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Home Inspections

It is not unusual for a home inspector to find a #14 wire (15 amp circuit) connected to a 20 amp breaker. When a 15 amp circuit is overloaded and the circuit breaker trips often, someone may replace the 15 amp breaker with a 20 amp breaker. This situation could be a fire hazard or cause the whole circuit to fail.

If a 15 amp circuit is overloaded and the breaker trips often, the load(s) should be connected to another circuit, or a new circuit should be installed.

Electrical Systems Inspection

An electrical systems inspection and testing typically includes the following:

Electrical Pre-Inspection

An electrical pre-inspection can be done  by the homeowner on switches, receptacles, and GFCI’s. A homeowner should not inspect the electrical panel, leave that to a certified home inspector.

Receptacles can be tested with a receptacle tester that has a GFCI test button. This tester shows if the receptacle has power and if it is wired correctly. If plugs fits loosely in a receptacle, it should be replaced.

  1. Homeowners usually knows if the switches are working, any switches that are normally not used should be tested.
  2. Test all GFCI receptacles by pushing the button on the tester to see if power shuts off (an audible click can be heard). Press the reset button to restore power. If the  test or reset button does not work, and there is power at the GFCI, the GFCI has failed and needs to be replaced.
  3. While testing GFCIs, see if you lose power to other GFCIs. If another GFCI loses power, it should be replaced with a standard receptacle. See GFCI Connected to the Load of Another GFCI.
  4. In kitchens, bathrooms, outdoors, etc, test all standard receptacles with a receptacle tester to determine if they are GFCI protected. Insert the tester into the receptacle and verify it has power, then press the GFCI test button on the tester. If power shuts off, the standard receptacle is GFCI protected. If the power does not shut off, it should be replaced with a GFCI receptacle.
  5. Test all other standard receptacles with the tester to see if they are wired correctly.
Receptacle Tester

Home inspections are a  part of the home sale process. They are usually done sometime after a purchase agreement is signed. A purchase agreement should contain a clause that the sale is contingent on the results of an inspection. A new mortgage or a home warranty typically requires an inspection.

It is a good idea for the buyer to have a home inspected before it is listed for sale, especially if the seller wants a fast closing. Any problems found can be fixed before the home gets listed and there won’t be any costly surprises after the agreement is signed.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is an inspection of the structure and systems of a house. They typically include the foundation, basement, heating system, plumbing, central air conditioning, electrical, roof, and attic. An inspection should be done by someone who is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

Electrical Panel Inspection

During an electrical panel inspection the inspector typically looks for the following:

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