Buying a new home or moving into a new office? Undertaking home remodeling or commercial building alterations to accommodate an office layout? You may want an electrical inspection. Why? Like all mechanical devices switches and outlets wear out. An inspection will identify any replacements for safe operation. Receptacles (outlets) should not be discolored, cracked, have no adequate ground or exhibit other defects. They should have sufficient tension to retain a plug and are of the proper type for the area. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) should be had around water, like kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms including basements, garages and outdoor outlets.
Bright enough, there are certain requirements for adequate light. An inspection will reveal low wattage bulbs and or the need to upgrade your lighting.
Electrical Grounding Systems & Protection Against Power Surges
Unless properly grounded, electrical systems can be hazardous. Be sure you have an adequately grounded system. Injuries due to electrical shocks also occur, some during surges. Appliances are prone to shock situations.
We have let our infrastructure in US to degrade to the point that our electrical systems in many areas experience blackouts, brownouts and surges. Dirty power is very hard on electronics, you need to be sure you have adequate surge protection. An electrical surge say a lightning strike, can fry circuits creating dangerous shorting of the circuits.
Lighting, Electrical Wiring & Hard Wired Smoke Detectors
Businesses need adequate lighting for security and safety. Generally exterior lights are left on in both residential and businesses for security reasons. Adequate wiring, overloaded panels and un-labelled circuits. Proper labeling is not only handy for trouble shooting but provides a safety net if a single circuit needs repair or attention. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to operable and in the proper locations. These devices are life savers. CO detectors should be in any room with open fireplaces burning wood.
Electrical Inspection when Buying House & More
Electrical inspections are good when purchasing a new home, when the home is 40 years or older, when adding a new appliance and after a major renovation. The inspection will reveal common electrical mistakes made by both previous owners and contractors. Wiring can degrade over time, especially older wiring technologies. Another problem is oversize fuses or breakers. Back in the sixties some house were wired with aluminum. As aluminum contracts when an electrical current passes through the wiring connections can work loose and need retightening.
You need the lights wattage checked, with IED replacement lights this can ensure proper and sufficient lighting even in fixtures that could only handle low watt incandescent lights.
Common Electrical Mistakes Found During an Inspection
Some common mistakes that many homeowners make:
• Failing to install a junction box. This is the plastic or metal box that contains a switch or outlet. In needs to be installed flush with the drywall to prevent sparks contacting the wooden framing of the home.
• Cutting electrical wires too short. You need slack to work with wiring and have enough to strip a required length for connection.
• Over filling a junction box. This makes too crowded and you may find it violates the National Electrical code.
• Receptacles should be tight and not move.
• Don’t mix electrical wire gauges. Most residential services require 12-gauge wire for all 20-amp circuits. Older standards allow 14-gauge wire for lighting only circuits, but all new construction specifies 12-gauge wire for lighting and receptacles. 14-gauge for 15 amps, 12-gauge for 20 amp, and 10-guage for 30-amp circuits.
• Failure to install a GFCI outlet. Remember only the first outlet in the circuit requires require a GFCI, wired properly all down-line outlets are protected by the first.
• Electrical cables need protection. Never leave exposed cables.
Electrical Inspection Services in Laguna Woods, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Irvine, Lake Forest & Orange County, California
A thorough electrical inspection will inventory what you have and its current state, but will point inadequacies as well. Peterkin Electric can handle all your electrical inspection and other electrical needs. Contact us today!