When someone buys a home, they normally check the property for potential damage. Other than checking the roof and septic tank, it is also important to look at the building's electrical systems. Electrical systems can be expensive to repair, so you need to make sure your new home is in good shape before you sign the final papers.
What Electrical Systems Should You Inspect?
Ideally, you should hire a professional electrician or a home inspector to go through the property before you buy it. The home inspector should be licensed and independent. By using an independent inspector, you can be confident that they will work for only you and have the right incentives. During an inspection, your electrician will look at the following things.
If you are buying an old house, it may come with aluminum wiring. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, this type of wiring was extremely popular. Unfortunately, aluminum wiring can cause burned insulation, overheating, warm cover plates, and flickering lights.
If your home was built between the 1930s and 1950s, it may use knob-and-tube wiring. This kind of wiring is not suitable for modern electrical requirements. Ideally, you want a home that uses copper conductors instead.
Outlets and GFCI Protection
Exterior outlets should have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). This kind of protection monitors the flow of electricity. If there is an overload or interruption in the current, the GFCI device will automatically stop the flow of electricity.
Old electrical panels are often undersized. If you plan on using modern appliances, you will need a large electrical panel. In addition, you should check the electrical panel's brand because certain brands have documented issues.
Unfortunately, some homeowners do renovations and repairs without getting the proper permits. In some cases, the city or county government will make you undo the renovations if the previous homeowner did not get the correct permit. At the very least, you will end up paying a fine. Because of this, it is important to make sure the property has all of its permits and paperwork in order.
What Happens During an Inspection?
During an electrical home inspection, the electrician will look for potential problems. If your home has faulty wiring, it could lead to a fire, become a safety hazard, or cause excessive energy costs. Your electrician can do the following things during a home inspection.
- Assess whether you meet your insurance's risk assessment guidelines.
- Make sure your electrical components operate safely.
- Correct safety and fire hazards.
- Discover outdated wiring.
- Look for common electrical mistakes.
- Spot degraded components and wiring.
When examining a home, electricians must use the National Electrical Code (NEC). This code shows the legal safety standards your electrical wires, components, and systems must meet. Your electrician will use the NEC checklist to spot potential problems. Then, they can recommend the right upgrades and repairs.
When Do You Need to Check Your Electrical Systems?
If you are buying a home, it is important to inspect it before you sign on the dotted line. Once you have completed your purchase, you are stuck with any electrical issues. In general, you should get an electrical inspection for sure in the following circumstances.
- You should get an inspection if the home is 40 years old or older.
- An inspection is needed after any major renovations.
- You need an inspection after you add an appliance to your home.
- You should always get an inspection before you buy a new home.
By getting an inspection, you can prevent dangerous problems like electrical fires. With the right electrician, you can quickly spot major problems and figure out the cost of repairing them. To get help, contact Beacon Home Services at (703) 343-9884!