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There could be a trailer-load of reasons why your building is reported to be electrically unsafe and you may need clarification on why your electrical installation failed the safety test. To fully grasp the concept of electrical safety, it is of utmost importance to have a basic knowledge of electrical inspection.
What is Electrical Inspection?
Electrical inspection involves thoroughly examining wiring and electrical connections in your home. It also includes checking if your connection complies with your area's requirements. An electrical inspector is anyone authorised by law to examine your house's electrical wiring.
When is an Electrical Inspection Needed?
There are many reasons why a home electrical inspection is usually carried out. Some of these reasons include when you need to purchase a house and when you need to sell your house.
If your home is older than 40 years or you want to do a major renovation of your building, you also need an electrical inspection. You can also decide to have an electrical inspection if you get new electric appliances or your home has been remodelled recently.
If you start having doubts about needing an entire building inspection, it is always advisable to tread the route of caution. Get a professional to come and take a look at the wiring of the house and give you an idea of whether it is up to code or not.
This can help you quickly detect potential electrical issues over time. The journey of finding yourself an electrical inspector is often a hassle-free one, as even your local electricians can handle it. It is a painless process and will take nothing more than an hour to get done, provided an expert does it.
Importance of Electrical Inspection
Below are some of the common reasons why electrical inspection is such an essential process that should be carried out in every home.
Whenever there is a storm, there is always expected to be a general surge in electricity. This could lead to creating circuits in homes and instigating the destruction of appliances. During an inspection, every point of electrical wiring in your home will be checked to avoid this sort of mishap.
No one wants to experience a surge in electric current in their body whenever they touch an electric appliance. This may not significantly impact your body, but it renders your home vulnerable to other problems. A surge in electric current in certain appliances can often destroy them. Once an electrical inspector is hired, this problem can quickly be nipped in the bud.
Fire breakouts in homes are not new problems, and the cause, in most occasions, is not unknown either - electrical short circuits. Whenever there are a lot of loose wires in your cabling, this sort of problem should be anticipated. If you hire an inspector early enough, this problem can be rectified quickly to avoid further damage.
Processes of Electrical Inspection
How is the electrical inspection done? What is the process? These are a few questions that might be running through your mind right now. We will highlight a few things you should expect during an inspection.
Electrical safety inspection is generally done in two rounds:
Electrical rough-in inspection
This is conducted after the installation of the wires but before closing up the walls. A few things that the inspector would check in this round include the following:
- Condition of the electrical boxes
- Type and size of wires used
- What sort of connection exists between the boxes and the wires
- Routing of the wires
Electrical final inspection
This is the last round of the inspection. It is only carried out after the electrical fixtures have been put in place and the walls are done. In this round, the inspector carries out a number of test and tag measures such as checking the functionality of the electric system and the condition of electrical outlets, light fixtures, and smoke detectors.
If an electrical inspection is to be done in your home, you should grant the inspector 100% access to everywhere electrical components are situated. This process usually takes some time, maybe a couple of hours.
During this period, the inspector checks every room for electrical components. Once this is done, you will receive a report that itemises the problems found and how they can be fixed.
Cost of an Electrical Inspection
Electrical inspection is an integral part of every building inspection. The costs vary but generally range from around $200 to $500. This price is influenced by how big or small your house is and how old it is.
If you purchase an old home with complicated wiring systems, of course, this entails that the cost will increase. An advantage comes with buying a house, as the home seller usually covers the inspection cost.
Electrical Parts to Check During Inspection
Being a homeowner, ensuring that your electrical components are up to code and safe to use should be your priority. Below is a list of what is often scrutinised during an electrical inspection.
AFCI and GFCI circuit protection should be used in not-so-dry locations to avoid electrocution.
Heights of boxes
The proper heights of electrical boxes should be utilised to avert damage.
Every circuit in the electrical system should not float but be stabilised in a particular location, and adequate gauge wire ought to be used for load handling.
Labelling of the wires
To avoid confusion, all the wires should be labelled appropriately.
All the wires should be installed correctly, including the cables.
The electrical boxes should also be installed appropriately.
Surge protectors are used to protect against electrical surging, and their installation should be done on circuit breakers.
Common Electrical Problems
Issues with electricity are some of the most common problems with maintaining a home. While some of these problems can be easily fixed, others can be such a struggle and hazardous. This is the reason why a proper electrical inspection should be done. Some of these problems are:
- Faulty breaker panels
- Circuit breakers that are double-tapped
- No GCFIs (ground circuit fault interrupters)
- Outlets that are painted
- Aluminium wiring
- Absence of knockouts in electrical panels
Prevention of Problems Before Electrical Inspection
Just like most problems, failing an electrical inspection can be avoided by planning ahead of the inspector's arrival. Here are some of the things you should do before an inspection takes place.
Do some research
Do your research on different wires and how they are installed. The research will also ensure you know what happens when the inspector commences work.
Ensure excellent equipment
Your cables and electrical equipment should be proper and authentic.
Get a professional technician
You need the right technician to handle all of these tasks. Getting an amateur because of costs might just rebound into an improper job and hence ruin your home's electrical system.
Get Electrical Inspections Done Early
To ensure every inhabitant in your house is safe and sound, at least periodically, an electrical inspection is necessary. As a matter of fact, it is a must but shouldn't be a reason to lose sleep.
Having an idea of what to expect during the inspection and testing eases the anxiousness and helps you shield yourself from getting a bad electrical inspection report. You will not fail electrical safety inspections if all problems are sorted and your electrical system is compliant with state laws.