BOULDER – Electrical systems are an integral part of any home inspection. Additionally, electrical inspections are a good idea whether you are buying, selling or remodeling a home. Understanding your home’s electrical systems and components are critical when it comes to purchase, repair and maintenance decisions. The Electrical Safety Foundation International or ESFI recommends that homeowners have their homes inspected by a qualified home inspector if the home is over 40 years old. You should also have an inspection if the home is 10 or more years old and has had major renovation, or if you are purchasing a previously- owned home.
Having the electrical systems in your home inspected will give you peace of mind that not only the heart of your electrical system is operating correctly but also the entire electrical system is safe for you and your family. A thorough electrical inspection should include the type of service, the main panel, any sub panels, all outlets/ fixtures and switches. It should also include all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
One of the most common issues noted in an electrical inspection is the lack of GFCI receptacles in required areas. GFCI receptacles should be in used in all kitchens, baths, exterior, garage, and laundry locations or any location within 6’ of a water source. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive issue to rectify.
Aluminum wiring found in homes built in the late 1960s and early 1970s can also be a issue. Aluminum wiring should be evaluated by a qualified electrician who is experienced in evaluating and correcting aluminum wiring problems. There are several ways that this can be addressed. Buyers may want to talk with their insurance agents about whether the presence of aluminum wiring in their home is a problem that requires changes to their policy language.