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Does Your Home Meet Electrical Codes?

Posted on: December 4, 2013

If you’re planning on selling your home in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, it’s extremely important that you make sure everything is up to code. Some code violations are illegal, others can be dangerous—some are both!

Some of the most common electrical code violations include:

Wiring mistakes – most wiring mistakes are made by handymen doing electrical work instead of certified electricians. Among the worst we’ve seen are electrical systems that were hooked up using extension cords instead of dedicated electrical wires!

Overcrowding with too many wires – overcrowding is another sign of a contractor who didn’t know quite what they were doing. Since poorly maintained wires can get hot, any place where there are masses of wires packed tightly together can create a major fire hazard.

Exposed wires or junction boxes – frayed or exposed wires can pose a major electrical safety hazard and should be either replaced or patched up. And while junction boxes should be within reach, they should not be so easily accessible that they can accidentally be touched.

Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI) outlets or breakers not working properly – GFI outlets are especially important for the kitchen, bathroom, and anywhere else where water or humidity could create an electric shock risk. If these outlets are not working properly, you could be in danger without even realizing it!

Mixing line- and low-voltage wires together – the National Electric Code (NEC) expressly forbids this, but we often see it, especially when dealing with HVAC installations.

Light fixture or ceiling fan installed without a junction box – junction boxes are required to be installed so they are always accessible and are used to run multiple conductors in two or more directors. The most common problem we see is junction boxes installed out of reach in a concealed wall or ceiling space.

Missing or damaged switch and outlet covers – plate covers on switches and outlets are important for preventing electric shocks. If you’ve recently painted or remodeled the room, you may have taken the covers off. Make sure you put them back on!

Damaged outlets – damaged outlets can cause appliances and anything plugged into the outlet to malfunction and can also create a major fire risk.

These days, many home sellers are seeing the value of having an electrical inspection prior to putting their home on the market. Having the ability to correct any electrical code violations ahead of time may help in avoiding delays in the negotiation and sales transaction.

If you’re planning on selling your home in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, call Kolb Electric! We can perform an electrical inspection and make any necessary electrical code corrections. Don’t wait—call us today!

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