Updated: Jan 19
One of the biggest purchases a couple usually make in their lifetime is the purchase of a home. Whether it is brand new, or several years old, many problems can surface when a proper electrical inspection is done.
Things that happen over time in a home for example is hiring a handyman to do electrical work that mostly knows what he is doing-creating unsafe conditions. A more common problem that is found in many homes is ageing electrical infrastructure.
Common problems may include electrical devices such as smoke detectors, receptacles, circuit breakers, and lighting not working as intended. Other problems may include: aluminum wiring, old wiring, outdated electrical code, and inadequate electrical services to the property.
If you are buying a property you would like to be aware that these problems do exist and if it is a safety hazard. You would like to know if the problems need to be fixed immediately or are minor. Or if the elephant in the room is too large to handle, it may cancel the purchase of the home entirely, saving all the headache of having to deal with the electrical issues..
If you think that the place you are buying may be in need of some electrical repairs and want to know the extent of it, consider getting a separate electrical inspection. Home inspectors are not electricians and will be able to give you a general overview of the homes electrical system but many of the threats that exist in a home can only be picked up by a trained eye.
An electrical inspection will find defects like broken or loose electrical outlets as well as things like flickering lights which lead to other problems in the home. An inspection will determine the age of the homes wiring and examine the electrical panel and determine if the service size is adequate. An electrician will also be able to determine how much expansion room is left on the panel, especially important for adding new appliances or renovations to the property in the future. Another important thing that will be looked at is the grounding system in the home to ensure that it is adequate and functioning.
If you are looking at buying an older home, you might need to get a home safety electrical inspection from a licensed electrician in order to get a home insurance policy. This will signal to the insurance company that they are insuring a property that is deemed safe and not in electrical disrepair. It will also help to keep you in the low risk category and in turn, lower insurance costs overall.
If a serious problem is found with the electrical, this could help negotiate the price of the property down to cover these additional costs. Then when you are finally handed the keys, you will be able to sleep well at night knowing you made a sound purchase that is safe for you and your family, not buying an electrical nightmare that will cause undue stress once the problems become apparent.