When Should You Schedule an Electrical Inspection?
No one waffles about contacting an electrician when a switch turns out to be faulty, or they undergo an unforeseen blackout because of damaged wiring. Likewise, most of us are used to obeying health safety regulations in our day-to-day work.
Remarkably, most homeowners don’t express these same concerns for health and safety when it occurs in their own homes. It’s usually with some foot-dragging that they secure an electrical home safety inspection.
This is amazing, especially with the evidence at the hand of house fires caused by an electrical problem. It ought to be a genuine concern to not only make sure our home is safe for ourselves and our families but also to safeguard our most valuable financial investment, our home.
In order to dispel any qualms about a home electrical inspection, let’s take a look at what happens, and, more significantly, why you need an electrical safety check.
Why an electrical inspection?
Per the Electrical Foundation International (ESFI), 51,000 home electrical fires happen every year across the United States, bringing about almost 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. While it’s impossible to preclude a fire from happening wholly, there are actions you can take to reduce the likelihood, one of them being having a licensed electrician complete a safety inspection.
How do home inspections work?
A home electrical inspection is a detailed appraisal of your home’s entire electrical system performed by a professional. A proper electrical inspection abides by a process specified by the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC is an array of electrical safety standards that the National Fire Protection Association continually re-evaluates and revises with feedback from electrical professionals across the country. When electricians conclude that something is “up to code,” the NEC is what they’re talking about.
The NEC sets up the minimum safety requirements for all home electrical fixtures, systems, and devices. If something is “up to code,” that indicates it meets the minimum safety standard. Throughout an inspection, electricians verify all electrical devices’ safety in your home, abiding by a checklist. This will consist of your wires, outlets, circuits, fixtures, appliances, service panels, and more. At the conclusion of the inspection, you’ll have an all-inclusive grasp of your home’s electrical safety.
An electrical safety inspection will:
- Ensure your electrical system is working correctly.
- Identify any existing problems before they become a hazardous threat, like an electrical fire or power shortage.
- Proved recommended solutions to keep your home safe.
- Help you meet the requirements for your insurance risk assessment inspection.
- Assess the system before you commit to purchasing a home.
- Reduce your energy consumption and costs.
So, what specific occasions should trigger a home electrical inspection?
Before buying a house
You wouldn’t buy a house with faulty or hazardous electrical wiring, would you? Of course not. The safest way to make sure that a home you’re looking to buy is free of a potentially unsafe electrical system is to have an inspection performed before you make the actual purchase. Scheduling a home electrical safety inspection before signing a mortgage will help you avoid potential safety hazards. Plus, it will give you a plan for optimizing your new home’s efficiency over the years you’ll own it.
Moreover, having a home inspector who has the know-how and experience to call out system conditions that may cause future problems is crucial. A home inspection is about current issues and identifying situations that could become costly issues down the road.
One more thing—as with any system of the home that’s inspected, poor condition of the electrical system might help you negotiate a better price on a property. Once you’re aware of the defects, you can attempt to balance the cost of the repairs with the purchase price. Or you can ask that the seller makes the repairs so the home is safe the moment you move in.
You reside in an older house
Routine electrical inspections of older homes can assist in making sure your home’s electrical system is still performing correctly. Older homes, such as those built before 1950, may have old-fashioned lighting technology, such as knob-and-tube lighting. An electrical inspection will aid in your knowing whether or not that’s the case and whether it’s functioning as it should be.
For those whose homes were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum wiring was commonly used, but it’s no longer recommended. That’s because aluminum oxidizes rather quickly, which can trigger corrosion, leading to hazardous conditions. While aluminum wiring is safe for a brief period of time, it has a short life expectancy, and once corrosion sets in, it can put your home at risk of an electrical fire.
It’s quite possible that your entire home will need new wiring, but most of the time, you’ll need a partial re-wiring. During an electrical safety inspection, the professionals at J&A South Park will be able to let you know whether the aluminum wiring in your home is safe for use.
After major renovations
Renovations to your home have the capability to alter the configuration of your home’s electrical components. That’s why it’s a great idea to have an electrical inspection carried out following such renovations. It’s also recommended if you’re adding a new home appliance such as a dishwasher, dryer, refrigerator, or entertainment center to the mix or replacing an existing one.
An electrical inspection of your home after a renovation is especially valuable if you’re looking to sell your newly remolded house.
If you detect any of these signs around your home, it might also be a good idea to get an electrical safety inspection:
- If you’ve smelled something burning that you were not able to identify or locate.
