We all use an abundant amount of electricity in our homes every day. Whether baking your favorite dessert, blow drying your hair, washing clothes, or surfing the web, we all rely heavily on electricity. With that said, it is important that all your appliances, devices and electrical outlets function at peak levels and any risks of electrical fires are minimized. One way to ensure that your home and family are safe is by way of an electrical safety inspection.
WHEN SHOULD YOU INVEST IN A HOME ELECTRICAL SAFETY INSPECTION?
Certainly, scheduling an inspection can provide you with the peace of mind you need to know that both your home and family are safe and there are no risks for electrical fires. The Electrical Safety Foundation highly recommends that homeowners perform an electrical safety inspection if any of the following scenarios exist:
- A home is 40+ years old.
- You are purchasing a new home.
- Multiple renovations are being performed on your home.
- A homeowner purchases and installs new appliances in their home.
HOME DEFECTS THAT CAN HINDER YOUR PASSING AN ELECTRICAL INSPECTION
There are a number of specific defects that, when present in your home, can keep you from passing an electrical safety inspection. If you are attempting to sell your home or are simply wanting to ensure the safety of your family, it is important that none of the following common defects are present in your home:
- Carbon monoxide detectors that are not functioning or no detectors at all.
- Improperly functioning smoke alarms or the lack of such alarms.
- Outdated knob and tube wiring.
- Overcrowded wires.
- Wires that are spliced illegally.
- The installation of new lights into very old wiring.
If any of these defects are present in your home it is important you resolve these issues before scheduling an inspection, whether you are looking to sell your home or simply want to ensure the safety of your home and family.
CODE COMPLIANT REQUIREMENTS
There are specific codes that must be compliant in each of the rooms in your house. Below are specific requirements for the various rooms in your home.
- Bathroom requirements would include combination fan and light having its own 20-amp circuit. All outlets in the bathroom must be GFCI and light fixtures in a shower area must be covered with a lens and be moisture resistant.
- Kitchen requirements would include microwaves, refrigerators, dishwashers and garbage disposals, all having their own circuit. In addition, there should be two receptacle circuits located above a countertop. Finally, the oven, electric range or cooktop must have its own dedicated 240-amp circuit.
- The living room, dining room and bedrooms would all have similar requirements. Wall switches that control ceiling lights or outlets where lamps are plugged in need to be installed near to the entry door. Outlets should also be installed not more than 12 feet apart from one another and any ceiling fixtures should be controlled by a wall switch and not a pull chain mechanism.
- The laundry room requirements would include washers and dryers having their own 20-amp receptacle, with the electric dryer having its own 240-volt circuit.
- Staircases and hallways have their own set of electrical codes primarily because they serve as a safe way out of the home, should there be a need to get out. Whether from a fire, severe storm, or any other emergency situation, it is important to ensure that all codes are compliant. For starters, if a hallway is longer than 10 feet there should be an outlet installed for miscellaneous purposes and sufficient lighting all along the staircase. If the stairway winds or turns there should be additional lighting installed as well. Finally, there should be three-way switches installed at the top and bottom of the stairway and at each end of the hallway.
THE PROFESSIONALS YOU CAN TRUST
If you are thinking of selling your home, or want to take steps to ensure the safety of your home and family, then surely you have come to the right place. Gervais Electric takes pride in providing all our valued clients with the highest quality electrical products and services and that includes performing a home electrical safety inspection to ensure your home is up to code. To learn more about electrical inspections or to schedule your home inspection, be sure to reach out to our highly skilled and certified team of friendly professionals today.