The Most Common Electrical Problems Found in Home Inspections

A home inspection can result in a number of different problems. Electrical problems are often the most common issues discovered during home inspections, but some are more common than others.

Read on to learn about some of the most common electrical problems found in a home inspection, and get prepared to fix them.

Incorrectly Wired Switches

If you, or the person that owned the house before you, tried to do your own wiring, this can be a common issue found during home inspections.

Oftentimes this issue is caused by reverse polarity when the neutral and hot wires are switched. This can cause problems for your appliances and even present a shock hazard.

Too Many Extension Cords

Extension cords can be great, especially for connecting outdoor items to electricity in the house. However, too many of them, especially indoors, can be an issue.

National electric code states that an outlet needs to be within reach of a 6-foot appliance cord, and the purpose of that is to reduce the use of extension cords inside. Too many extension cords can cause fires in a worst-case scenario, and even if they don’t burn the house down, they’re always a tripping hazard.

Service Panel Issues

It’s common to find problems with the service panel. Unless you’re a trained electrician, you probably only use it to flip a breaker when the power stops working, and so many issues can go overlooked.

Oftentimes the issues can be with the structure of the panel. Any service panel needs unused openings to be covered with filler plates to prevent shocks from getting out or bugs from getting in. This is an easy fix that you can do yourself, but any other issues with a service panel probably require professional help.

Exposed Wiring

This should seem obvious, but your house shouldn’t have any exposed wiring. Unfortunately, this is a common problem found during home inspections, especially in places that don’t see a lot of activity, such as unfinished basements.

Exposed wiring can create shock problems or even result in fires. Any splices should be covered in a box or fixture to prevent any issues.

Exposed Light Bulbs

Here’s another one you might not think of, but it is fairly common, especially in older houses. While it’s rare for light bulbs to be exposed around the house, in places like closets or basements, exposed light bulbs are more common than you’d think.

All light bulbs should be enclosed and covered, even if they’re hidden away. Coverings aren’t just for decoration, they’re important for safety as well.

Other Electrical Problems

These are just a few common electrical problems found during home inspections. Other problems can include double-tapped circuit breakers, faulty outlets, and improper coverings for outdoor electrical outlets.

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