What You Need To Know About Electrical Home Inspections

Things That Will Immediately Ruin Your Home Inspection

The utilities have been turned off.

As you prepare for a home inspection, keep in mind the inspector will need to operate all of the systems and appliances that pass on with the house. This includes everything from the dishwasher, to the HVAC systems, and even the irrigation system. If the home inspector cannot evaluate a system because the utility service is off, these will be identified as systems which could not be properly inspected.

The inspector is unable to access important areas.

In order to perform a proper home inspection, the inspector must be able to access almost every part of the house. This includes opening and inspecting inside electrical panels, attic spaces, crawl spaces, etc. The seller will need to remove boxes, bookcases, furniture and anything else blocking access to the furnace, air conditioner, panels, and water heater. The inspector will need three to four feet of working space to inspect these items.

The buyers lose sight of the purpose of the inspection.

The purpose of a home inspection is to find out if there are severe structural or mechanical defects. For those that don’t buy and sell homes every day, it is important to understand that the issues should be large enough that they could have a significant impact on the use and enjoyment of the home now and in the future. A home inspection should not be to itemize every minor defect with the home you expect the seller to fix. A stain on the carpet or a smudge on a painted wall are not structural or mechanical defects. And as such, are not noted as “deficiencies” during a home inspection. An excellent buyer’s agent should be able to provide counsel on what is worth focusing on and what should be considered trivial.

The buyers are not present for the inspection.

When it comes time for the home inspection, the would-be home buyer should plan to be there. Again, buying a home is a huge investment, and the buyer has a right to attend. Not only that, but the buyer will likely learn a lot about the house. This may include where gas, water and electric shut-off valves are located and age/lifespan of appliances and systems. If you aren’t able to be on-site for the entire inspection, try to carve out at least 30 minutes near the end of the inspection so the inspector can go over his or her findings with you,

The buyers do not return the service agreement.

This will not “ruin” your inspection, per se. However, many inspectors will not release their written report to you until this document is signed and returned. Why? Home inspectors are service providers, and when an inspector agrees to perform services for a client, they are entering into a legal contract. The inspector promises to do the work, and the client promises to pay for it. The agreement spells out the terms of the contract and should be read, signed, and returned to the inspector by the buyer BEFORE the inspection is performed. If not, it may cause a delay in the delivery of the report.

Home Inspection Tips for Buyers

You just bought a house. Well, sort of. Pending the most stressful condition of the deal, for sellers and buyers – the home inspection! With home inspections, it seems there is a ton of different ways to view them. But for the sake of expediency, we have compiled our own list of important things to keep in mind in the event of you buying a home subject to home inspection:

While it’s tempting to use a friend who knows a lot about homes, that usually doesn’t end well. Listen, we do get the appeal…if they’re a friend or relative they are trustworthy. But, compared to what? You and your friends? Sure. But it’s hard for most people to know if that extends to the level of properly inspecting electrical, plumbing, structural integrity, etc. Even if they do know a lot, the good home inspectors are trained in categorizing serious issues/medium issues/small things to keep an eye on. Many times those friends and relatives do not possess this skill and just We recommend hiring someone who has a great local reputation

Be there. This might seem like common sense, but a lot of people don’t make a concerted effort to attend the walkthrough with inspectors these days, since they provide comprehensive reports after each inspection. Do yourself a favour and show up! Those reports are huge and can be overwhelming for many people. Plus, if you don’t show up you can’t

Ask questions. Most walkthroughs are around an hour long. That’s a lot to digest. Stop him along the way, don’t be afraid to ask for his advice on these fixes, in terms of difficulty, time, cost, all that.

And while we’re at it, it’s a wise idea to make notes of how much all of these fixes will likely cost. Keep a running talley. Sometimes you’ll hear a ton of fixes throughout the walkthrough, and then calculate it’s only a few thousand bucks. Other times it seems like there’s only a few hiccups, but they’ll run you ten-fifteen thousand. This is important, not just for your own budget calculations,

Home Inspection Checklist to Prepare for an Easy Sale

Your home might be under contract, but the work is far from over. One of the most stress-inducing aspects of selling your home is a visit from the home inspector. A home inspection has become a standard part of the home buying process, so don’t be surprised when prospective buyers put your home under significant scrutiny.

The sooner you prepare yourself and your home, the more smoothly this process will go. If you’re looking to sell your house, it’s already time to start preparing for this inspection. By prepping yourself in advance, you’ll know exactly what home inspectors look for instead of finding out the hard way and scrambling last minute.

