One of the major systems in your potential home that a home inspector needs to concentrate on is the electrical systems. It can be one of the most expensive systems to deal with if in fact it needs to be upgraded or if there are problems, but in terms of your families safety it is crucial to make sure you are up to code. One thing that we come across in inspecting homes is a lot of “do-it-yourself” work in terms of electrical. Sometimes it is something quite innocent like a homeowner wiring in a couple of extra electrical outlets to a light fixture in an unfinished basement. This is simple to verify in terms of safety, and in terms of correcting some problems by well intentioned DIY’ers fairly easy to remedy this aspect of the electrical systems. The problems come in when unqualified contractors or home owners try to tackle bigger jobs like replacing main electrical panels, or generally rewiring large portions of the home. These type of modifications or repairs to electrical systems should always be left to licensed qualified professionals.
Another type of upgrade that is common to look for in older homes, but generally present in newer homes is the addition of GFCI or GFI outlets. A good article in the wasaudailyherald.com outlines exactly what these type of outlets are and what they add to the overall electrical systems:
“Ground-fault circuit interrupters, or G.F.C.I., outlets for short are safety outlets that are used around possible contact with water or moisture. It is likely you have seen them in your garage, kitchen and bathroom. They are the outlets that have a test button and reset button. These outlets trip out and lose power to them in a power surge, water contact etc. and could possibly save your life.”
A great way to learn about these type of components and others is to accompany your home inspector on the actual inspection. At Home Owners Inspection Services we try to always have our clients accompany us on the inspection tour of the home so they can learn from our over 20 years of experience in the Toronto and GTA real estate market.