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Home Inspection Spotlight on Electricity

When you're buying a home, the major areas of consideration from an inspector's standpoint are the roof, plumbing, electricity, HVAC, and the foundation. These are your bigger ticket items, so if something is amiss, you may have costly repairs on your hands at some point.   Electrical problems can range from inconvenient to downright dangerous, and are usually a result of improper installation, poor maintenance, or older age equipment. Here are some examples of electrical problems we have found in homes.

In this shot, you're seeing a temperature gauge pointing at a light switch. The inspector was using a thermal imaging camera to check the energy efficiency of the house when he came across a hot spot, so he used this gauge to measure the temperature at 163 degrees F. That's REALLY hot. A normal light switch shouldn't generate any heat, so the temperature should be about the same as the room. This would indicate that there's a wiring issue that could become a fire hazard pretty easily.

In case you still haven't switched incandescent bulbs for energy efficient LED bulbs... yes, those are burn marks from the lights.


In this video you'll see something pretty rare - live Knob & Tube wiring. Knob & Tube Wiring was the standard for electrical wiring in homes from about the 1880's through the 1930's when it was deemed both unsafe and more costly than cable wiring. We don't often see Knob & Tube wiring, and even less often do we see it actually in use.  

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