Electrical Home Inspections Experts in Richmond.
Don’t risk the safety of your home or loved ones by putting off a home safety inspection! It’s just not worth it.
It is easy to take your home electrical service for granted because they are hidden inside the walls of the home, allowing one to enjoy a great variety of modern conveniences. However, “out of sight, out of mind” should not be your rule of thumb when it comes to your Richmond areas home’s electrical wiring. According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical issues are the number one cause of property damage in home fires across the U.S. The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that a small appliance inserted into an improperly wired or inadequately sized outlet is the major cause of electrocutions in the U.S.
If you’re looking for reassurance from a trusted Richmond, VA, electricians, an electrical home inspection from Lauterbach Electric Co. can save you and your family from numerous dangerous situations and electrical hazards in your home. Your entire electrical system will be comprehensively examined; ensuring that all electrical wires, systems, and appliances in your home meet at least the legal minimum safety standards. The Richmond, VA & National Electrical Code guides all electricians when examining your home. The Code defines the considerations for minimum standards across the United States. A Lauterbach Electric inspector will provide a detailed, prioritized, checklist including areas in need of direct attention, recommendations for improvements, and prospective upgrade possibilities. Lauterbach Electric is serious about your safety! Don’t wait, contact us today and ensure the safety of your home and family with an electrical home inspection from Lauterbach Electric. This checkup will include:
Electrical Home Inspections Include:
- Check grounding systems
- Check for proper placement and presence of smoke detectors
- Test smoke detectors and replace batteries
- Test carbon monoxide detectors if present and replace batteries
- Check the electrical panel for appropriate labels, amps, and operation
- Ensure light bulb wattage is not too large for the fixture socket (fire hazard)
- Switch and wall outlet operation and condition
- Check ground fault circuit interrupting devices
- Check arc fault circuit interrupting devices
- Check for safety and security lighting
- Check for appropriate surge protection
- Check outdoor electrical systems
- Check for proper fuse size and over-current protection
- Inspect and report ALL other potential or immediate hazards
- Check that all junction boxes in attics and crawlspaces are secured and covered
Electrical Home Inspections Provide:
- Offers homeowner Peace of mind
- Save energy – save money
- Maintain electrical safety throughout the home
- Insurance companies may require
- Find and correct safety hazards
A home inspection should be performed when:
- As part of the home buying process.
- After a home is 40 years old.
- Before an addition or renovation
- When adding a major appliance.
Do I need to upgrade my fuse panel to circuit breakers?
When they first began wiring homes in the early 1900s all electrical panels contained screw and cartridge type fuses. Breaker panels became the norm in the 60s.
Electrical panel boxes look the same whether they use fuses or circuit breakers. A fuse panel in and of itself is just as safe as a breaker panel. There are two main problems with fuse panels though:
The number of circuits: When fuse panels were prevalent homes did not have the modern conveniences of today. There were no microwaves, dishwashers, etc… These appliances require new circuits and more electricity to run. One major problem we see with fuse panels is that circuits are added where there is no safe room to add them. This results in multiple wires under one screw terminal (against code and unsafe), and/or over-fusing (see below). Fuse panels commonly had 8-12 spaces for circuits. Modern circuit breaker panels commonly have up to 42 spaces for different circuits!
Installing an over-sized fuse into the fuse block. The original fuse panel has no safety mechanism to prevent over-sizing the fuses. Let’s say a kitchen circuit keeps blowing the fuse because too many appliances are running at once. It is so easy to insert a 20 or 30 amp fuse into a 15 amp fuse block to avoid the nuisance of the fuse blowing. THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS! The fuses (or circuit breakers) main job is to protect the wiring. Fuses and circuit breakers are sized (15-amp, 20-amp, 30-amp, etc…) according to the circuit wire size. For example: 14-gauge copper wire is required to be protected by no more than 15-amp of overcurrent protection. If you were to put a 30-amp fuse to protect this 15-amp rated wire, then you put 25-amps of electrical load on that wire you could melt is and cause a fire!
Circuit breakers are not as easy to change as fuses, and therefore offer more protection from over-sizing.
All electrical service panels are measured in amperage: 60, 100, 150, 200 or 400+ amps. The higher the amperage, the more electrical appliances can be accommodated by the service. A 100-amp service is perfectly appropriate for some homes and some people, especially if the home is heated by gas or oil.
However, if the 100-amp homeowner is contemplating an addition, adding several new electrical appliances, a hot tub, or a new electric HVAC system, he will want to have a licensed electrician make an assessment as to his new electrical needs.
There are two main reasons for a panel or service change: 1) If upgrading from a fuse to a breaker panel or 2) if major appliances are added to the service load. A service upgrade will add value to your home and eliminate the possibility of overloading the circuits with improper fuses.
A service inspection and/or upgrade is standard today for older homes in the home buying process. Upgrading the panel from fuse to breaker does not necessarily mean that the amperage must also be increased from 100 to 200 amps. However, it is an opportune time if appropriate.