“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is good advice… sometimes. And when it comes to your home’s electrical system, you can leave well enough alone more often than not. But there are also certain circumstances in which it makes sense to schedule a thorough electrical inspection.
Most homeowners are familiar with electrical inspections as part of the larger home inspection process when buying or selling a home. For buyers, this inspection is essential to getting a complete picture of a home’s safety and functionality, and it can help make sure important repairs are made before the deed changes hands.
There are other times in life when an electrical inspection makes sense, however, even if you’re staying put right where you live now. Here’s a rundown of when you should consider it:
Before Major Home Upgrades
If you’re planning significant renovations to your home, especially building additions, you should conduct an electrical inspection before work begins. There are two important reasons why: you need to make sure your electrical system is capable of supporting all those new outlets and fixtures, and if there’s any need for repairs or upgrades, you can often save time and money by doing that work simultaneously with the remodeling.
After DIY Electrical Work
Nothing beats the trained eye of an experienced, licensed electrician. If an amateur electrician has performed any work on your home, even if it was a long time ago, you may not be sure that the work was done safely or in accordance with building codes. An electrical inspection can help put those worries to rest.
If You Live in an Older Home
Homes that are 25 to 30 years old or older should be inspected every few years, because while most electrical components are built to stand up to time, nothing lasts forever. This is especially important in historic homes where there may still be old-fashioned knob and tube wiring, or where some wiring sheathing may be crumbling. An inspection may just be the first step toward major electrical upgrades, but for safety’s sake, it’s worth taking the plunge.
If You Didn’t Get a Proper Inspection Before Buying
Just because you can’t go back in time and get a pre-purchase inspection doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it at all. If there are safety issues, you need to know about them.
After Storm Damage
Severe weather events can cause permanent damage to your electrical system that might not be readily apparent. The most important post-storm reasons to schedule an inspection are if there’s been water damage to a wired portion of your home, if tree limbs or other debris brought down power lines on your property, or if part of your home was struck by lightning.
If You Have Sudden or Reoccurring Problems
If a component of your electrical system fails, you might start experiencing problems out of the blue. And if you keep experiencing the same problem over and over, even if it’s something minor like light bulbs burning out too quickly, it could be a sign of a dangerous underlying issue. In either case, an electrical inspection is the proper way to find out what’s going on.
When Your Homeowners Insurance Company Requires It
Depending on your insurance company and policy, you may need to submit to periodic inspections of your electrical system and other home systems. If this is the case, you will probably also be required to promptly fix any problems that are discovered or risk having your policy canceled.
Scheduling an electrical inspection isn’t a big deal, but the repairs and upgrades that can come out of it could save your home. If any of these circumstances apply to your home, call your local Mister Sparky today and schedule an inspection right away.