Moving Home? Your Electrical Contractor can undertake a Safety Inspection
Finding the right new home is exciting and a positive experience. But you need to be sure that your new home is safe and really as good as it looks. One of the most important aspects of moving house is a thorough home inspection to check that what you are buying is a sound investment. A vital ingredient is an electrical safety inspection carried out by a licensed electrical contractor.
As electricity is invisible and much of the wiring is hidden in the walls, it is easy for problems to develop unseen. The National Fire Protection Agency has estimated that electrical problems were the cause of over 45,000 home fires in 2011, which led to just over 400 deaths, 15,000 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
A home safety inspection can reassure you that the home you are looking to buy is safe, or identify any electrical issues that need to be dealt with. Inspection generally covers the following areas:
The electrical panel controls the flow of electricity into the home and is fitted with a number of circuit breakers designed to ensure the various circuits are not overloaded. You contractor will check that the panel can handle sufficient power for the size of the home, that the correct circuit breakers are in place and that all parts of the panel are in good working order and are showing no signs of damage.
An electrical inspection will include examining all outlets and receptacles for signs of damage or degradation, and using a circuit tester to check that they are functioning correctly with no obvious faults. Your inspector will also examine the connections and investigate the state of the wiring in the attic, storage areas and anywhere else it is visible, as well as the living spaces.
Particular attention will be paid to wiring in the bathrooms, kitchen and anywhere else that water is present. Stricter conditions apply to electricity in wet areas because of the increased potential for danger if any water should become live. Safety requires the use of ground fault circuit interrupters in wet areas and a minimum distance between any electrical switches and water sources.
Lighting fixtures and switches will also be included in the inspection and the electrician will be establishing whether the bulbs are suitable for the fixtures and whether the fixtures are correctly fitted. A good inspector will also check that any smoke or fire alarms are working properly and inspect any wired in appliances.
In all areas the electrical contractor will be looking for sparks, discoloration of outlets, receptacles and fittings, listening for any humming or buzzing coming from the electrical equipment and identifying any concerns with the electrics. The primary concern of the inspection is the safety of the home and your contractor will compile a report detailing what has been covered and the results of all the work undertaken.
Following the inspection, if your electrical contractor reports that all the electrical equipment is working safely, then you have peace of mind for the safety of your family and your home. If some problems are highlighted, you can use the report to persuade the seller to undertake the necessary repairs or look for a reduction in the price of the home to cover the cost of the work. In either event, a safety inspection by your licensed electrical contractor is a worthwhile investment.