Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Buying a new home can be a really exciting time, but it's not without its stresses. You never know what is hiding behind walls, and often times, this leads to costly and unwelcome discoveries down the road.
Below is a checklist of things to lookout for when you are vetting potential homes - hopefully saving you from any major surprises or unanticipated expenses after the fact.
Check out the Service Panel
The main service panel controls electricity delivery throughout the home. When assessing a home, look for any loose or exposed wires or connections on the service panel. Loose wires can lead to power outages, flickering electrical currents, or potential sparking which can result in fires. Also, as with everything in life, over time the service panel can become worn out and in need of replacement. If the service panel looks especially old, or you see exposed or loose wiring, your best bet is to call an electrician to dig a little deeper.
Particularly with older homes, it's important to know what kind of electrical wiring is hiding behind the walls. Many older homes are outfitted with aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring - both of which can be problematic and need replacing, as parts can come loose, break, or over heat, making them a greater risk for electrical fires. Bringing in an expert electrician during your home inspection can save you from an unexpected, (and costly) replacement down the road.
A quick visual check of every electrical outlet is important - look for any signs of overheating (burn marks or melted plastic) and ensure none of the outlets are loose or damaged. A basic outlet testers can be used to make sure all outlets are properly grounded and the electrical current is coming through safely. Grounded outlets are particularly important during a power surge, as improperly grounded outlets will not be able to release the excess energy, posing a risk of shock or electrocution.
Of course, it is always advised that you have a proper home inspection completed before purchasing a new home. That said, if you have specific electrical concerns or want to do a more thorough analysis of the homes electrical systems, hiring a professional electrician is your best bet.
Blais Electric | Guelph, Ontario | 519-766-2940 | firstname.lastname@example.org