Owning a home comes with many joys, such as having a place to call your own, to host holiday dinners, to make memories, and it’s the epitome of the American dream. That said, all of the good things go hand-in-hand with related responsibilities, such as roof maintenance, HVAC maintenance, landscaping, plumbing… While many items are better left to experienced professionals, there are also plenty of DIY projects.
One DIY chore you can do as a homeowner is a basic electrical inspection. In order to complete this correctly, it helps to have a thorough checklist before getting started.
When to Do an Electrical Inspection
There are times when you should prioritize an electrical inspection. These include:
- When you first purchase a home
- After renovating your home
- After adding a new appliance
- If your home is more than 40 years old
In order to ensure your safety and that a comprehensive inspection is done properly, it’s best to have a certified electrician perform an all-inclusive electrical inspection. However, there are a few things you can check on your own.
Things to Check/Test When Doing an Electrical Inspection
1. Breaker Panel
When inspecting your home’s breaker panel, check if the switches feel warm to the touch, if there are any burn marks, or if there’s any visible damage. If any of these apply, you’ll need to hire an electrician to replace it.
2. Wet Area Outlets
Wet areas are the rooms in your home with faucets, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. Plugs in these areas should have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). These are the two small buttons on the outlet itself (one red and one black). These plugs work by automatically closing the circuit if a cord that is plugged in to them gets wet.
To test GFCI outlets, press the button labeled “Test”. This will shut off power to the outlet. Plug in a styling tool or kitchen appliance. When you turn it on, it should remain unpowered, since you pushed the “Test” button beforehand. Then press the button labeled “Reset”. Power should resume.
3. Interior Outlets
Check every outlet around the home to make sure that the covers are tight. If you can move them at all, use a screwdriver to secure them. Outlets should be cool to the touch. If any are hot or you can hear sound coming from them (humming, clicking, or buzzing), call an electrician.
Overlamping occurs when a bulb that’s wattage is too high for a light fixture is installed. You’ve likely noticed that when you buy a new lamp, it includes a sticker informing you of the maximum wattage for that particular lamp in order to prevent a fire hazard. This information is included with every light fixture. Installing a bulb that gets too hot could melt the socket and wires. If you’re not sure what the maximum wattage is for a specific fixture, you should consult an electrician.
Climate Design Can Help You
At Climate Design, we provide AC installation and HVAC services throughout Tampa Bay: Clearwater, Largo, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, St. Pete Beach, Eastlake, Tarpon Springs, Safety Harbor, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, and New Port Richey.
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