Your Pre-Purchase Electrical Checklist from Our Kelowna Electricians
Tips & Advice from your Kelowna Electricians at Greenway Electrical
Getting a pre-purchase inspection on your prospective home’s electrical system isn’t really an option – it’s a necessity. Everything may look right and the lights all turn on, but unless you’re an electrician how can you know your home’s electrical system is in proper working order? Even a professional and qualified electrician won’t know for sure until they conduct a thorough inspection. Buying a new home requires a lot of research, second opinions, and fact-checking, and a problem you don’t catch (and could have caught) before signing on the dotted line is a decision you could rue down the line. Spending a little money up front on an electrical inspection may save you a fortune in the future.
While an electrical inspection may not be explicitly required when buying a new home or making major renovations to an existing home, it can reveal both current and potential future electrical deficiencies, and, crucially, prevent fire hazards. The Electrical Safety Foundation recommends an electrical home inspection on four conditions: upon purchasing a home, when a home is 40 years or older, if an appliance has been added, and when a home has had a major renovation. In all of these situations, a licensed professional electrician must perform the electrical inspection to ensure accurate results and positive outcome. In addition, conducting a regular electrical safety checklist will ensure that your electrical systems and appliances are functioning properly and safely. Try and run through this checklist on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, because electrical malfunction can happen at any time and for many different reasons.
Every home has an electrical service panel. It may be located on the exterior of the home, in the garage or basement. The panel contains fuses or circuit breakers. The panel and its components must be reviewed for age, dark or smoky residue, and wear and tear. Instead of an electrical panel with circuit breakers, older homes will have a fuse box with a series of fuses, but both systems work the same way. If the service panel is rusty or worn, it should be replaced as well.
CORDS & PLUGS
Check all cords, plugs, surge protectors and extension cords for frayed casing, exposed wire or broken components. If any of these problems are found, the defective item needs to be replaced immediately. Use extension cords only to temporarily supply power to an area that does not have a power outlet and never run them under carpets or over door thresholds. Keep extension cords away from heat, water and oil, as they can damage the insulation and cause electrical shock.
Do not plug several items into one outlet, as this will overload the outlet and may cause a fire hazard. Major appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and air-conditioners, should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Do not use surge protectors, plug strips or extension cords for these appliances.
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Always place lamps on a flat, level surface and at least a foot from anything flammable (e.g. curtains). Only use light bulbs at or below the maximum wattage listed on the lamp or light. Inspect all light fittings around the home and ensure they are in good condition with no damage or exposed wiring, discolouration, or strange smells. A professional electrician must inspect any humming noises or switching sounds around outlets or lighting.
If you’re in doubt, or just sure that you want to be sure, contact a professional electrician to conduct a thorough inspection of your prospective home’s electrical system before you buy. An electrician will find and fix any current problems, inform you of any necessary upgrades, and ‘red flag’ any potential problems in the future. From there, you can make an informed decision about whether the home is worth your investment, or whether it’s time to renegotiate the sales price.
At Greenway Electrical we are committed to electrical safety and the cost-saving benefits of energy efficiency. Determining the cause of an electrical issue within your home can be a demanding task. That’s why our Kelowna electricians are trained to identify and isolate the cause of an issue in order to provide you and your family with a safe and cost-effective solution. For all things electrical – inspections, upgrades, analyses, replacements – we get the job done promptly, efficiently, and at competitive rates.