15 Jun 2016

Electrical Troubleshooting Checklist

When you hire an electrician to perform an inspection on your home’s electrical system, make sure these steps are covered:

Electric meter: The electrician should check the electric meter for defects such as insecure installation, broken meter seals and rust at the bottom of the box that could indicate the presence of water. Sometimes water can follow the service entrance cable from the meter box to the main panel.

Wires: The electrician should inspect outside wires for fraying or other damage. He or she should also look for unprotected wires anywhere inside the home, especially in attics, basements and crawl spaces. Wires resting on heat ducts or pipes present an unsafe situation and will be reported

Make sure to check your circuit breaker box periodically to check for any signs of malfunction.

Main panel box: The electrical panel houses circuit breakers, which are designed to prevent electric current from exceeding safe levels. An electrician will check for insufficient clearance, improperly sized circuit breakers, oxidation or corrosion, aluminum branch wiring, overheated components and the presence of moisture. Inspecting these panels can be dangerous, and you should never remove an electrical panel yourself.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets: GFCI outlets should be placed in basements, garages, kitchens and bathrooms. These outlets contain small circuit breakers that shut off when overloaded or if a short circuit occurs. A qualified electrician can ensure these outlets are wired correctly and test other outlets in the home for looseness or reversed polarity.

Wall switches: An electrician will test all wall switches for reversed polarity and ungrounded circuits, looking out for electrical problems. Warning signs can include discolored, loose or damaged switch plates and unsafe wiring

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