When and Why You Need an Electrical System Inspection

When and Why You Need an Electrical System Inspection

Whether you own, rent or plan to buy a home, having your home’s electrical system inspected is important to keep your family and belongings safe. Electrical inspections are well worth the money, keeping your family safe and also help prevent serious damage in the long run.

Electrical Plan Schematic

Before Buying a House

It might not be the first thing you think about when buying a home, but electrical Inspections prior to buying a house are important. Not only will this help you detect any serious electrical problems, but you will avoid any costly repair work in the future. This will also give you some peace of mind knowing there are no electrical faults waiting to be found.

Your Home is Older

If you live in an older home, making sure the electrical system is up to date ensures that your family and home are safe from potential electrical hazards. Not only that, but a wiring update would allow modern appliances to draw the appropriate energy without regularly tripping breakers. 

Housing/Electrical Codes

An electrical code is a set of regulations for the design and installation of electrical wiring in a building. The intention of a code is to provide standards to ensure electrical wiring systems that are safe for people and property. Electrical codes are in place for a specific reason: To protect you and the people that live with you. Most local codes are based on the National Electrical Code (NEC), but there can be variances. Much of the NEC involves requirements for general electrical installation that apply to all situations, but there are also specific requirements for individual rooms. 
For more information: Common Electrical Code Requirements Room-by-Room (thespruce.com)

Save Money

Absolutely true. Having an electrical inspection can actually lead to a smaller electric bill in your mailbox each month. During an electrical inspection of your house, an electrician can tell you if your current electrical system’s inefficiency is costing you money. Not only does upgrading your electrical wiring cut your monthly electricity spending, it also helps reduce your carbon footprint.

Safety

You probably have already realized from the last couple of points, the purpose of home electrical inspections are important in maintaining safety. Having a qualified electrician come inspect your electrical wiring helps reduce any chance of hazards such as electrical fires.

Reduce Fire Hazard at your Business

It is a fact that electrical malfunction is the leading cause of fires in businesses. With regular inspections, you can actually protect your company from a grave loss.

What is involved in an electrical system inspection?

The most important part of the electrical system inspection is the electrical panel. It’s where the electricity enters the home and is disbursed throughout the rooms. The inspection also involves a thorough examination of your entire electrical system, ensuring all electrical wires, systems, and components, (such as appliances in your home), meet legal safety standards.

Some Stats

Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires in 2012-2016 (behind fires caused by unattended equipment), accounting for 13% of home structure fires. Source: NFPA report – Home Electrical Fires

Almost half (48 percent) of home structure electrical fires involve some type of electrical distribution equipment, such as wiring, outlets, switches, lamps, light bulbs, cords or plugs. Not only are electrical fires dangerous, but they are also preventable.

Ways to Reduce/Prevent Electrical Fires

1. Check Appliances & Electronic Equipment – Faulty wiring is one of the main causes of electrical fires. Cords in poor condition can overheat or cause sparks and start a fire, replace it with new wiring

Appliance Failure

2. Don’t overload your home’s electrical outlets – Overloading is a common cause of electrical fires, in fact, one of the most common mistakes most homeowners make. This happens when you plug too many appliances into the same outlet, extension or power strip. Surge protectors help protect appliances and anything else plugged into an outlet from dangers posed by a power surge. A power surge can increase the amount of electricity flowing to your outlet and overload the outlet, causing the appliance to spark. A surge protector will help prevent this potential fire hazard.

3. Fix Shorts and Faulty Wiring Immediately – Unless it’s something as simple as replacing a cord, fixing shorts and faulty wiring requires the expertise of an electrician. Faulty wiring symptoms included flickering lamps, plugs that spark when you plug something in, breakers that constantly trip, and “buzzing” outlets.

4. Be wary of certain appliances: If an appliance blows a fuse, trips a circuit, or sparks while being used, unplug the appliance immediately & depending on what the appliance is, you should get it evaluated, repaired or throw it in the trash.

5. Keep heat-producing appliances unplugged when not in use. When heat-generating appliances malfunction or are accidentally left on for an extended period of time, they can overheat and catch on fire. In fact, it’s a good idea to unplug unused appliances all together.

According to the 2019 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report, the leading cause of property damage from home fires was due to faulty electrical distribution equipment like old wiring, overloaded outlets, and frayed extension cords. Actually, the vast majority of electrical fires can be easily prevented if the proper safety precautions are in place.

Electrical Home Fire Cause Chart