When Do I Need an Electrical Inspection

April 20, 2020
Electrician working on wires

A frayed wire or a strange humming noise could be signs that there is an issue with your electrical system. While fixing those problems may require little more than a new wire or replacing a light fixture, there is no guarantee that this is the case. Let us take a closer look at the reasons why you would want to have a professional inspect your home’s electric system.

The Lights Don’t Come On When You Hit the Switch

If the lights in your house are wired correctly, they should come on when you flick the switch or lift the lever associated with a given outlet. If the lights do not come on, there could be a problem with the home’s wiring. Of course, it could also be a sign that a lamp is not plugged in or that a bulb has burnt out.

However, if you have eliminated those possibilities, then there is a chance that a wire has shorted or that another potentially serious issue has occurred. A professional from Brennan Electric in Seattle may be able to check and determine what the problem is. He or she will also be able to fix the issue and get you back up and running.

You Hear a Humming Noise When the Lights Come On

A humming or buzzing noise coming from an outlet when you turn the lights on could be a sign that your home’s electrical system is being overworked. In some cases, you may be able to simply move a lamp or other device to a different outlet. It is also possible that there is an issue with a light bulb or the cord that runs from the lamp or other type of light to the outlet.

A professional will be able to run diagnostic tests to determine how much your home’s electrical system can handle and if any upgrades should be made. In the meantime, it may be a good idea to unplug a light or any other devices that might be using a problematic outlet.

The Power Regularly Goes Out

If the power goes out in your house on a regular basis, there could be a problem with the home’s circuit breaker. This could be especially true if only certain parts of your residence are left without power at any given time. If your home still has a fuse box, a blown fuse could be the reason why the power to your washing machine or power to your master bedroom has been cut.

Generally speaking, it may be a good idea to upgrade from a fuse box to a circuit breaker if your house does not have one already. In some cases, a widespread power outage could lead to a blown fuse or issues with your circuit breaker if lights, appliances, or other items were on when the outage occurred.

There Is a Burning Smell Near an Outlet

A burning smell coming from an outlet likely means that a wire or something else near it has melted. This could mean that something is overheating, and if nothing is done, there is an increased risk of a fire. Electrical issues are one of the most common causes of house fires, so it is important to have a professional come to your home if you smell something unusual.

You See a Spark When Turning On a Light

Sparks can indicate that there are issues with either a wire or an outlet. Generally speaking, the presence of a spark means that electricity is not following the path that it was designed to take. At a minimum, you could expose yourself to a small or moderate electric shock that may result in serious injuries. Furthermore, your children or pets could be put at risk if they were to somehow turn a light on.

You Just Bought Several New Appliances

While a new washing machine or refrigerator could make it easier to live a modern lifestyle, it could also overwhelm your electric system. This could be especially true if you have bought several appliances at once or have purchased appliances such as a dishwasher that your home has not had in the past. An inspection can also be a good idea if you are buying appliances for a house that you have just moved into, as it can be difficult to anticipate how its electrical grid will handle them.

You See Signs of a Rodent Infestation

Rodents such as mice and rats like to chew on wires, and this can lead to shorts and other issues that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. Signs of a rodent infestation could include strands of hair, droppings, or the sound of something running in the walls.

It will likely be necessary to take care of the rodent infestation before you can take steps to fix chewed wires or similar problems. This is because mice and other animals can multiply quickly in a home. Therefore, any steps taken to fix an electrical issue may not last for long.

It is also important to keep in mind that domestic animals such as cats and dogs like to chew on wires. Babies and small children also have a dangerous habit of putting things in their mouths without much thought about what could happen to them. If possible, try to keep wires hidden or out of reach of anything that could find them attractive.

You Have Made Improvements to Your Home

In many communities, you will need to have your house inspected one or more times when making upgrades to your attic, garage, or basement. You may also need to obtain permits to remodel a bathroom or to add an addition to your property. Even if you are not required to get an inspection as part of a home improvement project, it is generally a good idea to get one anyway.

If nothing else, it can give you peace of mind that you have installed new light fixtures or electrical outlets correctly. It can also give your spouse, children or anyone else who lives in the home the peace of mind that comes with knowing that a home is wired correctly.

You Want to Sell Your Home

If you are planning on putting your home on the market in the near future, it can be a good idea to have the entire property inspected. Finding out about potential issues before the house is listed gives you time to fix them, which can make it easier to sell the property in a timely manner. In most cases, you will need to disclose any issues with the home before it is sold, so there is a good chance that a buyer will learn about them and ask that they are remedied.

At Brennan Electric, we can install generators, surge protectors, and other products that help to ensure that your house always has a steady supply of power. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help to meet your needs in the Seattle area.

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