Buying a new home is an exciting time, but it is also stressful. There is a lot to consider, so make sure you add an electrical check to your list. Older homes, in particular, can have some big problems.
Faulty wiring can be an expensive addition to the cost of your new home, so make sure there are not any massive problems. If you do spot them, you need to decide whether it’s worth the price or ask the homeowner to take care of it.
Electrical Red Flags to Watch For
Not all electrical problems will be obvious, but a few smaller ones can be an indication that there are more.
Double-Tapped Circuit Breakers
This happens when two or more hot wires are connected to a single circuit breaker. Usually, circuit breakers are designed for single wires only, so if there are two or more wires connected, it can result in loose connections, fire, and arcing.
Improperly Wired Switches
This is one of the most common problems with wiring. Someone likely tried to do wiring themself or hired someone with basic electrical skills. They will often use reverse polarity when wiring an outlet or switch. Improper installation happens when the neutral and hot wires get flipped around, and that can give you a shock when you touch it.
Exposed Wiring and Splices
Exposed wiring and splices are a safety concern. In some cases, splices that feature wire nuts or tape may not be installed properly. This can cause shocks and fires.
Check the outlets to make sure they are three-prongs, not two. These are old, which means the home has not had an upgrade on the electrical system for a long time.
Ungrounded Three-Prong Outlets
Someone may have simply removed the two-prong covers and replaced them with three-pronged covers. But the wires need to be grounded. Plus, the system likely won’t be able to handle the extra load.
Improperly Modified Electrical Panels
This could be any number of changes or alterations that result in problems such as switches or outlets working intermittently, hot ceiling fixtures, and flickering lights.
Other problems might include breaker problems or outright damage to the service panel. It also needs to be large enough to handle all of the home’s electrical needs.
Faulty GFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets are used when an outlet is close to a water source and are often made from low-quality materials. This creates electrical issues in a home and can often trip the power source causing appliances to stop working.
Poorly Buried Wires
Wires often run through a variety of different places throughout the property, but wires that run underground need to be correctly installed and buried. Wires not buried deep enough can become exposed to water, rodents, and get damaged.
If you see a lot of extension cords used to keep everything running, it likely means there are not enough outlets. This is common in older homes when the demand for them was much less.
Consult an Expert
Electrical issues can result in shock, injury, fire, mechanical damage, or damage to an electronic device. If you have your heart set on a particular home, have your electrician inspect it for you.
Contact Fusion Electric and take advantage of our special discounts. Get the home inspected before you buy so you know exactly what you are getting in to.
Not all of the electric problems will be obvious, but if there are a few that you can see, chances are, there will be a few more.