At Fusion Electric, we often get asked by homeowners, “Why do I need an electrical inspection?” While there are dozens of reasons for residential electrical inspections, we put together our electricians’ top three.
From outdated electrical systems to poor wiring, to GFCIs, your home may be at risk. If any of these problems exist in your home, call an electrician for an inspection.
You Have Outdated Electrical Panels
If your home was built prior to 1980, the chances of your electrical system being out of date are high. Many electrical components will need updating, including your electrical panel and electrical outlets.
Older breaker boxes are not designed to handle the amounts of electricity that today’s modern appliances and electronics demand. Breakers prevent circuit overload which can lead to fire. If your home has an actual fuse box, as opposed to a breaker box, it’s extremely outdated and should definitely be replaced.
Furthermore, corroded wires, a wire with insulation worn through so that bare metal is exposed, or a loose splice can all lead to an overload. When a circuit breaker gets old and has lost lubrication for its moving parts, is defective, dirty or corroded, the circuit breaker can fail to trip, and the results can be hazardous.
The wire can become hotter and hotter until it ignites the insulation surrounding it, leading to a house fire.
Your House Has Old Wiring
An important electrical area that homeowners, especially those of older homes, need to have checked by an electrician is the wiring. Just as the electrical system in many homes is out of date, so too is the wiring. Out-of-date wiring, such as aluminum wiring, poses a fire hazard.
Over time, the insulation that protects aluminum wiring gets brittle. The hot electric current that travels through the wires erodes the insulation. If two wires touch because the insulation is gone, there is a serious danger of fire.
You Overload Your Electrical System with Modern Appliances and Electronics
Today’s lifestyles require a lot more electricity than those of decades past. Between multiple large appliances, computers, TVs, and home automation just to name a few, the stress we put on our electrical systems is a serious consideration.
When a house is wired, the electrician notes how much current a wire can safely carry and then protects that circuit with a circuit breaker or fuse in the home’s electrical panel that will break the circuit if the amperage on it surpasses the safe level.
So, for example, if your kitchen circuit is rated for 20 amps and you have 28 amps worth of electronic devices turned on, the circuit breaker will trip.
While too many devices plugged into a circuit is the most frequent cause of circuit overload, it’s not the only one. If you find your circuit breakers are tripping frequently or if you have an older electrical panel, it’s a good idea to have an electrician review it.
Your House Doesn’t Have GFCI Outlets
National Electric Codes (NEC) change over time. When your home was built, GFCIs may not have been required. GFCIs, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, are devices that shut off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person.
They prevent shock and electrocution. Today’s electrical codes require GFCIs in any areas where water is present, including kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoors.
When Fusion’s electricians come and inspect your home we check to see that it is up to date and meeting the requirements of the NEC. These NEC requirements can help keep you, your family, and your home safe by preventing electrical dangers such as burns, shocks, and, in extreme cases, death.