More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

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

  2. Why does the electric company want my house electric system inspected before turning the power back on?

  3. When should I replace my smoke alarms?

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

  5. My circuit breaker won’t reset. What’s wrong?

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

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

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

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

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

  11. Is an ungrounded receptacle/outlet dangerous?

  12. What is an “open junction box”?

  13. What is reversed polarity at an outlet/receptacle? Why is it dangerous?

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

  15. How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be placed?

  16. How can I figure out what a mystery wall switch does?

  17. What are those strange looking wall switches in houses from the 1950s and 1960s?

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

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

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

  21. Can multiple neutral or ground wires be secured under the same terminal in an electric panel?

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

  23. Can wiremold be used at an exterior location?

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

  25. How can adding wood paneling or a wainscot create an electrical safety hazard?

  26. What is an open electrical splice?

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

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

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

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

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

  32. Will a GFCI receptacle that is not grounded still function properly?

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

  34. Can an electric panel be located over stairs?

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

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

  37. Can old electrical wiring go bad inside a wall?

  38. Why are extension cords dangerous?

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

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

  41. What happens when you press the “TEST” button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?

  42. How many electric receptacles (outlets) are required in a hallway?

  43. When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required?

  44. What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers?

  45. What causes flickering or blinking lights in a house?

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

  47. Why are some electric receptacles/outlets upside down (ground slot up) in a house?

  48. Why is undersize electric wiring in a house dangerous?

  49. What is a “backstab” receptacle outlet?

  50. What are the right words for talking about a house electrical system?

  51. What does “listed” and “labeled” mean for an electrical component?

  52. What does it mean when I find buried yellow "CAUTION" tape when digging a hole in the yard?

  53. How far away should a sink be from an electric panel?

  54. What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?

  55. What is the building code requirement for receptacle outlets at stairs and stair landings?

  56. Can a home surge protector be installed loose in the bottom of an electric panel box?

  57. Can a bare bulb “lampholder” light fixture be installed outdoors?

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

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

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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.

   Rewiring is messy and disruptive, requiring holes to be punched in walls in multiple locations, with dust, noise, and construction materials stacked around the house during the work. The best time to do it is during a remodeling project, such as renovating the kitchen or adding a bathroom, when subcontractors will be opening up the walls anyway. And you don’t want to be there while the work is done. “I need to have the house to myself for a minimum of two weeks,” says Craig. “And possibly three.”

   The following photos are examples of the wall damage that will be done, and then repaired at completion of the work.

   And here’s a few tips for planning your rewiring:

  1. 1)Do you want to run wiring for data and security while you’re at it? It will less expensive to do everything at once if you need it.

  2. 2)Determine whether a partial rewire will be adequate. Ask your electrician to evaluate whether part of the system is still in good condition and can be left in place.

  3. 3)Find an electrician that has experience working with older homes. Rewiring is a complex process that involves understanding the structure behind the wallboard and the best ways to run wiring with a minimum of wall damage.

  4. 4)Get a written contract detailing exactly the work to done and how any surprises will be handled. There’s always something unexpected when you  open the wall of an old home. Be ready.

  5. 5)Pull permits for the work. Your electrician will know the electrical code standards and be able to secure a permit for the work. When everything is  completed, be sure that a final inspection was done and keep a copy of the permit with all inspection signatures and notes. When it comes time to sell your house, many homebuyers now want to see evidence of building permits for all renovations.

  6. 6)Make reconstruction and wall repairs a key part of the job. Let your contractor know that cleanup and restoration is important to you and know exactly what level of finish is expected. Do you want the walls repainted at completion, for example?

   Is a rewiring worth the expense and inconvenience? According to our electrician friend Craig, yes it is. “Rewiring is a lot of work, but then you’re good for another 50 years!”

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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