There are so many things we take for granted in our homes. We turn on the water and expect it to flow. If we use the hot water faucet, we even expect that water to be hot immediately. We know that when it rains, the roof is supposed to keep us dry. And, when we plug in something, we should have power to it.
Electricity is one of those “invisible” things that we often don’t know a lot about. We trust that those who installed it knew what they were doing, and we instinctively understand that if it isn’t correct, it can be a fire hazard. Even so, most of us can’t look at our electrical distribution system and see any issues. We have to rely on a professional to help us with this aspect of our home.
When you purchase a home, you will want an inspection done. There are many things that are checked and vetted. We’ve provided a shortlist of inspection items, so you will know what inspectors are looking for:
- DIY REPAIRS: It is common for people to undertake minor repairs of their home and many of them are not always done correctly. If someone has taken this liberty, you should know of and take care of any issues. Even something as simple as a replaced outlet can be a source of overheating if the screws are not tightened properly.
- OUTDATED WIRING OR COMPONENTS: If you still have knob and tube, old fuse boxes, or undersized feeds to the home, you can remedy these. Bringing your home up to code is important for efficiency and safety.
- OVERSIZED BREAKERS OR FUSES are a true fire hazard. Although a constantly tripping breaker is annoying, changing it out for a larger one means that the wiring in your walls is not protected for the rated amperage. If you have 14 AWG wire on your wall, then you need a 15-amp breaker. If you replace that breaker with a 20-amp, you are now allowing twenty amps of current to flow in a wire that will overheat with that much current. This defeats the purpose of the breaker.
- Your inspection will verify that the AFCI’s and GFCI’s are working correctly.
- Grounding systems in older homes are grandfathered in, but can be brought up to date as the rest of the system is brought to code.
- Lighting systems can be checked and security lighting can be repaired if necessary. If you haven’t yet, you may wish to upgrade to LED lighting for safety and efficiency reasons.
- If your home has outdated appliances, your inspection may help you decide on the savings that can be possible with updating these older models. Today’s appliances are energy efficient and worth the investment over time.
- If you have any outdoor power or sub-panels feeding other buildings, those will also be covered.
Once your inspection is complete, Smith Electric can explain your results and schedule any needed work. Our professional tradesmen will do your work efficiently, respect your time and property, and give you confidence in the safety of your home electrical system.
For help with electrical safety inspections or concerns about becoming more energy efficient, call us! Smith Electric & Associates is in Mobile, Alabama. We are licensed to operate in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia and have been proudly serving the Gulf Coast since 1992. Call us for 24-hour emergency service at 251-471-4723! Visit us online at www.SmithElec.com and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!