During an electrical safety check, an electrician will conduct a thorough examination of your home’s electrical system and all components, ensuring that everything is operating correctly and is up to code. This typically includes:
You should schedule an annual inspection if your home is more than 40 years old or if you’ve recently completed a major renovation.
Hopefully, the electrician will find nothing wrong with your electrical system, and you can rest easy knowing that your home’s circuitry is safe. But it’s better to have discovered an irregularity — and get it fixed — than learn about it when it’s too late. Issues typically stem from shoddy wiring from a previous contractor or an ill-advised DIYer. Here are several common hazards that may be lurking within your walls.
Backstabbed Electrical Outlets: To “backstab” an outlet means to push neutral and hot wires into small holes in the back of the electrical receptacle. This is a dangerous practice because the wires could become loose, resulting in an electrical fire, power interruption, or a melted outlet. Professional electricians always anchor the wires to the side of the receptacle with screws to keep them firmly in place.
Aluminum Wiring: Today, many electricians use copper wiring because it’s durable and easy to bend. However, aluminum was the wiring of choice in the 60s and 70s, and it proved hazardous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that homes with aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to have electrical fires.
The problem with aluminum wiring is that it expands and contracts, causing it to come loose at the connections.
If an electrician discovers that your home has this old wiring style, ask him or her about modifications to make it safer.
An Outdated Electrical Panel: Another problem with homes built in the 60s and 70s: they commonly have undersized electrical panels. The modern household has many appliances and devices that didn’t exist when those panels were originally installed. As a result, the old 70 amp panels struggle to meet the home’s power demands. If your circuit breakers frequently trip, that could be a sign of an inadequate panel.
During an inspection, the electrician will also check the make and model of the panel to be sure that it hasn’t been subject to a recall. Panels manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric caused thousands of house fires in the 1980s, and you can still find them in homes today. Likewise, Zinsco panels were prone to melt. Yikes!
At Universal Home Experts, we want to be sure your home is as safe as can be. Our local home service experts aren’t going to try to sell you anything you don’t need. Our goal is simple: Provide a quality inspection so that you can have peace of mind. To schedule your appointment, call (713) 364-0226.