More Blogs on Similar Subjects:

  1. Is a house required to have outdoor electric receptacles?

  2. How come my generator hookup got tagged as defective by the home inspector?

  3. How do the new tamper-resistant electric receptacles work?

  4. Is the electric panel big enough for this house?

  5. What are the most common homeowner wiring mistakes?

  6. Is there an adapter that can be placed on a two-slot receptacle to make it safe?

  7. When should I replace my smoke alarms?

  8. What is a ground wire?

  9. What is the life expectancy of a circuit breaker?

  10. The electric panel is marked “Trilliant” and it’s all grey plastic. Is it alright?

  11. Why do you pay so much attention to electrical safety?

  12. What is a three-way switch?

  13. Why does that wall plug have push-buttons in the middle?

  14. What is the right electric wire size for a home?

  15. Does this place have one of those “bad” electric panels I’ve heard about?

  16. I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. Do you check for it?

  17. The garage has been converted to a family room. Is that alright?

  18. My bathroom electric receptacle/outlet is dead, and there is no tripped breaker in the electric panel. What’s wrong?

  19. What is a “missing twistout” at an electric panel?

  20. What is an “open junction box”?

  21. Why does the bedroom have a light switch but there is no light in the ceiling?

  22. What is the switch on the wall with only two pushbuttons for?

  23. How far apart should electric receptacle outlets be placed in a garage?

  24. What is a lock device on a circuit breaker for?

  25. Will the electric company remove branches rubbing against the overhead service lines to my home?

  26. Why are Zinsco and Sylvania-Zinsco electric panels a problem?

  27. Can wiremold be used at an exterior location?

  28. What is the life expectancy of electrical wiring in a house?

  29. What are the most common electrical defects found in a home inspection?

  30. What is an open electrical splice?

  31. What does it mean when a wire is “overstripped” at a circuit breaker?

  32. What is the difference between “grounded” and “grounding” electrical conductors?

  33. What is the difference between a Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker?

  34. How can I tell if a receptacle/outlet is tamper resistant?

  35. What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)?

  36. Does a home inspector remove the electric panel cover plate and examine the inside of the panel?

  37. What are the most common defects with over-the-range microwaves?

  38. Can an electric panel be located over stairs?

  39. How can I change a 240V circuit to a 120V circuit?

  40. How do I trace and identify each circuit breaker in my electric panel to make a circuit directory?

  41. Why are extension cords dangerous?

  42. What problems does having too many electrical outlets on a single circuit cause?

  43. How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?

  44. Why does painting an electric receptacle (outlet) make it unsafe?

  45. Why is bundled wiring in an electric panel a defect?

  46. What electrical hazards does a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) not protect against?

  47. How can I tell if the electrical service is 3 phase or single phase?

  48. Can you add circuit breakers by different manufacturers to an electric panel if they fit?

  49. When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?

  50. What is the difference between an electrical receptacle, an outlet, and a plug?

  51. Should I buy a house near a high-voltage power line?

How to Look

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Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. Although one receptacle should be placed near each bathroom sink, it should not be placed behind the sink, to avoid the possibility of the cord drooping into a sink full of water.

  2. Receptacles directly over a baseboard electric heater are a no-no. The cord could come in contact with the top of the heater and melt.

  3. A receptacle should not be flush-mounted on a horizontal surface where it may have water splashed on it, like at kitchen counter. And a floor receptacle in a dry area, like a living room, should have a special “rated” cover that protects the slots when not in use.

   As electric technology has evolved over the years, so have receptacles. GFCI-protected receptacles are now required in wet areas, for personal shock protection. AFCI-protected receptacles, which recognize arcing in the circuit for fire protection, have also been phased into the code requirements. And receptacles that only open to allow standard cord prongs (and not any metal object that a curious child may try to stick into it) are the latest improvement.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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