Checklist of General Items a Home Inspector Looks Over

This list is not comprehensive since every state has different regulations and not all inspectors are certified. Also, not all certifications are created equal. Since the buyer is usually the one purchasing the inspection, you won’t necessarily have a say in the inspector’s credentials. As a buyer, look for an inspector with a legitimate certification

Electrical

Checks for signs of old knob-and-tube wiring.

Examines the electrical service and determines if there is adequate capacity.

Sees if all electrical components are up to code and will recommend any updates as needed

Checklist to Complete Before a Home Inspection

To stay on top of things, here is a checklist of stuff you can do before the home inspection to make sure all goes smoothly.

Electrical Home Inspection

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ELECTRICAL HOME INSPECTIONS

Concerned About Your Electrical Wiring?

We provide thorough electrical home inspections. Many home inspectors lack the background and training of what to look for during a proper electrical inspection

Reasons for an Electrical Home Inspection

One of the top leading causes of residential fires is electrical malfunctions.

If you live in a house that is thirty years or older, it is a good idea to get an electrical inspection. If your home is fifty years or older and you are experiencing electrical problems, it is critical

Inspection Includes

electrical home inspections are thorough and include not just visible inspections but actual electrical readings and testing of your home’s electrical systems

Below are some of the specific things we inspect.

• Electrical Panel

• Loose Breakers

• Wiring Damage

• Burn Marks by Wiring

• Smoke Detectors

• Carbon Monoxide Detectors

• Confirmation of Grounding System

• Light Bulb Wattage

• Two-pronged Outlets

• Switches

• Wall Outlets

• GFCI Outlets

• Electrocution Hazards

• Surge Protectors

• Safety & Security Lighting

• Aluminum Wiring

• Outdoor Electrical Examination

Effectiveness Of The Electrical Panel Upgrades

Symptoms of Sick Electrical Panels

Old electrical panels can malfunction, but most of the time the problem stems from overloaded circuits. At first you might notice flickering lights or you might have to turn off an appliance in order to use another plugged into the same circuit. But if the panel is malfunctioning or defective, the breakers will trip often, or they will fail to trip and someone might be shocked. In the worst case, a breaker that fails to trip may cause fire, smoke and melted wires from overheating.

Checking Your Electrical Panel

Your electrical panel needs a checkup, especially if it’s more than 25 years old. Here are the signs to look for to see if you might need a new electrical panel:

  • You hear crackling sounds from the electrical panel.
  • You see corrosion and rust on the circuit breakers.
  • The interior of the electrical panel feels warm.
  • Appliances are running at less than full power.
  • Outlets near water sources – such as sinks, tubs, dishwashers and clothes washers – are not GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters). These outlets stop the electricity if an appliance comes into contact with water, preventing electrocution.
  • You’re always using extension cords.
  • Your home has a 60-amp electrical service.
  • Your home has 100-amp electrical service, but it still can’t operate some appliances.
  • Your older home has a fuse block panel or split-bus panel, which do not have a main breaker.

Signs You Should Replace or Upgrade the Electrical Panel

There are a few instances where you’ll want to replace your electrical panel as soon as possible. Learn how to locate your electrical panel.

If you have any of the following electrical panels, contact an electrician right away to diagnose the situation:

Outdated Electrical Panels

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) and Zinsco electrical panels were a very common choice from the 1950s to the 1980s. Unfortunately, as years passed, people started realizing that they weren’t functioning properly. Too often, the panels would fail to cut off power when there is a short circuit or too much current.

If your electrical panel does not properly trip when an electrical hazard is detected, a fire could start.

Outdated panels are any panels that are more than 30 years old. If you have an older panel, you may only have 60-amp electrical service as opposed to the 150 or 200-amp service of modern homes. Contact an electrician if your panel is over 20 years old.

Water Leak

If you experience a water leak near your electrical panel, keep away from the area and call an electrician immediately. If there is any evidence that the panel has been exposed to water (including rust stains or corrosion on the wiring), it will probably need to be replaced.

Underpowered Panel

Every electrical panel has a maximum power rating – which dictates the amount of space for breakers. The original fuse panels offered 60 amps of power which were followed by the standard breaker panels at 100 amps. The recommended amount for modern builds and upgrades is 200 amps. If you are planning on a remodeling project or adding on to your home, you may need to replace your panel entirely.

Faulty Wiring

Poor installation can contribute to a number of problems that should be addressed in an electrical panel. Oversized breakers, circuits doubled-up on a single-pole breaker and wires crossing over the panel’s center are just a few problems that would require an update from an electrician.

Are Your Breakers Tripping Too Often?

One of the vital roles of your electrical panel is to prevent short circuits and circuit overloads. A short or overloaded circuit could be dangerous, causing fires or electrocution. To prevent that, a breaker that notices a short or overload with switch off, shutting down power to the affected circuit. It is a crucial failsafe that prevents damage to your home or even a risk of injury to you and your family.

