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Common Electrical Problems To Look Out for When Buying a New Home

residential electrical wiring components

Deciding to buy a home isn’t easy. When you start your search, you need to know what you are looking for regarding size, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities. You will also want to look closely at all its components, especially the plumbing and electrical systems. There are many visible signs to look for, but a reputable electrician or a home inspector can identify other problems that may be hiding under the surface.

Obvious Electrical Problems in Homes

Most of us aren’t well-versed in electricity or whether our home is wired correctly. There are a few obvious signs that the wiring in a home may be incorrectly installed or damaged in some way. Any time you notice any of the following while touring a home you are interested in, report it to the realtor or ask to have the home inspected for electrical issues.

  • Flickering lights
  • Buzzing sounds
  • Strange odors
  • Ungrounded (two-hole) outlets
  • Cracked or burnt outlets
  • Exposed wiring
  • Too few outlets
  • No GFCI outlets near sinks

Common Signs of Electrical Issues

Electrical problems take many forms. Some are easily seen, while others may be buried in the recesses of your home. If you are observant, however, you may be able to uncover a few problems that your realtor has overlooked. In many cases, if they aren’t looking for them, they won’t see them.

  • Outlets or cords that are warm to the touch: Touch a few random outlets with something plugged into them. If they are warm or hot to the touch, notify the realtor.
  • Fixtures that overheat: Fixtures can overheat just like outlets. Ceiling fans, especially, have wires that can sometimes work their way loose due to the constant movement.
  • Outdated breaker box: Older breaker panels or boxes can be so outdated that they no longer meet local building codes. If you find this in a house you are interested in, ask to have it replaced before you agree to purchase the home.
  • Old or damaged wiring: Old or damaged wiring is a fire hazard. However, these issues may be something you can’t see. If you are concerned, ask if you can look at the breaker panel. Repairs to these faulty wires should be made before purchasing the home.
  • Sparks or arcs: If you flip a switch or plug something in and see a spark, it’s essential to let the realtor know. These sparks could lead to an electrical fire.

Before You Buy, Call Kolb Electric

If you are interested in a home but know it has a few electrical issues, your first phone call should be Kolb Electric. Our team of expert technicians can inspect the property to determine the extent of the problem. We can give you an estimate that you can use to negotiate the price of the property. Each of our electricians is highly trained and can identify hazards. Our goal is to meet or exceed industry standards and comply with local and state building codes.

We serve communities in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. If you are planning to purchase a new home in these areas but need new wiring services, contact Kolb Electric’s electricians to do the job!

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