- If there are signs that additional electrical work was performed in your home by a prior owner.
- If you observe anything electrical that appears shoddy or troubling, including missing covers, exposed wiring or electrical equipment dangling off a wall.
- If a major storm has produced water damage to your electrical system.
- If your electricity bill has been uncommonly high.
- If you just require peace of mind that your electrical system is safe and secure.
Do I need a certified electrician to inspect my electrical system?
Absolutely, an experienced certified electrician is the only one who can properly appraise your electrical system. The technicians at J&A South Park have years of experience spotting and fixing electrical safety hazards, and we care for your home like our own.
What is typically inspected and tested during a home safety inspection?
An electrical home safety inspection typically covers:
- Verification of proper light bulb wattage
- Switch and wall outlet operation and condition
- Shock or electrocution hazards
- Verification that arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are operating properly
- A check of all safety and security lighting
- Confirmation of grounding systems
- Validation of appropriate surge protection
- Verification of the proper placement of smoke detectors
- Testing of smoke detectors
- Testing of carbon monoxide detectors
- Inspection of the electrical panel for appropriate labels, amps and operation
- An examination of outdoor electrical systems
- A detailed, prioritized report on all areas of attention concerning the electrical system of your home. The report will include an evaluation of the overall condition of your electrical installation and whether it is safe or in need of corrective work. It will summarize the test results and any point out inadequacies that were present when the testing was done along with a list of items that need attention.
What are the benefits of an electrical safety inspection?
It’s known that an electrical system can be extremely dangerous, even deadly, so it’s imperative to make sure that the electrical system in your home is safe and up to code. Inspecting the condition of the electrical system should be every electrician’s top priority. Incorrect, faulty, or DIY wiring can be a huge safety and fire hazard, along with exposed wires and overloaded circuits.
It’s true. Having an electrical safety inspection can, in fact lead to a smaller electric bill each month. In the course of an electrical inspection, an electrician can inform you if your current electrical system’s inefficiency is costing you money. This is particularly true when it occurs in an older home, especially those with antiquated knob-and-tube wiring. Not only does updating your electrical wiring slash your monthly spending on electricity, but it also helps to lessen your carbon footprint.
If you’re adding a new appliance to your home, this inspection will help you determine whether or not your electrical system is up to the new demand.
A safety inspection will also satisfy your homeowner’s insurance company verification requirements so that you qualify for insurance and get fair or reduced insurance rates.
The inspection could also involve recommendations for replacing light bulbs with green energy alternatives and suggestions about other power-saving options you might undertake.
Electrical inspections are important because they help ensure your home is not in violation of any local or federal electrical codes. J&A South Park electricians are well-versed in the subject matter and know whether or not your home’s current setup is in violation of such codes.
How long does an electrical safety inspection take?
Such inspections normally take two to four hours. The time will hinge on circumstances such as the size of the property, the number and size of outbuildings, and any indoor electrical lighting and equipment on the property.
How often should you get an electrical safety inspection?
You should schedule an electrical safety inspection for your home every three to five years, although certain residences can go every ten years. The frequency will be contingent on factors such as the age of the house and the number of appliances on its circuits.
DIY electrical inspections or repairs are dangerous.
Only a properly trained, experienced, and a certified electrical inspector can provide reliable property inspection. Electrical safety is no place to cut corners or rely upon an amateur.
What if my home fails the electrical safety inspection?
J&A South Park’s certified electricians will outline any failures in a detailed report along with actions needed to repair them. We’ll offer insight on the safest way to meet code regulations and work with you to ensure all electrical systems are functioning with safety in mind. Quotes for repair work can be given on-site.
Finding the right electrical contractor
Electrical inspections are essential for your home’s safety. Worn, bare wires and chaotic wiring produce all types of unsafe circumstances ranging from electrocutions to destructive fires. Keep in mind that badly maintained wiring and electrical components can bring about life-threatening predicaments.
When deciding upon an electrician to carry out an inspection or any electrical work in your home, you need to make sure that the contractors hold the appropriate licenses.
Ask for references of comparable jobs they have completed in your area and learn whether their customers had any issues with the company.
Hiring a dependable, licensed, and certified electrician is crucial to maintaining a safe home. Scheduling routine inspections makes certain all wires and appliances are in good working order, which reduces the risk of accidents.
The professionals at J&A South Park meet all these prerequisites and are equipped to perform an electrical safety inspection on your home. They are committed to ensuring your home and family’s safety and preventing electrical mishaps.