How to ensure your home passes an electrical inspection
Having an electrical inspection might not seem like a big deal but it ensures the safety of your family and property. Electrical wiring undergoes wear and tear and does not last forever. Inspections ensure that they are in good shape before they become harmful. Additionally, electrical surges are common and not only may they destroy your appliances but they are also a huge cause of fire damage. Many states require homeowners to maintain a certain level of electrical standards on their own. Making sure you avoid any liability or legal trouble. Here are a few tips to make sure you pass your next electrical inspection:
Check Your Wiring
Make sure wires aren’t jumbled or overcrowded. Update any outdated wiring attached to new fixtures. Check that light switches work and are using the right wattage for the light bulb. Electrical boxes should be securely fastened and flush with the wall and large enough to fit all the wire conductors inside. Electrical panels and wiring should be free of damage, discoloring, or unusual smells. Check for signs of corrosion or water damage. Circuit breakers should also be properly labeled. They should be properly connected to the correct circuits and outlets in the home. Above all, fuses should work properly.
Make sure your home has the appropriate number of circuits for their electrical demand. Electrical appliances should have proper air circulation, be away from water, and dust free. Major appliances should be connected to their own circuits and not share an outlet. This is especially important in the kitchen where there are many electrical appliances in one room. Ovens should be cleaned at least every six months and kept free of combustibles.
GFCI & AFCI Circuit Protection
Ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) help reduce residential electrocutions by trapping electricity before they become harmful. Arc faults are a common cause of home fires so it’s important to protect these circuits as well. Make sure all kitchen and bathroom outlets have GFCIs and AFCIs. They should be tested monthly to ensure they work.
Keep Your Outlets Safe
Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs) can protect children from potentially dangerous situations. Toddlers can easily remove plastic outlet caps and TRRs can provide further protection. Outlets that are loose, buzzing, discolored, warm to the touch, or not working need to be replaced. Extension cords should also be kept to a minimum and only as a temporary measure. They should not be used for powerful appliances such as heaters or air conditioners. When in use, extension cords should be free from cracks or frays. They should also not be hot to the touch in use.
Avoid the urge to DIY. Incorrectly fixing or installing electrical hardware is dangerous and can cause many more problems in your home. Have a question? The professionals at New England Electrical are here to guide you in all your electrical needs.