untrained eye. To ensure you’re protected from hazardous situations, it’s important to become aware of electrical problems commonly found during inspections.
Problems with the Home’s Electrical System
When inspecting a home, a qualified home inspector will be sure to look at the fuse box, outlets, light switches and fixtures, and exposed wiring. Some of the most common issues they will encounter with these components include:
- Incorrectly Wired Switches: When a homeowner hires an inexperienced electrician or tries to do the wiring on their own, they may inadvertently flip the wires and create a shock hazard.
- Ungrounded Outlets: Ungrounded outlets are electrical receptacles that only have two slots to plug into, whereas grounded outlets have an additional third hole for the ground wire. Ungrounded outlets are unsafe because they have a higher risk of generating electrical fires.
- Double-Tapped Circuit Breakers: When two wires are connected to a single circuit breaker, it can lead to arcing currents or even electrical fires.
- Openings in the Electrical Panel: While it won’t affect functionality, any unused opening not closed off by filler plates can result in sparks or shocks escaping the panel.
These issues can be dangerous for homeowners, especially those with small children. If these problems are discovered during a home inspection, it’s crucial to have them fixed.
Problems with Other Electrical Sources
There are other sources of electrical problems that stem beyond the fuse box and wiring. One of the most obvious reasons for a failed inspection is a home not having smoke detectors installed. Furthermore, having extension cords for permanent use is also not only a sign of a lack of outlets but if they are overloaded, they’re considered a fire hazard. Some external electrical problems can also arise due to bushes or trees leaning on powerlines or if exterior wires are improperly buried.
These electrical problems commonly found during inspections can present a hazard for buyers and sellers, so it’s important you hire an experienced home inspector for a property. We here at the Homeinex Corporation are experts at uncovering issues around the home, and we include electrical system assessments as part of our basic home inspection. If you’re interested in having property inspected the right way, contact us today to schedule your appointment.