Electrical wiring is one of the most sensitive parts of your home’s infrastructure. When kept in top condition, the electrical system provides power when and where you need it. However, there may be problems lurking where you can’t see, making it important to consider regular inspections.

An electrical inspection does all of the following:

Provides Professional Knowledge: Home inspectors like Robert Corsini and electrical engineers know exactly what to look for when checking your wiring. They’ve been trained to use the proper safety equipment and have the knowledge necessary to identify any potential hazards.

Saves Money: By finding and fixing problems in the early stages, a qualified inspector saves you from emergency situations that could result in much higher bills. If any problem is found, the inspection will likely pay for itself in the money you save by doing small fixes instead of big ones. Updating and improving the quality of your wiring also helps you save in the long run, as a working electrical system is more efficient than an old, worn one.

Identifies Hazards: There are many common hazards that an electrical inspection can uncover and correct. If any of these problems are present in your home, it’s important to get them taken care of. Some may be simple matters of rewiring outlets while others require extensive electrical work in order to prevent issues such as fires.

• Entrance obstructions include problems such as trees in the way of power lines, fraying or exposed wires and the lack of a “drip loop” to allow water to drip off instead of flowing into electrical panels.

• Ungrounded receptacles may be old-fashioned two-prong plugs or three-prong outlets that were supposed to be updated but aren’t actually grounded. Grounding is essential to ensuring that stray currents go into the ground instead of causing shocks. Another wiring problem within outlets is reversed polarity, where the power to the large and small sides of the socket has been switched.

• Poor or inadequate wiring often results when DIY jobs go wrong. There may be unconnected wires, junction boxes without covers, wiring of the wrong size or extension cords used in place of permanent wires. Some older homes also lack the power necessary to run many of today’s appliances.

• Aluminum wiring dates back to the Vietnam War era when copper was in short supply. Aluminum was used in its place and, though the metal is capable of carrying the same current, it expands and contracts at a different rate. This results in loose connections that may cause fires if not addressed.

• Improperly sized fuses and breakers may appear in electrical boxes where someone wanted to increase power to the fuse. The problem with this is an oversized fuse or breaker won’t “trip” in an emergency situation, leading to overheated wiring and possibly a fire.

Regular electrical inspections keep your home safe from potential hazards. Contact your local power company to find out if they offer inspection services or get in touch with a local home-inspection company to have your home examined by a qualified professional.

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