If you are thinking of purchasing an older home, it's a good idea to have the electrical system inspected beforehand. This way, you won't be surprised by a costly or dangerous problem a few weeks into owning the home. But just what will the electrician look for during such an inspection? Here are six key factors they will consider.
1. GFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets are not only safe in the kitchen and bathroom but in most jurisdictions, they are required by building codes. This type of outlet cuts off electrical flow if there is a surge, preventing someone from getting electrocuted if they come into contact with water and the outlet. Your inspector will make sure GCFIs are present and that they work properly.
2. Wire Material
Years ago, wiring was not always made from the safest materials. Some wires used to be made from aluminum, which is not as safe as copper wiring. Your inspector will tell you what the home's wires are made from and if there are any related safety concerns.
3. Circuit Box Space
Your electrical inspector will take a look at the circuit breaker box and see whether all of the "space" is taken up, or if there is leftover capacity. This will come in handy if you ever want to add new appliances to the home. You will know whether the current electrical system can support them, or if you need to upgrade.
4. The Meter
Your inspector will also take a look at the electrical meter and make sure that it is not only working properly but is in good shape. If something is wrong with the meter, it may be the electric company's responsibility to fix rather than the homeowner's. The electrical inspector can help you make plans with the electric company for the repairs.
5. Safe Wires
Wires can sometimes become frayed if they are chewed by rodents or interrupted during the building process. This can lead to fires and smoke. Your electrician will make sure the wires are in good shape and if they are frayed, they can tell you how much it will cost to have them repaired.
If the home is fitted with a generator, your electrical inspector will make sure it is hooked up properly and that it actually powers the home when the electrical supply goes out. They might do a test run on the generator to observe it in action.
To learn more, visit a website like http://www.homeinspectionassoc-ma.com.