24 May Selling My Home: How Do I Pass an Electrical Inspection
Are you getting ready to sell your home? Congratulations! However, when was the last time you had an electrical inspection? A large percentage of home fires result from faulty electrical systems; this has led the Electrical Safety Foundation International to highly recommend homebuyers to require an electrical inspection before purchasing a home. Do you think you can pass?
Where Do They Check?
An inspector will look at the entire house, but they are going to closely inspect the service panels and subpanels, outlets, light switches, light fixtures, wiring, and GFCI and AFCI circuits.
Common Home Electrical Concerns
- Exposed Wiring and Splices
When wires have been spliced and taped back together, wires not in a junction box, or an uncovered junction box are concerning; essentially, anything involving exposed wiring.
- Knob-and-Tube Wiring and Aluminum Wiring
This old wiring is ineffective. There is newer, better, and safer wiring available that it should be replaced with.
- Ungrounded 3-Prong Outlets
Homes built before the 1960s often have a two-wire system instead of the three-wire system we have today that allows the wire to be grounded.
- Painted Outlets
When one paints an outlet, it is often completed incorrectly, which leads the outlet to overheat.
- Improperly Set Up Electrical Panels
Improperly set up or improperly modified electrical panels are a significant concern in an electrical inspection. The inspector will check that you do not have dual use of circuit breakers, are not missing any pieces from the electrical panels, and that the panel itself is a reliable model.
- Reversed Polarity
If slots for a plug get mixed up and switched around, it can result in reverse polarity, which can damage an electrical device that uses that slot and deliver a nasty shock.
- No GFCI
Any outlets that have a chance of coming into contact with water need GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection to prevent electrical shocks. It would be best to have these in rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and anywhere else with water.
- Mixed Ages
New lights installed into old wiring often leads to problems, especially if it was a DIY job.
How Will This Affect My Home Sale?
Almost everything in real estate is negotiable, including inspection issues. If you have minor problems, you may have to do nothing at all and simply provide a slight discount to the buyers in return for them taking on the issues. However, if your home has electrical problems that pose a significant risk to the safety of the home or the homebuyer, inspectors and buyer’s agents will recommend that it be fixed first.
What Should I Do?
If you are looking to sell your home, especially if it is older, has undergone renovations, or any DIY work has been done, you may want to consider a home electrical inspection BEFORE putting your house on the market. By doing so, you will address any issues before a home inspector arrives and likely earn more in the sale.