Electrical Inspection Guide for Home Buying

Posted On: July 30, 2017

Home buyers often work with whatever inspector comes recommended by their real estate agent. You may want to hire a specialist to inspect each of the critical areas of a home inspection—electrical, plumbing, major appliances, foundation, structural integrity, and more.

There are two great reasons to hire an independent, residential electrician to perform an in-depth electrical inspection. First, major electrical flaws might require opening up walls and other significant renovations, so you need to know this before closing. Second, a general home inspector can spot the glaring issues but may not catch the smaller problems that can nevertheless lead to disaster when left unchecked.

What to Expect from an Electrical Inspection

Inspections aren’t about “passing” or “failing.” We go point-by-point to make recommendations. Some issues may need to be repaired immediately, which is good to know now so you can include the knowledge in negotiating the sale price. Other recommendations will be long-term, letting you know what to expect for upkeep and future repair needs.

What Inspectors Want to See in an Electrical System

First and foremost, inspectors look for electrical safety. Ideally, that means every wire and component is neatly in place and that all materials are the right size, tightly connected, and not showing signs of melting, burning, or other damage.

When we perform an electrical inspection, we look for the same things as any home inspector but with the trained eye of experienced electricians. We’re adept at finding any hidden dangers that could lead to a house fire or other disaster.

  • Neatly wired electrical panel
  • Safe home wiring, preferably not aluminum wiring or knob-and-tube
  • Proper grounding on all outlets and switches
  • Correct breaker sizes for every type of circuit
  • Sufficient amperage of electrical service from the energy provider
  • No badly done DIY wiring, splicing, extensions, etc.

Important Electrical Issues You Might Find

Some electrical issues are cosmetic or depend on your preferences—for example, whether a light switch is an awkward distance from the door. Then we have the dangerous electrical problems that cause wires to overheat and catch fire.

  • Old wiring / outdated electrical systems
  • “Frankenstein” electrical panel
  • Dead electrical outlets
  • Not enough electrical outlets
  • Dangerously spliced wires
  • Missing GFCI protection
  • Missing / wrong size circuits for 240v appliances

Get a Thorough Inspection & Electrical Code Corrections

Everyone wants a full green light from a home inspection, but you’ll be glad to have all the facts upfront in case major electrical dangers or code violations are present.

Buying a home in Maryland, DC, or Virginia? Jaffe Electric, Inc. has decades of experience and every member of our team is fully licensed, insured, and up- to-date on training. Contact us to ask our residential electrical inspection experts to take a look and make the repairs for affordable rates that will please both the buyer and seller.

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