But if your circuit breaker is switching off more than once in a while, it may be a sign that something is wrong. One possibility is that the wiring has become loose or exposed. The heat of transferring electricity can cause wires to expand and contract. Over time, expansion and contraction can cause connections to loosen. If a small gap opens up between a wire and an outlet, the electricity can try to jump the gap in the form of a spark. Such sparking is a serious fire hazard and needs immediate attention.

Regularly tripping circuit breakers could also be a sign of overload. If you are trying to use too many electrical devices at once, you may be overloading your electrical panel. It’s time for an upgrade.

What Should I Expect from a Service Upgrade or Panel Change?

Bear the following in mind before you hire an Electrical Contractor for this project:

  • The power will be out for a minimum of four hours. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • Unplug all electronics. The power will be turned on and off repetitively and may cause problems.
  • The workers will stay working on the panel (and surrounding area), which could be outside. But, they may need to get to the water meter and water tank to do other work.
  • Since the power will be off, the worksite will be dark. Please keep the areas clear for them.
  • The EC will need power. Please try to arrange a power source that the EC can plug an extension cord into that is always helpful. Asking your neighbour is a great option.
  • The EC may have to go to other rooms in the home to test and identify receptacles, or lights etc. They will use generic terms like “master bathroom”, “SE bedroom”, etc. Use the same lingo you are talking to your EC about your home (they don’t know where “Bob’s Room” is, for example).

Panel Produces Heat or Burning Smell

When the electrical panel box feels warm or produces a burning smell, it could signify faulty wiring or an overloaded, defective panel. We highly recommend scheduling a service appointment and potential electrical panel upgrade because heat can mean a high chance of electrical fire.

You Have a Fuse-Based System

Many electrical panels in older homes built before the 1970s still operate on fuses. Unlike circuit breakers which you can reset, fuses either melt, burn out or blow completely when they’re tripped. This is a fire hazard, and for an older home that needs to meet modern power demands, it’s definitely unsafe.

Getting Safe Electrical Installation For Your Home

What you Should Know About Electrical Installations

Electrical installations can look mysterious. There are some basic requirements for electrical installation, and some things people need to know about them. Quality of workmanship, standards of performance, and possible hazards are some of the more important issues in electrical installation, and it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the basic requirements.

Electrical installations basics

New technology requires a very wide range of new electrical installations. These are very different from the old systems, particularly in communications, media systems and IT areas.

Issues, problems, and hazards

Everybody’s seen old or doubtful-looking electrical installations. The rule of thumb is that the worse it looks, the less likely an electrical installation has been professionally done or serviced. These tacky-looking messes are real hazards. Electrical wiring and connections need to be done properly.

Important: Make sure you have a good system for dealing with electrical faults and related issues.

Things to look out for:

Smells of ozone or burnt plastic: Wiring issues.

Scorch marks: The electrical board may have taken damage and be unsafe, even if there wasn’t a fire.

Any overheating appliance: Either the appliance is unsafe or there’s a power issue.

Odd noises or behavior in machinery: Electrical installations can be damaged by operating machinery which can create hazards by damaging wiring. The system should be taken offline instantly and checked ASAP.

Water around electrical fittings: Very serious problem, requiring immediate service. Water can do tremendous damage very quickly near live power sources. Water damaged areas around electrical fittings should be repaired, because they’re no longer water resistant.

Anything flickering: It’s normally the appliance, but if not it’s the power. Again, be suspicious.

How to check out your electrical installation for quality

It’s a good idea to get your electrical contractor to do a general system audit regularly. This is also good practice administratively, as well as for quality checking.

Key Factors To Look For When Choosing An Electrical Contractor

With so many cowboys masquerading as qualified, experienced electricians from a safety perspective, it has never been more important to choose the right electrical contractor for your residential or commercial project. Many people are tempted to opt for the cheapest quote, which more often than not could turn out to be a costly mistake. That said, knowing who to trust for your electrical installation and maintenance is not always easy, as there are many factors to take into consideration when making your decision. Read on to learn some important points to consider when making your decision

Risk of choosing the wrong contractor

Picture the scene; a rusty Robin Reliant three-wheeler pulls up outside your property. After screeching to a stop, several men in string vests jump out and promptly light their cigarettes as they loudly argue about whose responsibility it was to pack the tools that were forgotten. A couple of the men decide to go back to get them, screeching off in the rust bucket. Meanwhile, the remaining man asks you to show him what needs fixing whilst he curses about how unhappy he is to be expected to do a day’s work and complains about his incompetent colleagues.

