How to Pass an Electrical Inspection
So you’re looking on how to pass an electrical inspection. It has been rumored that all you need to know about plumbing is that water flows downhill and payday is on Friday! Is that the guy you want to get your home ready for a plumbing inspection? Exactly.
Plumbing systems may be a bit more forgiving even at the inspection level, but electrical systems? That is a whole different story in a completely different book!
In this post, let’s walk you through the electrical inspection process, what kind of time frame the inspection will take, as well as the associated costs, and common electrical inspection failures as we get you ready to pass your electrical inspection the right way!
What Does an Electrical Inspection Involve?
For the most part, electrical inspections are usually tied to some type of happy event taking place that concerns your home. The inspection may be for the completion of your new home construction project, or perhaps you have added a bedroom, den, or other living space and the electrical inspection will be the final episode in the construction event.
Depending on where you live and the square footage of the home being inspected will determine the actual dollar amount this inspection will cost you. Many times the electrical contractor you choose will include those fees in the price they charge you for the work being done.
Selling Your Home?
Now, if you are selling a home the inspection of the whole house is probably going to be either a deal maker or a deal-breaker. Before you panic, there is a bit of good news.
Should the initial electrical inspection yield any unforeseen problems, you will have a written account of what’s wrong and what needs attention first. Then as you go to your next seller the initial inspection and corrections can accompany the next set of inspectors or buyers looking at your home.
But what exactly are these inspectors looking at?
Electrical Inspection Checklist
According to Inspection Certification Associates, the following items in your home’s electrical system will come under the inspection microscope in an electrical inspection.
The Electrical Panel
Electrical inspectors are trained to start their inspection at the point where power comes into your home. The electrical panel.
They will look at the exterior of your home where the power goes from a mass-produced utility commodity to your outdoor meter where it becomes a metered expense for your household. Inspectors will scrutinize this area looking for;
- Proper grounding techniques
- Appropriate electrical breaker compatibility
- Proper working order for your panel’s main breaker
- Proper working order for each separate breaker
- Proper working order of GFCI breakers
- All connections are secure and properly torqued at the breaker panel
- All wiring is consistent (aluminum or copper) throughout
If your home was constructed between 1965 and 1973 some 1,5 million homes were wired with aluminum wire because of the overwhelming cost of copper wire. It has since been determined that aluminum wire is unsafe and that any homes with aluminum wiring be updated to copper. If your home is wired with aluminum, there will be a special notification concerning the issue on your final inspection report.
After your electrical panel box has been given a good bill of health, the inspectors will move on to the following components.
Wall Outlets, Switches, and Light Fixtures
Wall outlets are supposed to be getting 120 volts at the outlet. The inspector will likely test each one with a voltmeter to verify that each outlet is as it should be. Any outlets either not working or not getting sufficient voltage will be noted on the final report.
Light switches will be checked for proper working conditions and any switch not working will be noted. The light fixtures of your home will be checked in conjunction with the switches as they are a part of that circuit.
Ground Fault Outlets
Your home is required to have GFCI outlets installed in any area close to a water source. That usually means there will be a GFCI outlet or two in the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility rooms. These will be checked by the National Electric Code for proper circuit interruption in the event the test button is pressed. Any GFCI outlets not performing as such will be duly noted.
The Inspectors Checklist and Time Frame
Plan on your electrical inspection taking the better part of the average 8-hour workday. Depending on the size of the home and the condition of the electrical system it could take more or5 less time to complete.
Inspector Certification Associates spend more time teaching the electrical inspection process than any other component of the home inspection. If your home is going to have an electrical inspection performed by one of these associates there will be a comprehensive inspection of;
- Main and sub electrical panels
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
That should fairly well encompass any electrical feature of your home.
Common Electrical Inspection Failures
The most common finding during the inspection is loose or improperly connected wiring. The second most common finding is missing a switch or outlet cover.
While these are simple fixes, your inspector is not there to make the needed repairs, that is up to you. This brings up one final, and most important point about your electrical inspection.
Hire a Professional!
The electrical system in your home is the one system that if not properly addressed by a professional electrician there are enough volts in your panel box alone to kill a person!
Do not take any chances when preparing your home for an electrical inspection, hire a licensed professional that has the background and the training to get you and your home through the electrical inspection process!
If you are in the Cleveland area, contact AC Electric today!