Home inspections tend to turn up small and large electrical problems. In fact, bad electrical wiring is generally considered the most common problem found during an inspection.
Electrical problems aren’t just a headache for inspections and real estate deals; bad wiring poses a real risk of house fires and electrocution. Plus, when you’re trying to sell your house and move, you don’t want the hassle of rushed repairs and scheduling a second inspection.
If your home has any of the electrical problems below — or if you simply don’t know much about your property’s electrical wiring — you need a local electrician now.
Common Electrical Problems
Faulty wiring. Inspectors will notice if your wiring is damaged, worn out, or improperly installed. If your home was built in the 1970’s or earlier, you may have aluminum wiring that needs replacement or safety upgrades. Exposed wires, frayed wires, or sloppy connections and endpoints all pose a danger and will hurt you at inspection. Bad wiring is the most common of electrical problems.
Old or damaged electrical panel. Your electrical box with fuses and breakers should be in working condition and free of visible damage. The inspector will make sure that the wiring here is in good condition and that the panel has all its switches in working order.
Inadequate power. Older homes tend to have more electrical problems, including insufficient amperage to meet modern needs. We use a lot more electronics and require systems with at least 100 amps.
Bad electrical outlets. Inspectors want to see that your outlets work the way they should—without overheating or feeling loose. In some cases, older homes have too few electrical outlets and you’ll need to add some. Without enough outlets, the system can get overloaded and fire risk increases.
GFCI outlets missing or faulty. Areas near water require GFCI outlets. These are the safety outlets with test and reset buttons, which turn off when wet. You need to have these in all necessary areas and the safety features must be functioning.
Improper grounding. Homes need a certain amount of grounded receptacles and properly grounded wires where appropriate. A licensed electrician can determine your options for replacing receptacles and meeting code.
Great Reasons to Test for Electrical Problems
- Circuit breakers frequently trip
- Your electrical system has old fuses that blow out
- Lights sometimes flicker
- Electrical outlets feel loose or some don’t seem to work perfectly
Be on the safe side and have these electrical problems fixed before your inspection, or as soon as possible. Many of these issues present serious danger but have easy solutions when addressed by a professional.
Before your inspection, call in a professional electrician to look around and suggest solutions.