When it comes to thoroughly checking over a home before you buy it, there are few things as important as a careful inspection of the home's electrical system. While your home inspector will be looking at a wide range of other details, you can expect him or her to devote considerable time during the inspection to looking at the electrical system. Problems in this department can be expensive for you to address, so it's imperative that you know exactly what you're facing before you buy the home. Additionally, some electrical issues can even be a safety hazard. Here are some details that you should expect your inspector to assess:
Circuit Breaker Panel
You can count on any good home inspector spending several minutes looking at the circuit breaker panel in the home's basement or garage. This is the area through which all of the wiring in the home flows, so it's important for it to be in good shape. The inspector will look for each breaker to have been installed in a professional manner, as well as no loose wires or other issues that might suggest negligence on behalf of the homeowner. The inspector will also look for rust, which can be a serious issue as it indicates the presence of moisture at some point.
Because a house's wiring is hidden behind the walls, your home inspector won't obviously be able to check a lot of the wiring. However, there are ways that he or she can get a sense of the overall health of the house's wiring situation. One way is to remove some of the wall outlets and switches, as this will reveal the wires that run to these fixtures. By carefully pulling some of the slack wires out so that they're more visible, your inspector will be able to gauge the condition of the wiring — something that is especially critical in older houses.
Carefully looking at each light fixture in the house can also reveal wiring issues. While your home inspector won't customarily remove lighting fixtures, you can expect that he or she will turn each light on and look at it. There can be various signs that suggest wiring issues that are out of sight, such as a flickering in the light or a dull humming sound; the latter can especially be evident on a light with a dimmer switch. By checking these and other electrical-related details, your home inspector will give you an idea of how to proceed.
Contact a company like White Glove Building Inspections, Inc for more information and assistance.