Home Electrical Inspection: When and Why You Need One

Home Electrical Inspection: When and Why You Need One

Over the years, the need for an extensive home electrical inspection has gained importance among homeowners due to growing incidents of fire, resulting from short circuits. But a majority of homes in the US still do not think it to be necessary. With the increasing use of electrical appliances, it becomes imperative to conduct an inspection once every 2-3 years. This is to stay safe and prevent hefty repair & replacement costs in case of an accident at home.

An electrical infrastructure inspection comprises checking the wiring, cables, insulation, outlets, fittings, electrical components, and appliances. An electrical inspector will carefully diagnose the health of all these systems, before deeming it fit for use. Here in Dallas TX, there are a few home service companies that specialize in electrical safety inspection at local residences. You can consider their services for a safe and happy living.

The qualified and certified electrical safety inspectors diagnose anything from wires to electrical boxes showing signs of faults. They can quickly diagnose any problem with an electrical system at home, before suggesting repair or replacement. As the inspectors are fully licensed and insured, the inspections are carried out following all the safety protocols. Let’s understand when and why you need an extensive inspection of electrical components.

When is an Electrical Inspection Required?

• If your home is more than two decades old.
• If you plan to buy a new property or sell your existing home.
• You are remodeling your full home, or constructing an ADU by converting a garage.
• When your home insurance service provider wants the latest electrical inspection report.
• When there’s a heavy usage of electrical appliances.
• When the electrical consumption surpasses the approved electricity load.
• When you smell burning wires, hear a clicking noise, or notice flickering lights.

Why an Electrical Home Safety Inspection?

Whether it is your electrical switches, circuit breakers, panel box, AC/DC converters, cabling & wiring, breaker panel, etc. all require a thorough inspection by inspectors. This is to ensure the safety of your residence and family. Keeping all these main & sub-systems in prime condition helps avoid accidents like fire or smoke.

Moreover, it prevents the risk of wear & tear caused by irresponsible handling of electrical appliances, gadgets, switches, and faulty DIY repairs. This is why a home electrical inspection is important to keep your house free from accidents and electrical emergencies.

Mostly, homes that prepare for a complete remodeling and renovation must schedule an inspection with a local electrician. Whether it be a kitchen remodeling, bath renovation, room addition, ADU garage conversion, attic conversion, or sunroom construction, you would require an electrical inspection after a home improvement project.

How Often to Schedule an Electrical Safety Inspection?

As your residence grows old, the threat of electrical emergencies looms large. It is mainly due to the old wires, cabling systems, faulty switches, corroded circuits, and more. This is when you need to think about a professional inspection. Calling an electrician in Dallas or anywhere else can work fine if the person is a qualified inspector approved for the job.

If your house is over 15 years old, an inspection every 2-3 years must be a standard practice. In this way, you’re buying the safety and security of your loved ones, which otherwise can prove fatal, in case of an electrical fire. Such emergencies can be avoided at home by inspecting devices, systems, and fittings.

What Does a Home Safety Inspection Comprise Of?

Main Panel Inspection: This component must be inspected every year, to ensure a properly tightened wire connection on the circuit breaker. Similarly, the inspector should check whether the breakers are securely attached to the bus bars. Over some time, the screws that fasten the wires with the breakers become loose. They require tightening. And, a professional inspector using infrared scanners and thermometers can easily diagnose the faults in circuit breakers.

GFCI Protection: This electrical safety device should be installed in the kitchen, bathroom, and living area. A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is designed in such a way that in case of an electrical shock, the circuit would instantly trip. This ensures foolproof safety. The person would not sustain any shock, or injuries due to electrocution. It should be tested every month, and inspected yearly.

Checking Smoke Detectors: Overhead smoke detectors at home should be checked monthly by trained electricians in Mesquite or Dallas who have requisite skills. The batteries in stand-alone smoke detectors, as well as in the wired devices must be replaced with new ones every year. Professional electrical inspectors used canned smoke and other smoking agents to validate the efficacy of these safety devices.

Electronic Circuit Checking : All residential electrical circuits must be clinically tested and checked for faults like loose wires, fuses, and switches. The inspector must ensure that the circuits are properly grounded and that the gauge wire can withstand extreme load and voltage fluctuations. Some key home appliances like your HVAC unit, air conditioner, refrigerator, water heater, oven, etc. may require autonomous circuits.

Electrical Box Inspection: An inspector should check whether the electrical boxes are large enough to accommodate all the wire conductors, cables, switches, fuses, bus bars, etc. All the wires and switches must be properly fastened to the walls, without any exposed wires.

Wiring & Cabling : A certified inspector performing home electrical inspection must ensure the wires & cables are tightly clamped, properly fastened, and in the exact configuration. A professional will also check the gauge of the wire, as it should precisely match the amperage of the circuit. Improper wire gauge is one of the causes of electrical tripping, due to the inability to withstand high load.

Lightning Protection : Ask your electrician to install this device at your home. It can help protect your valuable electrical/electronic devices, gadgets, and appliances from lightning. There are local US companies that manufacture such devices, which offer 3 layers of protection. Once installed, you need to call an inspector every year to check the effectiveness and operational readiness of one such safety component.

Checking for Proper Grounding or Earthing: If the grounding rod is not properly conducting to the Earth, your home can face electrical device malfunction. The visible signs are the dimming of lights or flickering bulbs after a severe lightning and thunderstorm. The job of the inspector is to check the rod that is connecting to the Earth and test whether the resistance has a less-than-required level of 25 Ohm. A drought-like condition can affect the functioning, requiring additional rods of a certain length.

Different Types of Electrical Inspections at Home

Safety-Related Inspections

According to standard operating procedures, a regular electrical home safety inspection will check the wiring for any defects, loose ends, or wear & tear. As a residence grows old, the wires & caves tend to become loose and corroded. This is mainly due to continuous exposure to heat, sun, rain, snow, and moisture.

When the wires are old, there’s always a risk of short circuits and electrical fire. This is the reason why routine safety checks and inspections become a necessity in aging houses. If this activity is not conducted regularly, your insurance service provider would consider it as a case of negligence, imposing fines and penalties, or even cancellation of your insurance scheme.

New Electrical Installation Inspection

A licensed and insured inspector from a reputable company like Copeland Home Services in Texas can conduct a thorough inspection of all newly installed systems. It may include switch gears, panel boxes, circuits, breakers, etc.

While inspecting these new home installations, the inspector would verify whether the existing wiring & cabling comply with the National Electrical Code. Most importantly, a verification would be done to examine whether the electrical components installed are for the intended purpose, or something else.

Every three years, the National Electrical Code is revised by the state and federal governments. However, there are some local jurisdictions and counties in the US that fail to revise or update it accordingly. Therefore, you need to verify with your local municipality or personal electrician, to find out as to which latest version your electrical fittings align with.

Key Takeaways

If you are building a house, buying a new property, selling your home, or remodeling an existing residence, it is required to fix all electrical issues. This is mainly for safety, cost appreciation when you plan to sell off, and for getting full insurance coverage in case of an emergency. Here in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, most homes now understand the importance of a home electrical inspection, as conducted by accredited inspectors, at least once every year.

When you own a property, the onus is on you to ensure the safety and well-being of your family members. You cannot compromise the health of your loved ones. Emergencies can arise out of nowhere. Of late, homes with multiple electrical gadgets and appliances are prone to accidents like electrical fires and short circuits. This can be easily prevented through a routine inspection of all electrical devices, systems, components, and fittings. A safe house is always a happy house.

By Copeland Home Services July 9, 2024

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