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As home inspectors, faulty wiring is one of the most common problems we find, way more common that you would like to think. There are many reasons for faulty wiring, from DIY fixes, to critters chewing through the wiring to simply old wiring. Faulty wiring can lead to power outages, circuit shorts and in the worst case scenarios it can lead to a fire in the home or electrocution. We take home wiring seriously during each and every home inspection we perform.

One of the first places we look is the fuse box. We check the circuit breaker panels and insure the fuses that have been installed have the appropriate amperage for the wires. We look at the condition of the outlets in the home. Do they all have covers? Are there any exposed wires there? How many outlets are in the house? This is important because too few outlets can lead to overloading the outlet through the use of power strips.

While it’s not common, copper wiring in older homes can corrode and should be checked for performance and functionality. We also look for ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). While it’s not a code violation to not have them, in bathrooms where there is an increased chance of electricity coming in contact with water, there is a highly increased risk of electrocution. The purpose of a GFCI is stop the flow of electricity in the shortest period of time to prevent electric shock.

The above are just a few of the problems we find with faulty wiring. If you are concerned about a home you are about to purchase, new or old, you should have the wiring inspected along with the other major components of the house. While a  does their best to find faulty wiring issues, if the home is an older home and has signs of deterioration we would recommend hiring a professional electrician. An electrician will go one step further than the home inspector, inspecting for problems with insulation surrounding wires, corrosion and frayed wires.

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