A home electrical inspection is a visual examination of a home’s electrical wiring and equipment, usually conducted by a licensed electrician. The assessment identifies potential hazards and ensures that the electrical system is up to code.
How often should you have a home electrical inspection?
Most home insurance policies require that a home have a current electrical inspection to be covered. Even if your home is not insured, it’s still a good idea to have an assessment every few years. It lets you understand the right time for electrical repairs, estimate costs, and avoid major disasters. When should you conduct the inspection?
Before buying a new home
If you’re buying a home, have an electrical inspection before purchasing. The effort ensures that the wiring and electrical equipment are up to code and identify potential hazards. It’s also a good idea to ask for the most recent inspection results if one was conducted.
The inspection lets you determine if the house is worth the price and make an informed decision. If the report identifies significant problems, use it as leverage to negotiate a lower price or ask the seller to make repairs. Work with an independent, licensed electrician to avoid any conflicts of interest. This way, you know that the electrician works in your best interest.
The grounding system, main electrical panel, and branch circuits are vital areas to check. Make sure the system can handle your electrical needs and any future updates. Also, check that the home has smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
After a natural disaster
Natural disasters such as floods, storms, and earthquakes can damage your home’s electrical wiring. If your home sustains any damage, have an inspection as soon as possible. Let the electrician know about any areas of concern to focus on.
If you had to evacuate, wait for the all-clear from authorities before returning. Inspect before turning on the power or settling back into your home. You’ll avoid any potential hazards, like electrical fires.
After making major renovations
Have an inspection if you’ve made significant changes, such as adding or finishing a basement. These types of renovations can damage your home’s electrical wiring. The added weight from the construction might stress the wiring, leading to shorts and fires. Even if a professional did the work, it’s still a good idea to have an inspection.
The electrician will check the work to ensure it meets the code and carries out any necessary electrical repairs. It’s also an opportunity to upgrade your home’s electrical system to support your new needs. For example, boost your panel if you’ve added new appliances.
Every few years
Even if you’ve never had any problems with your electrical system, it’s still a good idea to have an inspection every few years. Over time, your wiring wears out or gets damaged. The assessment will identify any potential problems so you can make repairs before they cause an electrical fire or outage.
Keep in mind that the codes for home electrical systems change over time. An electrician ensures that your home meets the current codes and makes any necessary upgrades. Not meeting the regulations can nullify your home insurance policy and cause problems with the authorities.
When you have concerns
If you have any concerns about your electrical system, it’s always a good idea to have an inspection. For example, you might notice that your outlets are hot to the touch or circuit breakers trip often. These could be signs of a severe problem that needs fixing.
Other concerns include flickering lights, sparks, or burning smells. Don’t ignore these warning signs; they could lead to an electrical fire. Schedule an inspection right away to identify the problem and make repairs.
Before selling your home
If you plan to sell your home, have an inspection first. Buyers will request a recent inspection report as part of their due diligence. An assessment makes you discover areas of concern and make the necessary repairs before putting your home on the market. It will also help you avoid potential problems that could delay the sale. For example, the buyer’s loan could be denied if the home doesn’t meet the code.
Why is the inspection important?
A home electrical inspection is a crucial part of maintaining your home. Here are the benefits.
Enables you to find out the true nature of your home’s electrical wiring
An inspection will allow you to find out if your home has aluminum wiring. This wiring was used in the 1960s and 1970s but is now known as a fire hazard. If your home has this type of wiring, have it replaced.
The inspection will also identify potential problems with your wiring, such as damage from animals or wear and tear. These problems can cause electrical fires or outages. You’ll avoid these hazards and keep your family safe by fixing them.
Protects your home insurance policy
If you don’t have an inspection and your home has an electrical fire, your home insurance policy might not cover the damages. That’s because some have a clause that excludes damage from faulty wiring. Besides, your policy could be void if your home doesn’t meet the current electrical code. An inspection will help you avoid these problems.
Reduces the stress of electrical issues
Electrical issues such as flickering lights or sparking outlets are stressful. An inspection will identify the problem and enable you to make repairs to have peace of mind. Others, such as tripping circuit breakers, are annoying. The assessment will find the root cause and make the necessary repairs.
Ensures your family’s safety
Your family’s safety is the most crucial reason to have an inspection. Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of house fires. You’ll identify potential hazards and make the necessary repairs to keep your family safe.
Work with a certified electrician
Electrical inspections are an essential safety measure for any home. They identify potential hazards, enabling repairs before severe electrical fires or outages. Find a licensed, certified professional in your area for a successful inspection.