A Homeowner’s Checklist for Electrical Inspection

When you buy a new home, own an older home, or have renovated or added a major appliance you want to make sure your home is safe. An electrical inspection in these situations should be done by a licensed electrician, but there are some things you can examine yourself.

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  1. First locate your electrical panel. It is usually found in the garage or basement.
  2. Look for dark or smoky residue and wear and tear on the panel.
  3. Check the fuses. Round fuses are out-of-date and should be replaced.
  4. Examine the panel for any wear or rust and replace if necessary.
  5. Next look at your house’s wiring.
  6. Start by determining if your house was built before 1973. Older houses may have aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring which can be safety concerns and may need to be replaced.  The wiring should also be checked with an electrical inspection.
  7. Do a sweep of the outlets in your bathrooms and kitchen. These outlets should have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) which prevent overloading and accidental electrocution.
  8. Make sure that all lights in the bathrooms and kitchen are at least several inches away from water sources.
  9. Don’t forget to scan your outdoor outlets for GFCIs. Outdoor outlets are exposed to rain, snow, garden hoses, and other water sources.
  10. Indoor outlets should also be inspected even if they are not near water sources. Look for loose or malfunctioning outlets as they may need to be repaired or replaced. See if there are any scorch or smoke marks and listen for sounds such as humming or clicking sounds. If you see or hear marks or sounds, be sure to notify your electrician so he can be sure to take a look during his electrical inspection.

Six Tips for Choosing an Electrician

Your home is important to you so when it’s time to remodel, upgrade, or build anew, you want to make sure you’re working with the right electrician.  Fortunately, there are tips you can follow to make the right choice.

Expert Electrician Lego MotherboardQualifications

One of the most important things to look for is an electrician who is licensed and fully insured.  Licensing means that they are certified to carry out specific or specialized work.  Having full insurance coverage protects both the electrician and you should something go wrong.

Training

Some companies that don’t specialize in electrical work may still offer electrical services.  While their employees may have some basic training in electrical work, unless they are electricians, they probably don’t have all the knowledge they need to do a quality job.

Money

Estimates

It’s okay to get estimates from multiple companies because an estimate can reveal clues about the company providing it.  Too low might mean that the electrician doesn’t use quality material, but too high can mean the company has large overhead costs, which they will pass on to you.

Commissions

Be aware that some companies pay their employees by commission.  The company gets their fee from you, but the electrician only gets his commission if he sells you a product or service, whether or not it’s necessary for your project.

Gimmicks

Also watch out for companies that try to draw you in with a gimmick.  Chances are they are passing the cost of the gimmick, such as a free service or product, to you by marking up other costs.

Advertising

How a company advertises can impact the cost of their services.  Large marketing campaigns are expensive, and just as with the gimmick, the company is going to transfer that expense to you.