David Valley's Real Estate/Home Inspection Blog

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Common Electrical Issues that I find on Home Inspections

FPE BREAKERS

 

ALUMINUM WIRING

 

KNOB & TUBE WIRING

 

POTENTIAL ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS

Overloaded outlets or outlet multipliers: Too many appliances plugged into a single outlet could indicate your house may not have the required number of outlets. The National Electrical Code requires that outlets be spaced every 12 feet of running wall space, or one on each wall of the average 10-foot-by-12-foot room. Kitchens typically require outlets spaced every four feet along the countertop.

Flickering or dimming lights: This could indicate loose connections, overloaded circuits, improper wiring, or arcing and sparking inside the walls.

Hot, discolored receptacles, switch plates, cords or plugs: If you can't keep your hand on these for more than five seconds, you may have an overload or product malfunction.

TV screen or computer monitor shrinks or wavers when a large appliance is turned on: This could mean that you have too many appliances plugged into one circuit or that your house needs additional electrical capacity.

 

Unusual smells: Burning metal or plastic smells may indicate a loose connection, malfunctioning switch, light fixture, broken connection, and overheating components, arcing or sparking inside the walls, damaged wire, or other potential hazards. Have a licensed Electrician inspect this situation immediately.

If you hear buzzing or cracking, or smell burning plastic around or inside the electrical panel, have a licensed Electrician check the panel immediately.

Comment balloon 3 commentsDavid Valley • May 14 2007 10:05AM
Common Electrical Issues that I find on Home Inspections
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FPE BREAKERS ALUMINUM WIRING KNOB & TUBE WIRING POTENTIAL ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS Overloaded outlets or outlet multipliers: Too many appliances plugged into a single outlet could indicate your house… more
Most common defects on a Home Inspection
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These are items that I find on an everyday basis. Some of these defective items are what kills the deal at times. If Sellers can take this list and correct any items that they find to be in disorder, the Sale of their home would be less stressful… more
Purchasing a home with Knob & Tube Wiring
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Knob and tube wiring gets its name from the way it's installed. There are ceramic tubes for wires that run through any lumber framing and knobs when the wires run along or next to lumber framing. The two wires (there is no ground wire) are separated… more