NICEIC – CERTIFIED

The most critical factor to look for in an electrical contractor is whether they are accredited and approved by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). It is advisable to hire an electrician with NICEIC certification as the organisation assesses the competence of both domestic and commercial electricians to ensure safe systems of work that conform to standards set out by the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers), who set the standards for electrical installation work.

QUALITY WORKMANSHIP

While some of us believe we can recognise high-quality electrical work when we see it, the reality is that not many of us fully understand the fundamentals of electrical systems. This lack of knowledge makes establishing what constitutes a quality electrical installation open to interpretation. The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) developed the National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS) in the 1990s to take away subjective judgements of this essential quality.

SAFETY STANDARDS

You have a right to expect your electrical contractor to work to the highest electrical safety standards. There are many safety standards that apply to electrical work that you should take into consideration. For example, Part P certification and the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671:2018), this is the most recent update of electrical safety systems, which came into force for all new electrical installations from 1st January 2019

WIRING MATERIALS AND INSTALLATION METHODS IN ELECTRICAL CONSTRUCTION WORKS

Electrical wiring needs expertise attention to every building projects. It directly related to the safety of human beings and utilities / equipment people handle. The scope of electrical wiring shall cover supply, installation, testing and commissioning of all conduits and accessories, wiring, switches, socket outlets, spur outlets, junction boxes / pull boxes, GI pull wires, ceiling roses making connections etc. Unless otherwise indicated wiring shall consist of PVC insulated, copper conductor wires installed in heavy gauge steel galvanized conduits.

GALVANIZED STEEL CONDUITS AND FITTING

Conduit Type: In general interior and exterior wires ways shall be Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT).  Conduits shall conform to all provision of Underwriters laboratories UL 797, American National Standard Institute c80-3, Federal Specification WWC-563A and National Electrical Code Article 384.  The conduit shall be straight, have a circular cross section sufficiently accurate to accept approved couplings and fittings.  Wall thickness shall be uniform through and welding of seams shall be continuous and thoroughly done.  The interior surface shall be free from injurious defects.

Coupling Connector, Bends: Coupling and connector used with tubing shall be made up tight.  Bends in the tubing shall be so made that the tubing will not be injured and that the internal diameter of the tubing will not be effectively reduced.

RIGID AND FLEXIBLE PVC CONDUIT

Conduit Type: PVC conduit shall be of the grey / black, round, heavy gauge, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) conduit conforming BS 4607 Part I, 1970 with compatible galvanized boxes.  The conduits internal surface shall be smooth.  All flexible steel conduits shall conform to 4607. The PVC conduit and fittings such as bends lock units, reducers, coupler check nuts, bushes etc. shall conform to BS 4607. Unless otherwise specified minimum size of conduits shall be 20 mm diameter. The conduits shall be suitable to use in an ambient temperature of 60 degree centigrade and shall not be installed in areas that receive direct sun light.  Ready Made bends shall be used.

Coupling Connector, Bends: Coupling and connector used with tubing shall be made up tight.  Bends in the tubing shall be so made that the tubing will not be injured and that the internal diameter of the tubing will not be effectively reduced.

Electrical Installation Guide

A practical guide with expert advice

Written by Schneider Electric’s most talented electrical distribution experts, the Electrical Installation Guide is written for professionals who design, install, inspect, and maintain low-voltage electrical installations in compliance with the standards published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Discover a multidisciplinary document

The Electrical Installation Guide is meant for all electrical professionals working in commercial, industrial, or domestic electrical installations, including consulting engineers, specifiers, designers, contractors, panel builders, facility managers, electrical engineering students and teachers, as well as for people involved in standardization, certification, or inspection of these electrical installations.

Tackle essential electrical installation topics

We cover voltage drop, electrical safety, cable sizing, electrical calculations, electrical standards, electrical design, electrical protection, circuit breakers, MV/LV substations, earthing schemes, electromagnetic compatibility, power factor correction, harmonics, overvoltage protection, and a whole lot more.

Photovoltaic for self-consumption

Solar energy production is booming worldwide. Many companies seek to incorporate photovoltaic (PV) systems for self-consumption – consuming energy produced while it is being produced – in their business model. To design the right PV system, consulting engineers and specifiers need to understand how to size the system, determine what equipment is required, or how to integrate the PV and electrical distribution systems. Explore our guide for typical architectures and state-of-the-art sizing guidelines.

Enhanced content on RCDs, AFDDs, measurement

Protection against electric shocks according to IEC60364 requires proper selection of basic protection, fault protection and additional protection measures, proper implementation according to the electrical installation earthing scheme (TT, TN or IT), selection and coordination of residual current devices (RCDs) types according to the loads’ characteristics and circuits. Protection against electrical fires may be ensured by different means, including advanced protection with Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs).

