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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Safety Inspections

In the home, there are a lot of systems that need to work properly in order for you and your family to be comfortable. One of them is your electrical system. Electricity lets you keep the lights on, use appliances, and go on with your day-to-day life, so it has to remain fully functioning and safe at all times. 

Electrical safety inspections ensure that your Sacramento area home’s electrical wiring and other components are working properly, which keeps your home safe from electrical hazards. Learn more about what home electrical inspections are below.

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What is a Home Electrical Inspection?

A home electrical inspection is when a qualified electrician examines the entire electrical system of the home. They are checking to make sure everything is compliant with home safety standards. Electricians use the National Electrical Code, the minimum standards for safe electrical wiring, to examine the home. These standards exist across the U.S. 

The goal of the home electrical inspection is to check that your electrical system complies with current government regulations and meets the most up-to-date safety standards. Among other things, the electrician aims to identify safety issues. Electricians usually start with the electrical panel, as that is the heart  of the home’s electrical system , and then move out to properly examine the rest of the home.

A home inspection typically includes some or all of the following:

  • Evaluate the electrical panel’s age and condition
  • Check wiring for uncovered, exposed, or outdated wires
  • Assess electrical equipment to see if it is outdated or degraded
  • Examine and test safety switches
  • Look for non-compliant electrical components 
  • Locate and test smoke alarms and CO-2  to ensure they meet standards
  • Check for DIY wiring, splicing, and extensions to ensure proper connections 
  • Inspect light switches and fixtures
  • Assess wall outlets to make sure they are safe and grounded 
  • Search for any other electrical hazards

In an ideal home, all of the electrical components would be tightly connected and would not show any signs of melting or burning. The electrical panel would be perfectly wired, and the breaker sizes would always align with the circuits. But, there are usually at least one or two electrical flaws that need repair. Sometimes, these repairs require immediate repair, while other times, the solutions can be delayed.

Why are home electrical inspections conducted?

Electrical home inspections are necessary to keep your home safe. Electrical problems pose a threat to the safety of you and your family. Faulty wiring can lead to expensive and dangerous results, and even fatalities. 

Electrical problems are the most common cause of property damage in home structure fires in the U.S. Between 2012 and 2016, U.S. firefighters responded to an annual average of 44,880 home fires caused by electrical failure of malfunction. Those home fires lead to approximately 440 civilian deaths and 1,250 civilian injuries every year, as well as $1.3 billion in property damage.

During an electrical safety check, electricians will check to see if any part of your electrical system is not in line with current standards. The reason for that is because the NEC, or National Electrical Code, is constantly changing. From 1975 to 2017, the code was revised 15 times. If your Sacramento area home was considered compliant a few decades ago, it might not be anymore. 

Not only can faulty electrical systems put your home at risk of fire, but they can also lead to expensive bills. If you don’t fix concerns when they are small, those concerns can expand and cause permanent damage. Repairing these concerns later could cost you far more than an upfront fix would. Prevent problems down the road by getting a proper home electrical inspection with a trusted Sacramento electrician now.

When do I need to have home electrical
inspections conducted?

There are several occasions when you might want to have a home electrical inspection performed on your home. One of the most important ones is before purchasing a home. You want to make sure everything will work properly when you move in. Plus, if you do find any electrical issues, you might be able to negotiate a lower home price. Usually, a home electrical inspection is included in the pre-purchase property inspection report. 

Another occasion when you might need a home electrical inspection is when filing for insurance. Insurance companies could want evidence of an electrical safety check to ensure your home is not at risk of damage. Some insurance companies require regular electrical inspections so that your home’s safety is always up to code. 

You might also consider an electrical safety inspection when your home is older and hasn’t been inspected in a while. We recommend having homes with electrical systems older than forty years old be inspected at least every five years

Finally, you should get a home electrical inspection if you start experiencing regular electrical problems. Those can include tripped circuit breakers and power outages. An inspection can identify circuits and appliances that may be overloaded or if there are any problems with your electricity being properly grounded.

The times when you should do an electrical home inspection include: 

  • Before purchasing or selling a home
  • Refinancing a mortgage
  • Examining an electrical wiring issue
  • Routine safety checkup
  • Before you do a big renovation project on the home
  • After adding new appliances 
  • When your insurance company requires it
  • Your home is older than 40 years

How much does it typically cost
to conduct a home electrical inspection?

The cost of an electrical home inspection varies. It is usually dependent on the size of your Sacramento area home and the age of your wiring. Larger homes with more complicated electrical systems will cost more for an electrical inspection. The cost of a home electrical inspection usually includes a flat fee, and there may be additional travel fees if your residence is far from the electrician. 

On average, the cost of a home electrical inspection is usually between $150 and $450. Any repairs will be added onto that initial cost. The additional costs will depend on the type of electrical services you need done for your Sacramento area home. You can call Gubrud’s to get an estimate to inspect your home’s electrical system over the phone after answering a few simple questions.

How do I prepare for an inspection?

First, you should know what to expect for your inspection. During the inspection, which usually lasts a couple of  hours, an electrician will walk through your home and evaluate your electrical wiring and overall system. If there are any major electrical problems, the electrician might need to open the walls. This is not always the case, but it is possible. Gubrud’s will always inform you of unplanned findings before performing any work outside the normal inspection process. 

Electricians check the electrical panel to see if it has arching or is overly hot. They’ll look for loose wires, inadequate wires, and that all breakers are the right size. 

At the end of the inspection, the electrician will explain which electrical concerns need immediate attention, and which can be taken care of in the next few months or years. These are all recommendations, so you ultimately can decide whether or not you want to go forward with the repairs, Gubrud’s ultimately will provide you with the findings and recommended options. 

At the end, you will have a comprehensive list that covers:

  • Electrical concerns in need of immediate attention
  • Recommendations for improved performance
  • Upgrade possibilities

To prepare for a home electrical inspection, you should clear the area in front of the electrical panel. The electrician should have adequate work space without having to move furniture or any of your belongings to gain access to the outlets and switches. You should also keep pets away from the electrician. Gubrud’s will make sure you’re informed of the requirements before coming out to provide any service.

If you want a professional to perform an electrical home inspection for your Sacramento area home, give Gubrud’s Electrical Contracting a call. We can provide you with a quote and answer any questions you have. The team at Gubrud’s is friendly and experienced, and we are ready to help you with all of your electrical needs.

Contact Gubrud’s Electrical Today!