4 Most Common Electrical Defects Found by Inspectors

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 13 November 2018 14:26

When selling your home, one of the last things you want to experience is electrical violations. In today’s fast-paced market, buyers won’t overlook these issues at market price. You'll either need to lower the price of the home, lose a potential sale or provide a credit to the buyer.

A poor report from an inspector could lead to lower bids on a home, or possibly a potential buyer backing out of a deal.

The most common electrical defects that inspectors find are:

1. Reversed Polarity

Reverse polarity is often a result of a do-it-yourself repair or hiring an unlicensed electrician. Leading electricians know better, and they know that all it takes is a small electrical tester to ensure polarity is appropriate.

These testers are just a few dollars, and they’ll let you know if an outlet has its polarity reversed.

If the polarity is reversed, you might not even know it. Small appliances will work well on the outlet, but larger appliances or even lamps may pose a safety risk when polarity is reversed.

2. Painted Outlets

Home sellers often have their home painted to boost its value and add to the home’s aesthetics. But when the electrical outlet has paint on it, this is an issue. Even if the faceplate doesn’t have paint on it, there may be paint on the actual outlet itself.

The issue is safety.

Paint can cause:

  • Overheating
  • Fire

What happens is that the paint may make its way into the electrical slots, and this is a safety hazard. Removing the paint on outlets is an inexpensive fix, and it will ensure that the home is far safer.

3. Wire Splicing or Wiring Exposure

Exposed wiring will be a red flag for any home inspector. Depending on the location of the exposed wire, it may pose a safety issue. When wire splicing is exposed, even when tape or wire nuts are properly in place, can also be a cause for concern.

An electrician will install an electrical junction box that has a cover and helps protect against fires.

If the wire ever becomes exposed or bare, arching can occur causing a fire in the process.

4. Ungrounded Outlets

Ungrounded outlets are a safety concern, and this means that a person may become shocked when using the outlet. This is a common problem on 3-prong outlets, and electricians see this problem in older homes a lot.

Code that required outlets to be grounded didn’t exist before 1965, and this is because neutral and hot wires were the only ones running to the outlets.

Sure, some homes did have proper grounding, but the grounding may be right in most but not all outlets.

Improper grounding is also a fire concern.

Home inspectors will make note of all of these electrical issues, and they may cause a potential buyer to bid less on your home. You do have the option to make the repairs yourself, or you can provide the buyer with a credit so that they can make the repairs. It's often best to have the repairs made yourself, adding to the home’s value and ensuring the safety of the new homeowners.

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James Stevenson

Hi, My name is James and I've been involved in the property and real estate industry for 10 years now. I hope people will like to read about my thoughts and experiences in the industry and please contact me if you want to discuss my articles further!

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