How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Can a home inspector tell me if the wiring in a home is safe?
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Not really, not 100%. Home inspectors have plenty of training to recognize visible defects in the wiring, but the majority of wiring in a home is concealed and cannot be fully evaluated. So an inspector can tell you about the condition of the areas of the electrical system that can be seen and, to an extent, use electronic circuit testers to check the wiring. But what the test devices can find is also limited.
One thing an inspector can definitely tell you is that, if the visible areas of the wiring have multiple defects, then there are likely to be more problems in the areas that can’t be seen. So the wiring mess shown above means there’s probably plenty of other electrical problems in concealed areas of that home.
Also, see our blog posts Can old electrical wiring go bad inside a wall? and How dangerous is old electrical wiring?
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRICAL WIRING:
• Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit?
• Can a short circuit cause a high electric bill?
• What is the maximum spacing requirement for securing NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable)?
• Is it alright to just put wire nuts on the end of unused or abandoned NM-cable or wiring?
• What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?
• What are typical aluminum service entrance wire/cable sizes for the electrical service to a house?
• Why is it unsafe to bond neutral and ground wiring at subpanels?
• Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house?
• Why is a strain relief clamp necessary for the cord connection to some electric appliances?
• Does a wire nut connection need to be wrapped with electrical tape?
• What is the minimum clearance of overhead electric service drop wires above a house roof?
• What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?
• What is the color code for NM cable (Romex®) sheathing?
• Why are old electrical components not always "grandfathered" as acceptable by home inspectors?
• How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?
• What is an open electrical splice?
• What are the most common electrical defects found in a home inspection?
• What is the life expectancy of electrical wiring in a house?
• What is an "open junction box"?
• I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. How do you check for aluminum wiring?
• What is "knob and tube" wiring?
• What is the code requirement for receptacle outlets in a closet?
Visit our ELECTRICAL page 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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