The electrical system is one of the 4 major things that our certified home inspector will assess during your home inspection. Not only can problems with this system be very expensive to fix but defects of this kind can also be dangerous to live around. This article will lay out common problems that we come across. Please do not attempt to delve into your electrical system as our inspectors are highly trained and wear safety equipment like glasses/gloves during this portion of their inspection.


Bushings/Fittings around wires entering into service boxes

Wires Secured where necessary

Proper Grounding of Wires and Service Boxes

Properly Sized Breakers/Conductors

Type and Size of Wiring Used: Copper/Aluminum

Able to


Use of Paste on Aluminum Wiring

Dual Rated Lugs to Secure both Types of Wiring (Aluminum and Copper)

Checking for loose or disconnected wires

Look for damaged wires

No foreign materials, especially combustible in nature

No wires allowed to cross the bus bar

Checking for double lugging

Checking Exposed Conductors

Dissimlar wires double lugged

Bonding of Ground and Neutral

Floated Neutrals in Subpanels

Proper brand of breakers within panel

Approved Breaker Ties or Straps

No gaps or open spaces greater than 3mm at edge of the cabinet or cutout box, it should be flush with the

Approved knockout filler plates, no unused openings

Grounds separated from neutral in subpanel

Main disconnect for anything more than 6 throws of a hand


Bedrooms must be AFCI protected (lights, plugs, fans, etc)

Anything after 2005

Bathroom, Kitchens suppose to be GFI

Locations subject to dampness needs to be provide GFCI protection

Circuit modifications must be clearly identified legibly

Amperage size should be labeled on the panel, if not on the panel, it should be on the main breaker or on the side of the panel label


No openings in a circuit panel not being used to avoid things getting in

Check for overheated wires from using a wire not rated for the electricity going through it

No Aluminum branch circuit wires (Smaller Wires)

Make sure panel is not hot- Electrical inspection stops if this is found

Inspector is not required to remove the panel cover



Non Contact Voltage Detector




Using 3 prong outlets without grounding adding false sense of safety

Open Ground- potentially expensive fix to find where ground has been dropped

Open Neutral

Reverse Polarity (Hot & Neutral Reversed)

Neutral is Hot

Hot and Ground Reversed

GFCI light on but no power – Line & Load Reversed

Dead Outlets or Inoperable

Problems we don’t find

-Wires too short

-Why an outlet is not functioning properly


All Wires should be wrapped clockwise around a screw


GFCI may control lights and falsely indicate not working lights or outlets, must reset the gfci circuit

Soft tripping or buzzing outlets should be replaced



Aluminum wiring contracts/expands, vibrates as well as heats & cools that can loosen connections

Grounding at metal boxes: Device (outlet) and the box need to be grounded


IC Rated recessed lights. Allowed to have insulation packed against fixture or not. Heat sensors built into fixture, too big of a light bulb can cause intermittently working light.


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