The one system that is of greatest concern to home buyers and home owners is the electrical system. Very few home inspectors are qualified to make a complete detailed assessment of an electrical system. At Hi Amp Electric, we are a licensed wa. state electrical contractor. Our basic home inspection is an inspection of the electrical system that exceeds industry standards for home inspections. The inspection includes:
Removal and Inspection of Wiring Devices
- We Check the Main Electrical Panel
- We Check the Furnace & A/C Wiring
- We Check the Basement / Crawl Spaces
- We Check the Secondary Electrical Panels
- We Check the Living Area
- We Check the Smoke Detectors
- We Check the GFI for proper locations
A representative number of devices will be checked. Typically, we check 10-15% of the devices but if we find problems in some of the devices, we increase the number of devices that we check so that we can better assess the probability that the problems will be present in other areas.
Inspection of the Main Panel and Sub Panels
- Check for proper grounding of supplemental systems such as telephone and cable television and the integrity of the connections.
- Checking the integrity of the water meter bonding jumper if it is present.
- Check for the presence of a driven ground rod and the integrity of the connection.
- Test the operation of all Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters.
- Check critical areas for potential corrosion problems that may result from improper connections or the use of dissimilar metals.
What You Need To Know About Electrical Inspections
You know that when buying a home, a property inspection is vital. But what about an electrical inspection?
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, a separate and comprehensive electrical inspection is necessary in many home purchases. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes electrical safety.
They recommend that any Washington home that is over 40 years old, has had major renovation or major appliances added over 10 years ago or is changing owners receive an electrical inspection.
Your standard home inspection will inspect the property for structural defects, as well as plumbing, electrical and mechanical problems. You should always have a property inspected before closing. It saves you from discovering costly surprises after your name is on the deed.
But keep in mind that the property inspection is a surface inspection. Light switches will be flipped. Wiring in the attic will be looked at. But you should have someone look a little bit further.
What does your electrical inspection mean? It means that someone has checked for loose-fitting outlets, checked the fuse boxes and circuit breakers. Everything electrical is tested and double-checked.
Why should you bother? Electricity is a powerful force that leads to another powerful force -- fire. There are more than 165,000 electrical-related home fires in any given year. On average, 900 people loose their lives to these fires each year.
Think about it, when was the last time you checked your electric system? Do you check for frayed or overheated cords? Do you feel your outlets for heat? Do you take care of overloaded circuits? Do you put too high of wattage light bulbs into your lights?
Even if you answered yes, the chances are slim that the seller would. For example, in our recent purchase, a major wiring problem skipped both our and our inspector's attention. If we had an electrical inspection, the problem would have been caught.
Just like a property inspection, join the electrician on the tour of your property. Ask questions and have him explain what he is checking and why. The information can help you in the maintenance of your home's electrical system. For example, how many of us know why a breaker keeps flipping and what we should do about it.
If you plan on making changes to the home, such as adding a hot tub or other major appliance, talk about it with the inspector. He or she could offer helpful advice and tips.
Keep in mind that electricity isn't something to play around with. You shouldn't use 100 watt bulbs in a 40 watt fixture. Don't run extension cords heavily all over your home. Check your smoke detectors and replace their batteries regularly. Have your home inspected and prevent any problems before they have a chance to catch a spark.
Hi Amp Electric provides electrical home and business inspections in these and surrounding areas: South King County, Pierce County, Thurston County, Mason County, Lewis County, Seattle, Sea-Tac, Burien, Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, Covington, Sumner, Pacific, Gig Harbor
Algona, Maple Vally, Black Diamond, Enumclaw, Bonney Lake, Orting, Buckley, Ruston, Milton, Fife, Puyallup, Eatonville, Lake Tapps, Edgewood
Elbe, Ashford, Morton, Steilacoom, DuPont, Lakewood, University Place, Tacoma, Parkland, Spanaway, Graham, Roy, Mckenna,
Yelm, Nisqually, Rainier, Tenino, Bucoda, Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Shelton, Centralia, Chehalis.