Most homes have electricity coming into them via a service entrance cable from the street. The inspector checks this cable’s clearances, splices and supports. If there’s an exterior ground rod, the inspector will look to see what condition it is in. He or she will also check to see if there’s an external electrical disconnect, and, if so, whether or not it’s accessible. Ampere rating and/or size is also noted.
The inspector will also check the electrical panel, which serves like a nerve center hub of the home’s electricity. He or she will examine wires and connections, noting any problems. Things such as panel openings, labels, current/voltage ratings and other things regarding the electrical panel are noted. Inspectors can tell, by examining what’s inside the electrical panel, whether or not electrical work was done on the home by licensed electricians or not. Workmanship has several standards that must be met, and the inspector knows to look to see whether or not those standards are, indeed, met. Things like electrical fixtures, switches and receptacles are among the items inspected.
Importantly, an inspector will assess whether or not a home’s electrical system is properly grounded. Since good grounding is essential to the safety of the inhabitants of the home, an inspector will want to verify that there’s proper grounding, such as a ground rod, in place.
When smoke detectors are hardwired into a home’s electrical system, a home inspector may note the location, type and operation of such detectors. If some are missing, damaged or no longer functioning, the report will tell you so you can fix/replace them. Detectors are typically checked by pressing their test buttons, which should make a loud noise if working well.
If you’re thinking of having your home inspected in or around San Antonio, call Babcock Home Inspections at 210-325-2106.