Important Electrical Areas To Fix Before Moving Into A New Home

Are you moving into a fixer-upper? Are you making a list of things that need to be repaired so that you can prioritize them? While something like having a roof that doesn't leak should be one of the top items on your agenda, there are other things that may be more important. One of these things is having an electrician check over the house and make any necessary electrical repairs. Here are some things to have your electrician look for:

Improper grounding: If your house was built before the 60s, it originally had only 2-prong outlets installed. When 3-prong grounded outlets were introduced, some people simply installed these new receptacles without properly updating the wiring to add a sufficient ground for each outlet. If your new house has insufficient grounding on its outlets, this type of electrical repair will consist of your electrician putting in entirely new cables in order to comply with modern building codes. This can be expensive in the short term, but will save you money in the long run. Trying to run devices with modern 3-prong plugs, such as refrigerators or certain television sets, on antiquated wiring could eventually result in damage to the device or devices in question. If found to be damaged by wiring that wasn't done to code, your insurance company may not pay to replace the items.

Deteriorated wiring:  While most wiring is meant to have a certain amount of resistance to things like minor amounts of either heat or moisture, even the best interior wiring isn't meant to last forever. In your attic, crawlspace, or basement, your wiring may be subjected to temperature and moisture extremes that can cause the plastic insulation on the wiring to crack and begin to flake off. Should this happen to enough wiring, you will eventually get a short that could result in a fire. Depending on how extensive the damage is, your electrician may only need to perform minor electrical repair work that consists mainly of replacing a few short lengths of wire. If the wiring has been left for a very long time, you may need to have more of it replaced at once.

DIY "repairs": Sometimes, a homeowner may do something to the electrical system that seems to work but that can be, in fact, quite dangerous. They may even have thought about calling in an electrician to do it properly, except they forgot or never had the money to do so. Now that you are the home's owner, these "quick fixes" become your responsibility. For example, instead of having a proper exterior outlet installed, with proper moisture protection, the previous homeowner may have simply added an extender to the porch light that includes a receptacle where an electric lawnmower or similar device can be plugged in. Depending on what's being run, this could result in an overloaded circuit, possibly with eventually melted wires. Instead of continuing to use this, pay for your electrician to install a proper outdoor electrical outlet.