How To Look At A House
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Does a home inspector check low voltage wiring?
Saturday, May 2, 2020
Inspection of “low voltage wiring systems and components" is excluded from a home inspection according to the Standards of Practice of Practice of both national home inspector associations, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), along with the State of Florida and many other states.
Low voltage means any voltage that is less than the regular 240/120 volt wiring to appliances and receptacles around the home. Doorbell, intercom, thermostat, alarm and sprinkler control wiring, and landscape lighting are examples of low voltage systems that have been around for awhile, but the use and complexity of low voltage wiring has exploded in the last 20 years with computer cabling.
Because it is often attached to some type of control device that is programmed, testing a low voltage system means the inspector often must override the programming and, if it is not reset properly afterwards, a homeowner gets very angry. Also, the mutliple technologies are changing constantly.
Even if the exlusion of low voltage wiring is not stated directly in the home inspector’s contract agreement, one of the Standards of Practice mentioned above will be referenced as part of the contract agreement.
But any home inspector may decide go beyond the base standards and include certain low voltage systems in their report. Some venture into evaluating computer cabling, for example, and testing the sprinkler system via the control panel is often done in our area; but, otherwise, low voltage systems are not included in a home inspection.
A home inspector may also choose to limit the scope of the inspection 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.
Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:
AFCI •• Air conditioner •• Ants •• Appliance recalls •• Appliance testing •• Attic •• Awnings •• Barns and ag blgs. •• Bathroom exhaust fan •• Bonding •• Carpet •• Ceiling fans •• Central vacuum •• Chimneys •• Chinese drywall •• Clothes dryer •• Dryer exhaust •• CO alarms •• Code violations •• Condemn a house •• Crawl space •• Detached carport •• Detached garage •• Dishwasher •• Docks •• Doors •• Electrical •• Electrical panel •• Electromagnetic radiation •• Fences •• Fireplaces •• Furnace •• Furniture •• Garage door opener •• Garbage disposal •• Generator •• GFCIs •• Gutters •• Ice maker •• Inspect in the rain •• Insulation •• Insurance •• Interior Finishes •• Grading & drainage •• Lead paint •• Level of thoroughness •• Lift carpet •• Low voltage wiring •• Microwave •• Mold •• Move things •• Help negotiate •• Not allowed •• Outbuildings •• Paint •• Permits •• Pilot lights •• Plumbing •• Plumbing under slab •• Pools •• Questions won't answer •• Radon •• Range/cooktop •• Receptacle outlet •• Refrigerator •• Reinspection •• Remove panel cover •• Repairs •• Repair estimates •• Retaining walls •• Roaches •• Rodents •• Roof •• Screens •• Seawalls •• Septic loading dye test •• Septic tank •• Sewer lines •• Shower pan leak test •• Shutters •• Sinkholes •• Smoke alarms •• Solar panels •• Specify repairs •• Sprinklers •• Termites •• Toilets •• Trees •• Troubleshooting •• Wall air conditioners •• Walk roof •• Washing machine •• Water heater •• Water pressure •• Water shut-offs •• Main water shut-off •• Water softener •• Water treatment systems •• Well •• Windows •• Window air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring
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