What Can You Expect During an Electrical Inspection?

When you are considering buying a house or putting your house up for sale, you will probably have to get an electrical inspection done. Your electrical system should be working in a safe and efficient way to keep your home running efficiently. If you are experiencing electrical issues at your house, it’s also best to have an electrical inspection done. 

You can call Travis Electrical Service for more information about what to expect and how to book an electrical inspection for your home.

Different Types of Electrical Inspections

The most detailed inspections will take place when you have electrical work done which requires building permits, such as additions to your house, or when you build a new house. The aim of the inspections is to make sure that the installation is safe and that the relevant electrical codes are being followed. 

There are three main types of electrical inspections. 

  1. During the rough-in electrical inspection: wires, conduits, and electrical panels are inspected. The inspector will make sure the wires are intact and that the conduits and electrical panels aren’t a fire hazard. This inspection needs to be done before insulation is installed, as the inspector needs a clear view of the wires that run from the service panel. 
  2. Secondary inspection: The technician makes sure that the electrical service panel has been installed and fastened properly. The inspector will also check that the electrical service panel has been grounded properly, otherwise, you may run the risk of an electrical shock. 
  3. During the third inspection, the inspector will conduct trial runs to test the safety and efficiency of the electrical system. This inspection would usually take place when a house is complete, but you’re not yet allowed to use the space. All the walls will be closed at this stage, with complete floors in place. 

What Will Inspectors Look For?

While doing his inspection, an electrical inspector will look for the following:

  • The inspector will make sure the proper number of circuits was installed for the electrical demands of the space. It’s especially important in the kitchen that certain appliances have dedicated circuits, e.g. the microwave oven, dishwasher, and garburator. The inspector must also make sure that each room has the correct number of lighting and appliance circuits. 
  • The inspector will also check that outlets have the relevant circuit protection. Outlets or appliances in outdoor locations or near water sources need GFCI circuit protection. Most electrical circuits now also need AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupters). You don’t have to update existing installations, but AFCI protection must be included on new or remodeled installations. 
  • Electrical boxes must be large enough for the number of wire conductors they are supposed to contain, along with the devices that will be contained. The inspector will also make sure they’re flush with the wall. 
  • Inspectors measure the height of outlets and switches to make sure that they’re consistent. 
  • As part of the rough-in inspection, the inspector will also look at how the cables are clamped to the boxes. The cable sheathing must go into the box for at least ¼ inch for the cable clamps to grip the sheathing of the cable. Eight inches of usable wire length needs to extend from the box, as this allows enough wire to connect to the device. 
  • The inspectors will also check that cables are properly anchored and attached to wall studs to secure them. The cables should be run through the center of the wall studs to prevent the wires from being penetrated by drywall nails and screws. The wall stud penetrations must also be protected by a metal protective plate, which will keep screws and nails from hitting the wire in the walls.
  • The inspector will check if wires have been labeled with a circuit number and the amperage. 

After completing the inspection, the inspector will provide you with a report that will have a list of needed repairs, and a summary of the inspection. It’s vital that you have this report when selling your home, as it certifies that the electrical inspection was completed properly. 

Final Thoughts

Regular inspections will ensure that your home’s electrical system is still functioning well. It may seem like a big expense, but it will make your home safer, and prevent you from having bigger expenses in the long run.