Electrical inspector's checklist
Before finalizing a home purchase, it is common to have a standard home inspection to check for structural problems and electrical, plumbing and mechanical defects. What you may not realize is that the standard inspection addresses surface issues.
A more in-depth inspection by an electrician can uncover electrical problems overlooked in the standard inspection and expose defects that could lead to a house fire.
Here are some areas you should have inspected by a licensed Chicago electrician before purchasing a new home.
Electric meter. The electrician should check the electric meter for defects such as insecure installation, broken meter seals, and rust at the bottom of the box that could indicate the presence of water. Sometimes water can follow the service entrance cable from the meter box to the main panel.
Wires. Outside wires should be inspected for fraying or other damage. An electrician will also look for unprotected wires anywhere inside the home, especially in attics, basements and crawl spaces. Wires resting on heat ducts or pipes present an unsafe situation and will be reported.
Main panel box. The electrical panel houses circuit breakers, which are designed to prevent electrical current from exceeding safe levels. An electrician will check for insufficient clearance, improperly sized circuit breakers, oxidation or corrosion, aluminum branch wiring, overheated components and the presence of moisture. Inspecting these panels can be dangerous, and you should never remove an electrical panel yourself.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets. GFCI outlets should be placed in basements, garages, kitchens and bathrooms. These outlets contain small circuit breakers that shut off when overloaded or if there is a short circuit. An electrician can ensure these outlets are correctly wired and test other outlets in the home for looseness or reversed polarity.
Wall switches. An electrician will test all wall switches for reversed polarity and ungrounded circuits, looking out for discolored, loose or damaged switch plates and unsafe wiring.
You should consider joining the electrician during the inspection because it will provide a great opportunity to gain valuable knowledge about your home’s electrical system, and you will be able to verify every item on the list has been inspected. Sign in to Angie’s List to find a highly rated electrician in the Chicago area.