When you are out to buy a house, one of the first things you need is a list of home inspection companies from which you will choose the one you can trust. While making this choice, make sure you factor in an electrical inspection.
Now, you must wonder, why do you need an electrical inspection? The truth is electrical issues can be hazardous to your health and your finances. Moreover, these remain hidden for the most part. An inspection that checks the following five components ensures you know what you are getting into when buying the house.
One of the first things that electrical inspections must cover is the outlets or receptacles in the house. In areas like the bathroom or kitchen, where water usage is more, the receptacles need to be GFCI protected. Likewise, outlets must have a ground and proper tension to hold the cord that’s plugged to them.
Moreover, they shouldn’t have any defects or cracks in them or be the wrong type for the area. For insurance, kitchens need special outlets, aside from being GFCI protected, to accommodate all the appliances used.
Checking the entirety of the service panel is time-consuming. However, it is well worth the effort to ensure you are not buying a damaged house. The entire process takes about 8 hours and checks the feeder wires, knockouts (round metal discs on all sides of the box) in the circuit, circuit breaker panel, main service wires, main ground wire, main service neutral, and branch circuits.
This extensive check gives you a clear idea of the condition of the electrical wiring of the house. With this knowledge, you can possibly negotiate a lower price for the property.
Wiring in the house has a specific lifespan, after which they need to be replaced. The lifespan of the wiring is something that every electrical inspection must check. Having old wires can cause a lot of harm to the house and its residents in the future.
Similarly, if you are buying an old house, make sure to check if the wiring is outdated, as the standards of wiring have changed over the years. For instance, knob and tube wiring were the best back in the day, but today, it is outdated and ineffective.
Another thing to check during the electrical inspection is the mistakes that the previous owners or the original electric contractor made when wiring the house. This can include having old wiring or overloading a circuit. You must, thus, look for signs of incorrect electric wiring to prevent hazards in the future.
When buying a house, you may have plans to expand or remodel certain areas of the house. If you do, indeed, have such plans, then you should check the electrical wiring for the ability to withstand such work. Even if you have no expansion plans, it is always best to check this to give you some room to expand in the future.
A general home inspection covers electrical checks. However, it is always better to have an electrician or electrical contractor have a look at the house’s electrical wiring separately. Doing so ensures that no issue is hidden and that the house meets the National Electrical Code standards from you as you prepare to buy the property.