When buying or selling a house the importance of having a home inspection can not be stressed enough. When it comes to the safety of the homes inhabitants,having safe home wiring is of utmost importance. "Studies show that there are approximately 51,000 home electrical fires each year. It's reported that these incidents cause as many as 500 deaths. The following are some of the items the inspector will look at when performing an electrical inspection.
The electrical can either come in underground or aerial. Many newer homes are opting for underground service. We'll inspect the overhead the overhead wire making sure it doesn't come in contact with tree branches. The service should reach the house unobstructed.
The wiring entering the weather head should have a drip loop, this prevents water from entering the weather head which could cause corrosion. We make sure the service mast, meter and other components are properly secure.
The Service Panel and sub panels
As part of our InterNACHI standards of practice(SOP) we are not required to remove the panel dead front cover. We feel not removing the dead front is a great disservice to our clients. So much can be learnt from behind the dead front.
Some of the items we look for in the panel are:
double tapped wires
over sized breakers or fuses
missing knockouts/ cover plates
wiring neat and done in professional manner
panel safe and up to date
panel properly grounded
Grounding and bonding
The electrical service in a home needs to be grounded and all conductive items need be bonded. As part of your electrical inspection we will inspect for this and make sure it is done properly. Here is a great diagram describing elements of grounding and bonding.
Lights and Receptacles
Lights in all rooms should be working, if it's just a burned out bulb this is an easy fix but if the bulb is fine and the light is still not working this could be a major issue. Power should be cut to that circuit in case there is a short circuit or perhaps a rodent has chewed through he wire.
Receptacles need to be tested for proper wiring. Some faults might show open ground, open neutral, hot/neutral reversed and hot/ground reversed. There needs to be enough receptacles serving each room and any receptacles near water sources must be GFCI protected. This also included receptacles in garages and on the exterior.
Inspecting the electrical is an integral part of the standard home inspection. In older homes some finance companies and insurance brokers require a certain standard with regards to the electrical serving the property.