Do You Need a Home Electrical Inspection
Most people wait until something breaks in their home before calling an electrician. Once the lights go out or an outlet stops working, they call for repair. These issues are pretty self-evident so why should you call for an electrician before you find a problem? Let’s start by discussing what is covered in a home electrical inspection first.
What is an Electrical Inspection?
Homes change over time. Whether it’s due to the slow ageing process or upgrades and additions, the quality of the wiring and electrical system in your home will slowly degrade over time if not maintained properly. But it isn’t just homes that change, new technologies and regulations will have a positive effect on the safety of your home if your electrical system is kept up to date. Rules for the National Electric Code change each year, many of these changes are minor but over time an older home will slip out of regulation. One or two code issues in an old home are not a problem, but avoid an inspection for too long and the updates can become expensive.
We mentioned new technologies, but new information about existing technology is a reason to have your home inspected as well. A classic example is the issue with FPE and Zinsco electrical panels. They seemed fine initially, but over time faults and flaws were discovered and the panels are extremely unsafe. Just as you wouldn’t want to drive a car that was under a recall notice, you don’t want to live with electrical components in your home that should be replaced. A home safety inspection will look forissues and flaws in existing equipment and help you update from outdated or dangerous technology.
When you schedule a full home electrical inspection, your home will be checked for:
- Electrical Panel Issues
- NEC Code Violations
- Damaged Outlets & Switches
- Wiring Problems
- Outdated Wiring (Knob & Tube, or Aluminum)
- Breaker Issues
- Worn or Damaged Insulation
All of these things are easier to fix or replace before they break than after, as damaged electrical systems often cause damage to your home over the long run. No to mention, getting an inspection will help you find and repair smaller issues that can help improve electrical energy performance. Tired of a breaker tripping at random intervals? An electrical inspection may help you identify the issue (possibly a faulty connection or overloaded circuit) and give you options before there’s a major issue.
When Should You Get an Inspection?
When Buying or Selling a Home – When a home is changing hands, you’ll want to have an electrical inspection made. If you’re selling, it’s a good idea to inspect and make any repairs before placing your home on the market. Many home auditors require an electrical inspection to value the home properly to begin with. If you’re buying a home, it’s a good idea to have it independently inspected, just as you would a used car.
Older Homes above 15 Years – If you’re home hasn’t been inspected within the last 15 years, it’s definitely time for an inspection. Aside from finding possible issues, it’s likely that regulation changes have made advances in safety and energy-efficiency that your home is in need of.
Before Building an Addition – When planning to add on to your home, be sure to have a safety inspection conducted. You’ll need to account for older wiring and the installation of new electrical circuits from your breaker. A home electrical inspection will take care of this for you and will help identify any potential issues that adding a new circuit to your existing system might cause.