A lot can go wrong in a home that can be costly to repair – it can also often be dangerous. In the case of electrical issues, they can range in severity from the inconvenience of power disruption to the threat of fire or electric shock. There are several common electrical issues that realtors can make homebuyers aware of so they’ll feel more at ease if they come up during showings or even after a purchase.
Electrical experts find and fix issues before they become hazards
In many cases, common signs could point toward multiple potential problems. This is why an expert is often required to pinpoint and fix any issues so the home and its occupants always remain safe and the electrical system runs properly.
In addition to being able to identify common electrical issues and their causes, it’s wise for all homeowners to have a trusted electrician to call when they sense something isn’t quite right. It’s always helpful to have a list of local experts on hand so you can help make future repairs easier for your buyers.
Five electrical issues for which an electrician may be needed
1. Sparking from an outlet or a loose, discoloured outlet. This could indicate faulty wiring and should be addressed immediately to prevent fire.
2. Flickering lights. Try changing the lightbulb and ensuring it’s fully screwed into the fixture. If this doesn’t fix the problem, flickering may indicate an overloaded circuit, a loose connection, the wrong type of lightbulb being used, faulty switches or voltage changes.
3. Rodents present in the house. Rodents love to chew – and their snack of choice is often electrical wiring. They also enjoy nesting around junction boxes. Be sure to check these areas once you discover rodents in the home. Faulty wiring caused by rodents will often produce flickering lights as well, so also check these areas if changing the lightbulb doesn’t solve point number two above.
4. Short circuits. Outdated or improperly installed wiring can become a hidden danger, lurking behind walls and ceilings. Over time, wear and tear can compromise the integrity of the wiring, leading to short circuits and potential fire hazards.
5. Overloaded circuits. In a time where our lives revolve around electronic gadgets, it’s tempting to plug in multiple devices to a single power strip. But, overloading circuits is a common issue that can lead to tripped breakers and, in more severe cases, electrical fires. Understanding the capacity of the electrical circuits and avoiding excessive use of power strips is essential. Distributing electrical loads evenly across different circuits and considering an upgrade if needed can prevent overloads and enhance the home’s overall safety.
The importance of maintaining a home’s electrical system is one key area that an annual home maintenance inspection addresses. The home inspector will be looking for these electrical issues and more. This is also a great time for your clients to bring up any issues they’ve noticed throughout the year that weren’t remedied right away.
Preventative maintenance not only offers homeowners peace of mind, but it can also point to areas that, if addressed sooner rather than later, can actually help save them money. Regular inspections, timely repairs and upgrades when necessary are crucial steps in maintaining a secure and reliable electrical infrastructure.
By addressing these top five electrical issues, homeowners can worry less knowing that their living space is safeguarded against power disruptions and potential electrical hazards.
Cliff Campbell is a regional owner and member of the National Leadership Team at A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) Canada, as well as a Certified Master Inspector (CMI) and the local owner of the Lethbridge, Alta. ABCHI franchise. Having performed 6,000+ residential and commercial property inspections, Cliff has a passion for raising the bar in what buyers, sellers and their Realtor should expect from a professional inspector.