A Guide For Choosing The Right Electrician

Whether you need electrical installation or repair in your home, it is good to hire the best electrician to handle it. If your electrical system is not working in the right way, you can be sure that your entire home will also be dysfunctional. You need a good electrician with knowledge of how the system and appliances work so that they can work on your project in the right way. With the many electricians, you can get confused on the one that you can work within your home. The following are the important tips to follow as you look for an excellent electrician to work on your project.

Get recommendations

One of the ways that you can get the best electrician in your area is to ask for recommendations from other homeowners who have worked with professional electricians. By doing this, you will gather the information that will guide you in selecting the one that will offer you satisfactory services that will ensure that your system will not fail you. What you should do is to list three of the best recommended and take time to consult with them so that you get the best among them. Note that you will require their electrical services for a long time so you should also choose the one you can develop a long term relationship with them.

Verify insurance and licensing

You cannot make the mistake of entrusting your electrical project to an electrician who is not licensed – EJ Electrical Gold Coast. In case you work with such a professional, you will have nowhere to run to in case there is a problem because they are not recognised by authorities. Besides, it is good to know that there are also some risks involved in working on an electrical project, so they should also have an insurance cover. So, as you do the consultation, it is vital you request them to show you their license and insurance cover. With an insurance cover, you will not worry when the professionals are working on your project because you know that you are fully protected from any liability that might occur.

Training and credentials

During your search, it is paramount you only work with those with the right qualifications. They should have a strong education background in the industry. Besides, they should also be undergoing continuous training so that they get equipped with recent techniques in the electrical field. It is also important to look that they are certified and accredited by the relevant institutions to work on electrical projects.

Reputation

When you hire an electrician, they will be working inside your home. This means that if you work with someone who does not have a good reputation, you might end up losing some of your items. This is why it is good to check that your potential electrician does not have a criminal record. The reviews and rating provided by past clients will show you the reputation of the different electrical professional in your area, thus guide you to choose the right one.

Electrical Home Inspections Find Problems

What Your Electrician Looks For During an Electrical Inspection

My hometown of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is full of relics of the American Atomic Age—after all, the city was built with the sole purpose of housing the federal employees who processed and refined the uranium that powered the massive weapon that effectively ended World War II

As you drive around the city these days, you can still see remnants of the 1940s version of Oak Ridge in the neighborhoods of war-era, government-issued modular homes and the post-war, cement block homes that were constructed once it became clear that the city’s residents were here to stay.

Do I Need an Electrical Inspection?

he short answer is yes (probably). “Ninety-nine percent of the time, homeowners aren’t aware that they need an inspection,” Wes notes. Some electrical problems are easy to ignore, after all. A circuit breaker tripping from time to time probably doesn’t occupy much space in your brain once you’ve reset the breaker and restored power, and you’re in good company if you’ve never tested the GFCI outlets in your house.

Buying a house

If you just bought a house or are in the process of purchasing a home, you’re probably well versed in the importance of a good home inspection. But any home inspector worth their salt will tell you that they simply cannot catch every little thing that could possibly go wrong.

Lack of inspection history

If the pre-closing home inspection is the only time you’ve had your house looked over by a pro, an electrical inspection is one of the best things you can do for your safety. Safety issues, Wes says, are the primary focus of any electrical inspection his team conducts.

Home Inspections

Home inspections are a  part of the home sale process. They are usually done sometime after a purchase agreement is signed. A purchase agreement should contain a clause that the sale is contingent on the results of an inspection. A new mortgage or a home warranty typically requires an inspection.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is an inspection of the structure and systems of a house. They typically include the foundation, basement, heating system, plumbing, central air conditioning, electrical, roof, and attic. An inspection should be done by someone who is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

Electrical Panel Inspection

During an electrical panel inspection the inspector typically looks for the following:

Clearance in front and top of the panel (3 feet deep and 30 inches wide) (6 feet headroom on top of panel).

Proper wiring, grounding, and bonding.

Discolored, oxidized, corroded, or damaged wires.

Correct circuit breaker or fuse amperage ratings. Breaker size shall be 15 amps for #14 (AWG) wire, 20 amps for #12 wire, and 30 amps for #10 wire, and 40 amps for #8 wire.

Only one wire is allowed to be connected to each circuit breaker.

Check for copper and aluminum wires and whether the breakers are listed for copper or aluminum

Electrical Systems Inspection

An electrical systems inspection and testing typically includes the following:

GFCI protection for kitchen countertops, bathrooms, garages, outdoors, within six feet of a sink, unfinished basements, and boathouses.

