Electrical Issues Found at Temecula Home Inspection
Electrical issues are probably the most common type of defect found during home inspections here in southern California, followed closely by moisture intrusion issues. Improper electrical installations can pose a serious fire or shock hazard to the homeowner. Numerous electrical issues are often found when conducting a Temecula home inspection.
Some of the most prevalent electrical defects I come across are double-tapped wires in electrical panels, loose terminals in electrical panels resulting in melted/overheated wires, improper configuration of the neutral and ground wires in sub-panels, and lack of GFCI-protected (Ground Fault Circuit Interruptors) circuits at wet locations.
Double-tapping is when two or more wires are connected to a circuit breaker meant to hold just one wire. The breaker lug may not equally tighten on both wires. Arcing and overheating can occur when this is the case and can result in a fire. Double-taps or double-lugging of the neutral wires (white wires) is also commonly seen. (The neutral wires also carry current.)
In a sub-panel installation, the neutral wires and the ground wires must be isolated from each other. The neutral wires should be floating or connected to the insulated terminal (insulated from contact with the metal panel box). The ground wires (bare wires) should be connected to the terminal that is in contact with the metal panel box. More times than not, these wires are seen installed on the same terminal in sub-panels. This is an improper installation seen quite often at a Temecula home inspection. Electrical current now has the ability to travel through the ground wires creating a shock hazard.
Most people are now aware of GFCI electrical outlets. These receptacles are inexpensive, easy to install, and they prevent shock hazards at wet locations. In a modern home, the circuits in the kitchen, bathrooms, garage, laundry, and exterior will usually have GFCI protection. Older homes should have the receptacles at these locations upgraded to GFCI to meet current industry standards and for the safety of the occupants.
The most important information when reading a home inspection report will be the health and safety-related issues. Read these comments very carefully. In some cases they will save a life, perhaps your own! Steve Stenros- First Choice Inspections, a Temecula home inspector, is a CREIA-certified inspector holding the MCI designation. First Choice Inspections provides a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. Steve is available for appointment by calling 888-335-3040.
Steve Stenros, MCI
Master CREIA Inspector #0115
ICC Residential Combination Inspector #5251439
Certified Infrared Thermographer #7791
FHA/HUD Inspector- #V975
203k Consultant #S0611
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