Watch Out For These 8 Electrical Issues Commonly Found in Home Inspections
A home inspection can uncover any number of mistakes. Pay special attention to these electrical issues to prevent any accidents from happening in your new home. You may even ask your home inspector to make a point of looking for these potential problem areas below.
1. Double-tapped circuit breakers
Most circuit breakers are designed for just one wire, yet some home inspectors still find two wires connected to one circuit breaker in a panel board. Mistakes like this one can lead to loose connections, arcing currents, and potential fires.
2. Ungrounded receptacles
An easy to spot an electrical issue, ungrounded receptacles are outlets with two slots and no hole beneath them for the ground wire. These are not safe and are a fire hazard.
3. Exposed light bulbs in closets
Are you buying an older home? check the closets for an exposed incandescent light bulb. You want to replace that with a covered or enclosed one to avoid any fire hazard.
4. Unfilled openings in electrical panels
Any unused openings must be filled to prevent shocks or sparks from escaping the panel or to keep critters from crawling in. Filler plates are easy to find and do not cost much.
5. Malfunctioning GFCI
GFCI outlets are present in rooms where there is moisture. Have the inspector test these outlets. Malfunctioning ones may hint at bigger electrical problems!
6. Wrong covers on outdoor receptacles
Flat covers are used in outdoor receptacles when they are not in use. Those in-use require a bubble cover for protection. The national electric code also assigns the proper receptacle for wet locations and damp locations, as well as recommending weather-resistant receptacles.
7. Not enough receptacles and too many extension cords
Under the national electric code, a receptacle outlet must be within reach of a 6-foot appliance cord to minimize the use of extension cords as they are tripping and fire hazards. The fewer extension cords you need to use, the better.
8. Receptacles need to be tamper-resistant
This is particularly important to watch out for if you have a child. You want receptacles to be tamper-resistant to avoid children inserting objects inside. Use them everywhere, both indoors and outdoors to avoid accidents.