Service-entrance, electric meter, and main disconnect.

Receptacles and switches are in working order.

Any wire connections that are not inside of an electrical box.

Smoke alarms are present.

Electrical Inspection: Why It Is Important Before Buying a Home

A proper home inspection is incomplete without having the electrical inspected thoroughly. That’s because an electrical inspection not only clearly reports the health of your electrical system, but it also makes sure that the home is up to safety standards, as required by the National Electrical Code. Therefore, you should never ignore the importance of getting an electrical inspection done when purchasing a home.

What is involved in an electrical inspection?

The comprehensive electrical inspection for a house involves looking for uncovered or exposed wires, outdated wiring, and electrical equipment, testing safety switches, power box, smoke alarm testing, and determining any electrical hazard. These are some standard electrical inspection checklist components that should be taken into account.

Why You May Need a Home Electrical Inspection?

There are many reasons for getting an electrical inspection. Old wirings cannot withstand modern-day living needs, so electrical inspection services aid you in your decision to buy an older home. Besides, when purchasing a resale home, you should always have a comprehensive electrical inspection. Owners renovate, add equipment that is often unlicensed and not up to today’s standards.

Helps You Identify Common Electrical Mistakes

An electrical inspection should be included in the overall home inspection report. Before hiring your home inspector make sure that they will thoroughly inspect the electrical of the house, so ensure any dangerous electrical situations are found. These can be very expensive to repair once the property has been purchased. The inspector should identify any common electrical mistakes that were made by contractors and previous DIY homeowners. The inspector should also check for electrical wiring and components that may have degraded over time

Assures That Your Electrical Wiring Is Safe

It’s known that electrical can be extremely dangerous, even deadly, so it is imperative to make sure that the electrical systems in a home are safe and up to code. Inspecting the condition of electrical should be every home inspector’s top priority. Incorrect, faulty, or DIY wiring can be a huge safety and fire hazard, along with exposed wires and overloaded circuits. Having a home inspector who has electrical knowledge and will meticulously analyze the system is very important.

What Sellers Can Expect from an Electrical Home Inspection

home inspection covers a lot of details to make sure that the house you’re selling is up to code, safe for a potential buyer, and doesn’t have a costly hidden maintenance issue. But even though home inspectors are trained to identify a lot of issues, they might recommend that a buyer call on an electrician’s expertise for an electrical home inspection.

That’s often because of a home’s age, its wiring, and whether the electrical service panel has been updated. “A lot of older homes have different wiring,” said Glover “There’s a wiring called knob-and-tube that still exists in a lot of homes today. There are some complications with that.”

Electrical home inspections 101: Keeping your home’s wiring safe and up to code

Your home’s electrical system is a vital component of protecting your family—and anyone who buys your home. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment in the home remains the 4th leading cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association.

The National Fire Protection Agency said in a 2017 report that electrical distribution, lighting, and power transfer equipment was involved in 57% of home structure fires from 2010 to 2014.

In all, U.S. firefighters from 2010 to 2014 responded to an estimated annual average of 45,210 home structure fires with some type of electrical failure or malfunction, the NFPA said. These fires caused an estimated $1.4 billion in property damage and killed an estimated 420 people and injured about 1,370, NFPA statistics show.

Common Electrical Problems Found During Home Inspections

Whenever a home is being sold, it’s a common (and smart) practice for a prospective buyer to hire a qualified home inspector. Home inspectors can not only help assess a home or buildings condition but identify potential problems that may be factored into the terms of a sale or purchase price. In some cases buyers also engage the services of a licensed electrician to check and identify any electrical problems that a regular home inspector might miss. The most common problems we have seen that result in failed home inspections include the below

Extension Cords in Permanent Use

Extension cords are to be used on a temporary basis for an external or remote power supply. If somebody is using extension cords on an everyday basis, that can only mean one thing: There aren’t enough outlets to handle all of the electrical devices the home or building uses today. This is more common in older homes, but it is a safety concern and it should always be corrected prior to a sale.

Improperly Wired Switches

This is a common problem electricians find when doing an inspection. People who try to do their own wiring or hire somebody who has only rudimentary electrical skills will often use reverse polarity when wiring a switch or an outlet. This happens when hot and neutral wires get “flipped” around, and doing this creates a shock hazard.

