Buying a Home? Look Out for These Common Electrical Problems

16 December 2019
 Categories: , Blog

The electrical system is one of the most elaborate systems in a house as it provides energy for lighting, heating, cooling and powering equipment. Conducting a pre-purchase electrical inspection is a crucial step as it unearths potential issues that could cost you a lot of money in repairs in the future. Therefore, before buying a home, look out for the following electrical problems that can be a nightmare in the future.

Old Electrical Wiring

When buying an old home, it's crucial to look out for an old electrical wiring system. Old wiring poses a danger in the house as it can be a source of electrical fires. What's more, it may not be able to handle newer appliances, and this can lead to overheating and equipment damage.

Below are some signs that indicate the wiring in the home may be old and outdated:

  • Warm spots on the interior walls where the installation runs
  • Smoking outlets
  • Dimming lights
  • A burning smell coming from outlets and switches

If you notice any of these signs, it's worth investigating further to determine the cause. If the home has faulty electrical wiring, you need to notify the seller because the repair process can be costly.

Outdated Breaker Panel

The breaker panel is the heart of a home's electrical system. It is the main distribution point of the electrical circuits. It also houses the circuit breakers, which cut off power when there is imminent danger. For example, if a circuit is overloaded, the breaker cuts power to that circuit to prevent overheating or electrical fires.

An outdated or faulty circuit breaker panel can spell problems in the home. If some breakers aren't working, they can allow power to flow through even when there's a wiring fault or overload. This situation increases the risk of electrical hazards in the home. You can identify a faulty breaker panel by looking for the following signs:

  • A burning smell in the breaker panel
  • Signs of physical damage such as individual circuit breakers not switching on or off
  • The age of the breaker panel

An electrician can inspect a breaker panel and determine its condition and whether there is a need for a new one.

Worn Electrical Fixtures

Electrical fixtures such as outlets, switches and light fixtures should be in excellent condition, especially if they are included in the seller's list of items. Therefore, inspect every electrical fixture that comes with the house. This includes ceiling lamps, recessed lighting, outdoor lighting, wall sconces and more.

Ensure these fixtures are in excellent condition since you're paying for them. Also, if you're buying the home with appliances, ensure they're working as well. Worn electrical wires should be repaired or replaced to improve their efficiency.

Conducting an electrical inspection on a home can be overwhelming, especially if you are not an expert. Ask an electrician to accompany you for the checks and identify potential problems that require attention before closing the sale.