Electrical problems are always serious
Electrical problems called out in an inspection report should always be repaired. However not all electrical items called out in an inspection require a qualified electrician.
Many Electrical problems can easily be addressed by a handy man or a proficient do-it-your-selfer. Other problems such as a double tapped main should only be addressed by a well qualified electrician.
We find most of our infractions in older homes or homes that have had DIY projects completed without a code inspection. The National Electrical Code (NEC) is updated every two years. However many municipalities do not implement the new changes for as many as 10 years. We use nationally accepted standards for our inspections because local enforcement varies so widely.
Some of the more common problems we find are;
- missing cover plates
- reverse polarity (hot and neutral wires installed backwards)
- open grounds (usually 3 prong receptacles on two wire circuits)
- missing or inoperable GFCI receptacles
- electrical splices make out side of junctions boxes
- openings in breaker boxes
- double tapped breakers (more than one wire)
More serious conditions that may require the use of a licensed electrician include;
- under sized wiring
- knob and tube wiring
- Stab-Lok breakers and load centers
- double tapped main breakers
- improperly grounded service entry
As we move through the inspection process we will note;
- any of the items listed above
- lights and receptacles that are not operating properly
- noisy vent fans and ceiling fans
- any three prong receptacles with open grounds
- suggest areas where GFCI receptacles should be installed
- any other normal and customary deficiencies
Electrical codes are constantly changing as new problems and solutions are identified. Generally speaking most changes are not required unless changes are made to the electrical system. One exception to this general rule is GFCI receptacles. GFCI protection is relatively easy and inexpensive to implement. Therefore most municipalities are requiring this upgrade when properties change hands.
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