This weeks blog is about inspecting the electrical systems in the home. Now when I mention about this remember you have low voltage systems as some home still have outside lighting or be apart of the intercom, alarm panel and security systems, and then the main electric panel and circuits. So lets begin about our process and why this is a main entity in any inspection and has been a stand alone service as well. So lets begin.
Lets talk about the electric panel and circuits first. Every home is going to have a service entry cable coming from the pole. Some newer homes are underground buried in conduit that is connected to the meter on the side of the home. This is becoming more common now especially with wind and heavy rain storms. It is a lot safer and in time more economical for utility companies. However, you do have the overhead type as well. This goes to a mass head that is fed to the meter from the roof or side of the home. The biggest part of this is that their is enough clearance and a rain loop on the wires so water does not drip on the wires going into the conduit. Also you do not want tree branches near the service cable either. Now in the panel box newer systems are using copper multi-stranded wire instead of aluminum. Aluminum is fine as long as its not used for the branch circuits. Additionally, an oxidizing agent needs to be applied to the wires to maintain them so rust does not appear on the wires over time.
The branch circuits in the home start at the panel box. You have a breaker that will control usually up to 6-8 receptacles and or switches. For example you may have one breaker that controls receptacles in the living room but will control the bedroom adjacent to it. Normally circuits in each room there is one light or device on another circuit so the room does not go completely dark if the breaker trips. Alot of times when we are inspecting the circuits, some will have an AFCI breaker and we usually test them with our tester. This is a different type of tester then GFCI. We also test them in the kitchen and bathrooms. When we are inspecting we find alot of open grounds, reverse polarity or my favorite the hot and neutral are reversed. This is not an alarm to kill a deal. It just means an electrician needs to repair it properly. Also, another of my favorite is the ground slot usually is broken on the receptacle. This comes from pulling the plug from a device. This should be replaced too.
So, lets touch base on the low voltage systems. These have been becoming more popular in newer homes. Alot of homes are being pre-wired for internet, cable, intercom, sprinkler and some for outside lighting. All of these have a transformer. Even the thermostat on the wall has low voltage. Alot of inspectors do not inspect these. We do. We need to know in advance but we do. Here is why. Lets say the outside lighting is not working properly. The receptacle on that branch circuit is ok. But if the transformer is bad or bad wiring to these lights its just as much as a hazard as it is for an open ground on the branch circuits in the home. Same with the sprinkler system. Again, low voltage but you want to make sure the sprinkler heads are installed in proper place as to not rust out the housing on an ac unit or cause damage to windows.
So in closing when we are performing these type of inspections we give a complete, prompt, and accurate report. Not just a one line item. We have performed #electrical and #low voltage system inspections from #Largo to #Lakeland, from #Hudson to #Howey In The Hills Florida. Additionally this is part of the 4 point inspection process as well. For more information about electrical inspections and other services Emerald Inspection Service can provide, please call us anytime at 352-322-2700 or visit our website; www.emeraldinspectionservice.com