Many homes in Oswego, Naperville, Aurora, Yorkville and Plainfield (IL) will often be using power all day, especially with so many appliances performing different functions whether it’s toasting your bread, washing your clothes or lighting your rooms.
Through the years, electrical systems have become so efficient that they can drift from our awareness – they’re simply a constant in the background. However, with so much electricity moving through a home, safety risks can and do exist.
For that reason, it’s always a good idea to schedule a periodic electrical safety inspection with a certified professional electrician. During a safety inspection, the electrician will review all of your home’s electrical components and systems. The results will determine if they comply with federal and local electrical codes and thereby help to keep you safe.
With that in mind, let’s further review why an electrical code inspection is so valuable to maintaining a safe and comfortable home – including one that will not be a fire risk and a concern in a real estate transaction.
What’s Involved in an Electrical Safety Inspection?
An electrical code inspection in Oswego, Naperville, Aurora, Yorkville or Plainfield will include important steps such as checking all electrical circuits, wiring and equipment. If any issues do exist, they can be identified and corrected.
Electrical problems can result from any number of factors. Older homes in particular can have outdated breaker panels. Some issues might also arise from system installation by an unskilled or inexperienced contractor.
In other homes, an electrical hazard may involve safety devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that have not been operating because of a power-supply problem.
As the system is being inspected, the electrician will be able to determine if it needs an electrical code correction by identifying signs such as:
- faulty electrical panels
- unfinished electrical projects
- faulty lights or appliances
- incorrectly gauged wiring
- exposed or damaged wires and cables
- malfunctioning outlets
- overloaded circuits
- insufficient grounding system
The electrician also will ensure that:
every outlet is producing the correct voltage
all wires of a circuit are grouped
circuit breakers operate properly
fuse elements are correctly installed
all switchgear is suitable
the distribution panel includes proper labeling
extension cords are not damaged and the need for them is reduced
any systems near wet or damp areas are well-insulated
Electrical Safety Inspection: Preventing Electrical Fires
Fire risk is a major reason to schedule a periodic electrical code inspection. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) cites that more than 51,000 fires are caused by home electrical systems in the U.S. each year. These fires also result in 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries.
Beyond being quick to start and hard to extinguish, electrical fires can often begin behind walls and remain undetected until they’ve already damaged the home.
An electrical code inspection will reveal and define any conditions that present a fire risk. Warning signs of a fire risk that you might notice can include:
- constantly tripping breakers
- regularly blowing fuses
- light bulbs that flicker and burn out quickly
- weaker power in appliances
- not having GFCI outlets in the home
- odd or crackling sounds from the panel box
Instead of copper wire, some older homes also may have fire-prone aluminum wire. Another hazard can be an electrical panel that provides under 200 amps of power.
Before and after an electrical code inspection, things you can do to help prevent electrical fires can be:
- not overloading outlets
- not using extension cords with space heaters
- keeping flammable objects away from outlets
- using light bulbs with proper wattage for fixtures
- installing smoke detectors on each floor
- ensuring proper condition of outlet face plates
Avoid using extension cords as a permanent power source as well. If you must use one, do not run it under furniture, carpet, rugs or other flammable material. Also avoid plugging too many items into a single power strip or outlet at one time.
Failed Electrical Inspection: Can the Home Be Sold?
You’re changing to a job in a different location or simply ready to move into another house. You put your current home up for sale and a potential buyer comes to look.
The buyer is interested, and the transaction moves into the inspection phase, including review of the plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems.
The electrical panel turns out to be non-compliant with municipal code. At best, negotiations might shift to discussing a modified sale price. At worst, they can end.
It’s highly possible you weren’t aware of the issue – if you had been, you likely would have had it corrected. However, in this case, the timing of discovery is problematic. You don’t want to sell an unsafe home. You also don’t want to lose or suspend sale negotiations.
A professional electrical code inspection before you list your home can ensure it is safe, compliant and ready to pass the buyer’s inspection.
Professional Electrical Inspection Services for the Fox Valley
Having a professional electrician perform an electrical code inspection achieves even more than vital safety and compliance – it also helps you save money through damage prevention and properly running appliances that don’t use more energy than they should.
Trinity Electrical Services serves Oswego, Naperville, Aurora, Yorkville and Plainfield (IL) with licensed, bonded and insured electrical work including electrical code inspections and corrections for safety and compliance. To learn more about an electrical safety inspection or to schedule one, simply give us a call at (630) 499-1492.
Trinity Electrical Services is Master Electrician certified.
24-hour emergency service and 1-hour emergency response time are available.