There are a number of reasons your home may require an electrical inspection. A hard rainfall or big storm in Southern California can always put a damper on an older electrical system depending on your property’s architectural design. Especially homes 25 years and older as they need more frequent safety checks. If you are thinking about purchasing a new home, selling your old home or have a remodeling plan on your calendar, then an electrical inspection is inevitable.
There are a few things an electrician will be sure to investigate when they perform a home inspection. Knowing these items can help you better understand what’s needed if repairs are required, will provide you more knowledge about the makeup of your electrical system, and can help you identify if there is anything you need to keep an eye on for the safety of your home, family, and self.
In Los Angeles County and Orange County electricians have seen it all. When an electrician does a home inspection they are not hoping to find problems or incredible disasters so they can write a novel, but rather are ensuring items of code are strictly in place and functioning safely as set forth by the National Electrical Code. If you follow the electrician around throughout the home inspection you can gain a great deal of knowledge about your home’s electrical system. Here are some of the electrical destinations and items you would tour in the eyes of an electrician during a home inspection:
Your electrical meter must properly track the amperes your Los Angeles County or Orange County home are using. An electrician will check your meter for any kind of defects or wear and tear. If there is rust or damage this could be a big issue because there is no way to tell how much energy you are really using.
During a home inspection, an electrician observes your electrical panel in precise detail. There are many observations to capture and for an electrician, examining an electrical panel is almost like doing a brain scan of your entire electrical system. For an electrician, the panel can provide a lot of clues about multiple aspects that make up your property’s electrical system. From the installation of receptacles to how the wires are fit together, an experienced electrician can grasp on the quality of work that was previously done and probably infer as to whether or not it was completed by a licensed electrician.
Panels can be extremely dangerous especially during an inspection because the electrician takes the cover off exposing the wires to see what is going on inside. Every connection of the main wires running through the panel is observed in great detail by the electrician. Any potential safety hazard or injury and fire risk will be assessed and dealt with if it presents itself. Remember, your home has to be up to code otherwise you could be in violation or worse, unsafe. Some homes have sub-panels, which were added to increase the overall capability of your electrical system depending on if you added a new addition, or updated some parts of your property. Those would be inspected with great detail as well.
From the panel connections to the main veins of your home, an electrician will assess if there are frayed wires of any kind. Electricians will do a sweep of your home to check for moisture or wet areas and thus examine if wires could possibly be damaged or exposed. From your ceilings to your walls to the floorboards, an electrician will be able to tell what parts of your home may be at risk or need to be checked out based on the geography and weather climate of your neighborhood. Once again if something doesn’t seem right, your electrician may already know from looking at your electrical panel before they even have to find the actual ‘scene of the crime’. It’s not CSI but a professional electrician is fully capable of finding a needle in a haystack when it comes to properly checking your home’s electrical system.
Your Ground Faulty Circuit Interrupt outlets will also be thoroughly inspected. These outlets are located in areas of your home that present a higher risk of injury or exposure to electrical shock. If you are gearing up to have the best hair day of your life with a blow-dryer and there is moisture in your bathroom near the outlet, a GFCI will trigger the outlet to shut off until you hit that button in the middle to reset. This is a safety reflex to make sure you don’t get a shock because water and electricity don’t mix… or they mix too well, depending on how you look at it!
Electricians will test your wall and ground outlets. They will conduct a polarity test that will tell the direction of the electrical current to make sure it is flowing the proper way. During a home inspection, an electrician will also perform ground tests on your outlets to make sure you are not at risk for electrical shock. They will also measure the voltage (electrical power pressure) of the outlet as well as if the outlet is even active. Obviously, none of these tests would work if the outlet is completely dead.
These are some of the main checkmarks on an electrician’s home inspection. If you walk-through the inspection with the electrician you can learn a lot but be warned that does not mean you are automatically an expert. Electricity is very dangerous and you should always seek a professional when it comes to electrical work repairs.