Can you imagine a home without electricity? Electricity plays a huge part in our daily routine, and life would be extra hard without it. The reality is, that we are dependent on what electricity does for us. However, as with most homeowners, we know the importance yet many take their electrical system for granted. This is what our Same Day Pros electricians have noticed through the years. They could easily spot the neglect and lack of regular maintenance whenever they are called to service a home. This is also one of the reasons why a simple electrical problem has snowballed into a costlier and more complicated issue, which could have been easily prevented with an electrical inspection.
As long as homeowners could use electricity to power up their appliances and personal devices, most people don’t consider electrical inspection as a must-do preventive measure in their homes. According to electricians here at Same Day Pros, they are mostly called for repairs and installations, but when it comes to routine electrical inspection, this will only most likely happen when the homeowner is planning to sell the house, renovate the house or there are existing electrical issues, and not because it is part of a home maintenance routine. We are stressing that an electrical safety inspection done by professionals is imperative for a safe and secure home. With this, we are sharing some warning signs that it’s time for an electrical inspection.
Benefits of having a regular electrical inspection:
- Maintain safety – did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, there is an estimated average of 46,700 home fires involving electrical malfunction happening each year from 2015-to 2019? An electrical inspection will Identify any electrical shock risks or potential fire hazards.
- Save money – stop any electrical mishaps before it winds up costing you more money when they become a major electrical issue or eventually cause damage on your appliances.
- Uphold electrical standards/codes – each state or community follows certain electrical regulations. These rules are also regularly updated to protect homeowners and ensure that your electrical system is at par with the continuous modernization and electrical requirements from new devices and appliances. If not followed, not only are you risking your safety but possible penalties could happen.
- Electrical efficiency – everyone wants every system in their homes to work at an optimal level. Aside from avoiding possible disruption, this could also help you save on your electrical bills and even help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Avoid any malfunctions – before any malfunction could happen, avoid it through an electrical inspection. This will also give you peace of mind knowing that everything is in order.
Here are warning signs that it’s time for an electrical inspection:
Constantly Tripping Circuit Breakers
Circuit breakers act as a safety mechanism to prevent electrical overload. Once the load gets too high from the predefined level, your circuit breaker will automatically trip. This also reduces the risk of any damage or electrical fire. Occasional tripping is normal, but when you notice that your circuit breakers trip frequently, then this suggests that there may be an issue with your wiring system or an electrical appliance triggering the trip. The solution is usually simple, like moving an appliance into another breaker so that it could accommodate your electrical requirement. This is where an electrical inspection comes in. By doing so, your electrician will be able to identify the root of the issue and make necessary recommendations.
Buzzing or Any Strange Sound Coming from the Light Switch
If you can hear some buzzing, humming, or any strange noise coming from your light switch, this is not normal. The wires in our electrical system are connected to the ends of the terminals at the light switches. This means that any strange sounds might point out to faulty wiring. If you also hear some buzzing sound from your outlets or circuits, then you also have an electrical issue that needs a licensed electrician to resolve the issue.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
Have you noticed your light flickering or dimming after plugging in an appliance in the room? Or the moment you switch your lights on, it just simply starts to flicker continuously? Not only is this irritating but it is also a sign that there might be an issue with your circuits or there is an energy-hungry appliance in the same circuit that is drawing up the power in your room. A professional electrician can do an inspection, correct the power distribution (some appliances demand more power than others e.g. your heater, water pumps, or washing machine), or fix possible faulty wiring.
Burn Smell or Strange Odor from Outlets or Fuse Box
Same with strange noises, burnt or any strange smell is not normal. This could be caused by loose wiring in your home that is in contact with electricity. This will then produce sparks that will result in a burning smell. If you also notice any signs of charred marks in those areas, that’s another giveaway that something is wrong electrically. As a safety measure, turn off your power supply and call your trusted electrician for an electrical inspection.
You have the wrong outlets
Your home requires different outlets for your family’s protection. Areas such as bathrooms, garages, hot tubs, swimming pools, basements, kitchens, outdoor outlets, and workshops need a special outlet called Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or GFCIs. The common denominator of the areas mentioned is that they are areas where water and electricity have a high probability of being in contact. As we all know, water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so it could pose danger if there is a fault. GFCIs offer protection from being electrocuted. If you check these areas and you don’t see any outlets with two buttons in the middle, or your outlets are all identical throughout your home then this means that it’s time to call an electrician for electrical inspection and outlet replacement.
This also goes the same if you still have two-pronged outlets instead of the three prongs in your home. Take it as a red flag because it’s a sign that you have outdated outlets and most likely other parts of your electrical system need an upgrade.
Hot outlets or switches
If you notice hot outlets or switches in your home, especially when there is no electrical device or appliance attached, then you may have a wiring issue. Another possible reason is that there may be too much energy being demanded from an area or you have an incorrectly sized circuit breaker. Stop using the affected outlet or switch and have it checked immediately.
A sudden spike in your energy bills
We are all trying to find ways to lower our electricity bills, and you will surely notice if there is a sudden spike in your energy bill. One way to determine the efficiency of your electrical system or if any issues are triggering the sudden jump is through an electrical inspection. Your electrician could also give you necessary recommendations and tips that could help lower your bill during the inspection.
Other reasons to have an electrical inspection:
The ones mentioned above focus on possible electrical issues that could be tell-tale signs that your home needs an electrical inspection. Note that an electrical inspection is not just determining your point of concern, but electricians have a detailed checklist covering not only the issue that you have spotted but different areas on your electrical system as well. A typical inspection could last for several hours and you will be given a report with the status of your electrical system and recommendations on the next step to make e.g. upgrades and repairs. You may also be surprised to find out that you may have serious electrical issues lurking in your home and because you do not have the proper training and equipment, you are not able to spot or even suspect and only an electrical inspection will have covered.
In addition, here are some situations warranting an electrical inspection:
Before buying or selling a house
If you are a buyer, be smart about your investment and have an electrical inspection before purchasing. Do not assume that the seller will be honest enough to disclose all electrical issues. This will allow you to either negotiate on the pricing, request for repairs, or back out on your deal.
For sellers, an electrical inspection will point you in what direction to take before selling e.g. do you want to know if you need to have the electrical system updated or correct any electrical issues.
Remodeling your home
An electrical inspection after a renovation is a must to ensure that your electrical system is working properly. In addition, remodeling a home could also mean replacing your older appliances with newer and more powerful ones. Or you may be adding more features in your home that have more electrical requirements. An electrical inspection will determine if your system can handle the additional strain on your home’s electrical system.
Electricians could also suggest possible electrical updates for your home that are functional and safe.
After a rough storm
This is not for “regular” storms, but if you experienced one that brought in significant flooding, power outages, and house damage, an electrical inspection should be added to your list for safety and to assess the extent of damage in your home.
If you heavily rely on extension cords
If you have been using extension cords as a permanent fixture in your home, then it means that you have insufficient electrical outlets. Extension cords are designed to be a temporary solution. Your home could also be at risk of electrical shorting, poor connection, and even accidents like tripping and falls. An electrical inspection will help solve your issue with proper solutions being recommended.
Do not call your electrician only when you have a problem but add a regular electrical inspection as part of your home maintenance. An electrical inspection should also be carried out by a licensed electrician. It is a thorough check of your entire electrical system – meaning your safety switches, panels, circuits, wirings, smoke alarms and more will be inspected, covering all visible and non-visible issues. So you are guaranteed that nothing is left unturned and you are assured that your home is safe and risk-free from possible electrical hazards.
Do you want to book an electrical inspection? Click here to find a licensed electrician near you.