Does a home inspector check every electrical receptacle outlet in a house?

Saturday, September 7, 2019

No. Many receptacles in a house that is occupied and furnished are not readily accessible to examine and test anyway. Also, the Standards of Practice of both of the national home inspector associations and the State of Florida only require that a “representative number” of them be inspected, which is defined by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) as “one component per room for multiple similar interior components such as windows and electric receptacles; one component on each side of the buiding for multiple similar exterior components.” The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) defines it less specifically as “a number sufficieint to serve as a typical or characteristic example of the item(s) inspected).

    While the Standards of Practice set minimum standards, a home inspector may choose to exceed them, or the inspection may be limited to less than what is outlined in the standards when agreed to by the homebuyer and specified in an inspection agreement. A four-point insurance inspection would be example of a limited inspection.

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  To learn more about electrical wiring, devices, and receptacles, see these other blog posts:

 • What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker?

 Why is an opening in the wall around the side of an electrical receptacle outlet a safety defect?  

 When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required? 

 When should I replace electric receptacle outlets? 

 What are "self-contained" electrical receptacle outlets and switches?

 What is the difference between an electrical receptacle, an outlet, and a plug?

 Does a washing machine receptacle outlet require GFCI protection?

 What is the building code requirement for receptacle outlets at stairs and stair landings?

 What is a "backstab" receptacle outlet? 

 Why are some electric receptacle outlets upside down (ground slot up) in a house?   

 What is the height requirement for an electric receptacle outlet? 

 Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required?

 Does a home inspector remove receptacle outlet cover plates?

 When was the current receptacle/outlet spacing of 12-feet first required? 

 When was the three-slot (grounding) outlet/receptacle first required? 

 Why does painting an electric receptacle (outlet) make it unsafe?

 Why are electrical outlets and plugs polarized? 

 How many electrical receptacles (outlets) are required in a hallway?  

 Is a house required to have outdoor electric receptacle outlets?

 How I can tell if a receptacle outlet is tamper resistant?

 What is a false ground, bootleg ground, or cheated ground receptacle? 

 How can adding wood paneling or a wainscot create an electrical safety hazard?

 How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be spaced?  

 What is reversed polarity at an outlet/receptacle? Why is it dangerous? 

 Is an ungrounded electric receptacle outlet dangerous?

 My bathroom electric receptacle/outlet is dead and there are no tripped breakers in the electric panel. What's wrong?  

 Is there an adapter that can be placed on a two-slot receptacle to make it safe? 

 How do the new tamper-resistant electric outlets work?

 Why is there no bathroom electric receptacle in this old house?

 How can I tell if the electric receptacle outlets are grounded? 

 How far apart should the electrical receptacles be placed?

 What are the most common problems/defects found with electric receptacle outlets during a home inspection?

     Visit our ELECTRICALand "DOES A HOME INSPECTOR…” pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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