Missing or Faulty GFI Outlets

Faulty GFIs are a major issue even in newer homes in the Las Vegas / Henderson area due to the common use of cheap > lower quality materials. GFI (short for ground fault interrupter) outlets are what’s required wherever an electrical outlet is close to a source of water (like in a bathroom). The indicator of GFI failure is when they prematurely or frequently ‘trip’ resulting in the loss of power to localized electrical components (lights or other power supplies on the same circuit). GFI replacement is a relatively quick fix for a licensed electrician, and with higher quality components will result in several years of reliable use. It’s essential that GFIs are kept in good working order as their function is to protect you from the possibility of electrocution

Double-Tapped / Lugged Breakers

This is when multiple wires are attached to a single breaker – a dangerous practice. As most circuit breakers are designed for single wires, this can cause loose connections, arcing, and potentially a fire. This is typically corrected by either the addition of additional breakers or in some cases where there are not load concerns, by wire nutting the connections together prior to the breaker panel.

LED Downlights Switches Installation Guidelines

HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT ELECTRICAL SWITCHES FOR A SMALL WORKSPACE

There is no doubt that a safe workplace ensures a safe workforce – and the one aspect that plays a big role in safety at work is the use of right electrical switches. This is especially true when you are dealing with a small workspace where the switches are used frequently and over long working hours. While there are a plethora of elements that come to play in choosing electrical switches, read on for the most prominent factors you need to keep in mind to design a small office.

The type of switch

From switches exclusively designed for machinery to aesthetically pleasing ones that complement your office decor, there is a multitude of types to choose from for a small workspace. Mentioned below are some of the common types of electrical switches that strike the right balance between functionality and practicality.

Toggle Switches

Not only are toggle switches unique but they are also user-friendly because they have only one output and input. An electrical circuit is opened and closed when the switch is moved back and forth. The easy-to-use nature of this switch makes it ideal for workspaces, especially due to the simple mechanism it offers. These type of switches are also used in certain types of machinery and electronic planes.

Multi-Location Switch

Multi-location switches add value to small workspaces as they can be installed in many locations at the same time with multiple access points. This type of switch is an interconnection between two or more electrical switches. They are ideal for hallways or open spaces and add to safety and convenience. In fact, they are the most preferred choice for small workspaces because if one component fails the other switch can be used to control the fixture.

Double-Pole Switches

Unlike single-pole switches which can only break the connection between terminals for a single fixture, double-pole switches are used to control two fixtures. This type of switch is ideal for a small workspace because it can control two fixtures without having the need to install a separate box for each fixture. Additionally, the fixtures are mechanically operated by the same button making it easy to install, operate and replace if necessary. The usability of double-pole switches is what makes them a good choice for small organisations where two fixtures can be operated at the same time.

factors for finding the perfect switch for your application

The process of selecting switches does not always receive the time and attention it deserves. Given the relatively low cost and simple nature of most switches, often they are selected without full consideration of the features and functionality they offer. Depending on the application, there are certain parameters that will guide a designer to choose a particular switch, but amidst the myriad of options that are available it is all too easy to be led astray.

Driven by Data

The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) is generating vast amounts of data across all sectors. This data needs to be stored or, more often, communicated. The necessity of accommodating the required antennas, transmitters and additional circuitry can have a drastic impact on the space available for operational, detection and data collection components, such as switches. Despite this, switches must still interface with the user, while also withstanding harsh environments and aggressive interaction. Manufacturers of medical equipment, for example, are increasingly focusing their investments on developing the systems and platforms to store, correlate and analyze this data. Designers must therefore carefully select switches that are capable of meeting demanding specifications, including miniaturization and low power consumption.

Meeting Physical Demands

With the growth of wearables, the demand for switches is growing. While wearable devices have been around for some time, there are different philosophies when it comes to designing devices for different industries. Components within medical wearable devices, for example, need to be resilient against rough treatment and environmental challenges, while also working the first time, every time. The challenge for designers is to ensure that every individual component is fit for purpose within the demanding environments in which these machines operate. Switches are a vital part of the interface between a user and a device, so when it comes to ensuring consistent performance, long life and quality of the switches, making the correct choice is crucial.

Form Factor

Within the industrial sector, for example, switches are used in a variety of applications including CNC machine controls, safety and position sensors, battery chargers, power supplies and gas detection equipment, to name but a few. One thing they all have in common is that space is limited on the PCB, both when it comes to height and footprint. This form factor is becoming increasingly important as the functionality of devices increases, making the real estate on the PCB even more valuable.

Electrical Rating

Another crucial consideration for switch choice is the required signal current. There is a great variety in electrical requirements depending on the product design, with some switches needing to handle low signal currents for PLCs and microprocessor inputs, while some need to handle higher currents in order to actuate relays.

