Electrical safety should be of utmost importance to the residents of Sterling, VA. Part of electrical safety is understanding what happens during an electrical safety inspection. This helps property owners make good decisions for scheduling inspections and for taking practical steps to improve the electrical network in their homes.

What Happens During an Electrical Safety Inspection?

Electricians initiate an electrical inspection by scrutinizing the electric meter to identify any defects. They thoroughly examine the circuit breaker, inspect the electrical wires in the home and assess the GFCI outlets.

Inspecting the Electric Meter

During the examination of homes or businesses, electricians focus on ensuring that the electric meter accurately logs the wattage. They prioritize the proper installation of the meter and conduct a general review to identify any defects that may have developed over time.

Common issues, such as water damage in electric meters, prompt electricians to search for signs and recommend or perform necessary repairs.

Inspecting the Circuit Breaker

Electricians verify that the circuit breaker is properly functioning, evaluating its overload risk. They ensure that the breaker can maintain currents at a safe level and check for potential hazards, like water damage, corrosion and other issues, that could lead to electrical fires. Corrections are made as needed.

Inspecting Electrical Wires

During the assessment of electrical wiring, electricians search for frayed wires protruding from the protective coating. They examine wires hanging from ceilings or emerging from walls, checking for signs of water damage.

Electricians inspect both visible and concealed wires, promptly recommending necessary fixes to homeowners or business owners if they’ve identified any unsafe conditions or potential hazards.

GFCI Outlet Inspection

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are scrutinized by professionals to ensure their functionality in turning off power if irregularities are detected. Regular checks are performed to identify issues, such as water presence or foreign objects near the outlet, with electricians recommending any required safety measures.

Why Is It Important To Have an Electrical Safety Inspection?

Having a regular electrical safety check is key for property owners. Legally, commercial buildings need to have their electrical system inspected and tested regularly. Older buildings with an older electrical system may require more frequent inspections. These inspections ensure that the building is meeting current electrical standards and codes. Whenever renovations or additions are made to the property that requires electrical work, an inspection can ensure that the work was done correctly and that the work was done safely.

Electrical Safety Inspections and Fire Prevention

An important reason to get an inspection is to aid in fire prevention. One of the leading causes of property damage each year is electrical fires. An electrical fire can be devastating if it happens in a commercial setting. Not only can the fire damage the physical building, but it can destroy any products that they have in stock. Customers, clients and vendors who are on-site at that time are at risk of injury or death from the fire.

An electrical inspection can help property owners identify electrical hazards that could cause a fire in advance. Some of these things are easy for property owners to overlook, including frayed wires, overloaded circuits and electrical equipment that does not meet local codes. When these hazards are fixed before they become a problem, homeowners can keep their property safe from the threat of fire.

Electrical Safety Inspections Save Money

An additional benefit of an electrical safety inspection is that it can save money in the long term. Residential and commercial buildings may be equipped with outdated electrical systems that were not built to handle the demands of modern businesses or households. The result is that these electrical systems get overloaded, break down and require expensive repairs and replacements.

By having an inspection done regularly, homeowners and business owners can identify any potential problems before they become expensive repairs. This proactive approach can help save money while keeping businesses running smoothly.

How Frequently Should You Have an Electrical Safety Inspection?

The answer to this question varies based on the homeowner’s or business owner’s specific circumstances. Additionally, if there are some telltale signs of issues with the electrical system, an inspection may be required sooner than later.

Newer Homes

A home built within the last decade will need an inspection once every ten years. Typically, a home’s electrical panels and wiring can last between 20 and 40 years. You’ll want to ensure that a thorough inspection is done on the 20-year and 40-year marks. That being said, if a homeowner has concerns about the electrical system in their home, having more regular inspections never hurts.

Rental Properties and Older Homes

Rental properties and older homes may require an electrical inspection once every three or five years. This is because when it comes to rental properties, there’s more at stake. Tenants demand safe and reliable electricity, and landlords are responsible for keeping their buildings up to code.

When it comes to older homes, electrical fires and serious complications occur more frequently. Electrical panels and wiring deteriorate quickly. Having a professional electrician inspect the property every three to five years ensures any problems get caught before they become disasters.

Warning Signs That You Need an Electrical Inspection

It is easy for an electrical professional to identify electrical issues. They know what to look for. As homeowners or business owners, there are some things that you need to be aware of that indicate it’s time for an electrical inspection.

Burning Smells

If a homeowner or business owner smells burning plastic or something akin to burning trash near the outlets and fixtures, this is a warning sign. Circuit breakers, in particular, are known for having a strong foul odor in the moments before an electrical fire breaks out.

Bizarre Noises

Electrical fixtures can sometimes make bizarre humming, buzzing or cracking noises. It’s easy to ignore them, but these strange sounds often indicate trouble. Loose wires, for example, can make humming noises.

Electrical Equipment That’s Hot To the Touch

Your home’s sockets, switches and circuit breakers should not be hot to the touch. Oftentimes, frayed wiring can lead to heat buildup. When this is not addressed, the heat can lead to sparks that can result in fire.

Tripped Circuit Breakers

Your home’s circuit breaker is the first line of defense against power surges. Breakers can trip, for example, when there’s a storm. However, they should not be tripping over and over again. If you are dealing with constant tripping, it could mean that the home’s electrical load is higher than what the system can handle. A high electrical load can lead to blown fuses, damaged wires and fires.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are a clear indication that an electrical inspection is needed. Flickering lights typically happen when the wiring has become unstable, old or in some other way impaired, affecting the connection between the power supply and the fixtures. Thankfully, plumbing professionals can address these issues in no time.

Powering Your World With Absolute Excellence in Sterling, Virginia

Since 2006, our team has built a reputation for quickly tackling a variety of electrical services. At Absolute Electric, we focus on customer service and delivering excellence on each of our products. We offer service with integrity and are proud to have an A+ accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. We have received the Angie’s List Super Service Award, we are a Home Advisor top-rated company, and we have a host of awards attesting to the services we offer.

Our services include electrical repair, electrical panel installation upgrade and surge protection installation. We install EV chargers, attic fans, indoor lighting, outlets, switches and LED recessed lights. Contact Absolute Electric today and see what it’s like to work with a company that puts you first.

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