CHOOSING LIGHT SWITCHES FOR YOUR HOUSE

Types of Light Switches

Single Pole / 1-Gang Switch: This type of light switch is considered to be one of the most commonly used ones in Singapore. As such, a single pole switch uses a simple on and off toggle in order to control devices, receptacles, and lights from a single location. Flipping this switch on single pole models either connects or disconnects the circuit. You are required to wire the switch in a correct direction to ensure that the markings match the position of the light switches. Single-pole light switches are also likely to have two brass screws on either side of the switch. These brass terminals then house the incoming and outgoing hot wire. Additionally, a green ground terminal can also be found in such light switches.

3-Gang Switch: This kind of light switch usually comes in pairs and allows you to properly turn the lights on and off from two different locations. Usually, a 3-way switch is ideally installed in long hallways. A 3-way switch design is considered to be more complicated than other kinds of switches out there.

Double-Way Switch: Like single-pole light switches, a double-pole light switch also has a green ground screw and uses an on/off toggle and controls devices such as receptacles and lights from a single location. With its four brass terminals, it can effectively house two different hot wires. This indicates that these double-pole models can switch to a 240-volt circuit. Remember to hire a certified electrician in Singapore if you are thinking of installing double-way switches. This ensures that the light switches are properly and professionally installed.

Water heater switches usually come in 20amp and are recommended to be installed by a qualified electrician. This is because a water heater switch needs to be correctly wired to the water heater, as well as, your home’s circuit breaker or DB Box.

Dimmer switches are commonly installed for lights that have ambience lighting. Dimmer switches can come in many classic styles to fit the design of your home perfectly. It is best to replace or install a new dimmer switch if it emits a crackling sound, produce sparks, produces a flickering light, or simply not performing as well as it should be.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Enterprise Switches

Nowadays, to set up an enterprise network, network switches for enterprise are necessary, connecting the users in local geography such as an office, departments or buildings connected to each other and allowing data transferring to the assigned devices. It is an indisputable fact that Ethernet switches matters a lot in an enterprise network, no matter it is small or large-sized. Before you make your choice of buying enterprise switches, here are some criteria you need to consider.

Map out the Enterprise Network

The most critical thing you should make clear is your requirements including the network size, the purpose of the network, the devices which will be connected to the switches and the future network planning.

Evaluating Enterprise Switches

After deciding the enterprise network architecture, you should get some information about enterprise switches which will help you better choose the switches you will deploy. If you are aware of the switch specifications, you can skip this part and go directly to the next which will give your suggestions on evaluating switch suppliers.

Port Speeds and Cabling Connections

There is a wide range of network switches available in the market. 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 10 GE, 40GE and 100GE ports are all supported by the modern enterprise switches. These interfaces can be a combination of RJ45 ports for copper connectivity and SFP or SFP+ uplink ports with higher speeds for fiber connectivity. In terms of the cabling connections, Ethernet connections with standard RJ45 ports can be more economical. Sure the network switch interface selection is influenced by the installed cabling. If you have already installed Cat6 or Cat6a cabling, then choose switches with RJ45 ports; If multiple fiber cabling is installed, then choose switches with SFP, SFP+, or QSFP+ ports. Despite the fact that Cat6 cable running from the access closet may be less expensive, the distance it can reach will be limited.

Installation Environments

Based on the environment where you are going to install switches, the switch size, the operating temperature, relative humidity are all your considerations. In a place where space is limited, you must examine the switch dimensions and ensure the rack space is adequate for the switch deployment. If the temperature of the installation environment is either too hot or too cold, it is necessary to check and choose the switch which can operate in a harsh environment. Also, be careful about the moisture migration and penetration caused by high humidity which will impact the operation of the devices.

How to Install a Dimmer Switch

Installing a dimmer switch is one of the easiest DIY electrical projects you can do. Read these steps on how to install one in your home.

ControllingControlling the level of lighting in a room is a great way to set a mood. While you may want brighter light for reading, you might want less light for watching TV, and perhaps even a third level of light for a romantic evening at home. Dimmer switches can accommodate all of these circumstances.

Make Sure Switches and Light Bulbs are Compatible

Not too long ago, the only dimmer switches you could buy were rheostats that reduced the amount of electricity going to the light by turning some of it into heat at the switch.

How to Wire a Dimmer Switch

One difference between dimmer switches and regular switches is that with the latter, the house wires attach directly to the switch. Most dimmers, on the other hand, come with integral wire leads that connect to the house wires using wire nuts.

What Are Three-Way Dimmers?

A three-way circuit controls a light from two locations and requires special switches. Four-way circuits are similar but control the light from three or more locations. Rather than using cable with two insulated wires (one black and one white) plus a bare ground, these circuits use cable with three insulated wires (black, white, and red) plus a bare ground.