Electrical Questions When Buying or Selling a House

electrical questions real estate home inspectionReal Estate Home Inspection

Your client is ready to sell their home, but it turns out the house has aluminum wiring and open ground. Will the house need to be rewired before selling?

We often receive questions like this from realtors about how to handle electrical problems when buying or selling a home. In this article, we clarify minimum requirements and best practices when it comes to electrical work while selling a home. We understand that it’s important to both maximize value on the home and to uphold legal, ethical and safety standards in the interest of all parties. See these Frequently Asked Questions to better understand your options when it comes to electrical issues, especially in older homes.

Real Estate Electrical Inspection FAQ’s

The only fixes that are mandatory after a home inspection are:

  • ones that present a safety issue with the electrical system,
  • and also items that your homeowners insurance have stressed would be an issue and need to be corrected in order to be covered.

Most items on an electrical inspection will just be a general check of the condition of the panels, breakers, wiring and grounding. Most items that are pointed out are certain panels that are deemed safety issues, along with any wiring issues. Some wiring issues are double tapped breakers, neutral bars and even ground bars. Those items are easily fixed.

Other items will be testing all areas that contain switches and receptacles (even outdoor receptacles) and other accessible locations that have power such as the air handler, HVAC unit outdoors, water heater, garbage disposal and dishwashers.

How to Make Aluminum Wiring Safe

Aluminum wiring is safe. The biggest issue it creates is the fact it expands and contracts within the box for a switch and receptacle and causes issues at the terminal where it connects to these items.  Copper does not do this, so that is why we use Alumiconn connectors to transfer from aluminum to copper. Inside the breaker panel, as long as the breakers are CU/AL certified, then aluminum can be terminated on those breakers.

Open ground means either the receptacle has a loose ground, or it is an older house that only has a two-wire system where a ground is not included, which is common in houses that are pre-1990.  The simple and approved fix for this is to add a GFCI breaker inside the panel to protect the entire circuit.

Cloth wiring is generally accepted by most insurance companies, and no major changes need to be done other than ensuring the integrity of those wires are sound and not a safety issue.  We often provide GFCI protection to these circuits as the majority do not have a ground.  The only cloth wiring that is required to be changed is the feeder wires that provide power to the panel.  The large majority of insurance companies will not insure a house with those wires.

Electrical Inspector Near Me

If you are looking for a reputable electrician company to conduct an Electrical Inspection, turn to the name Central Florida has trusted for over six decades. Palmer Electric can provide a comprehensive residential, commercial, or industrial electrical inspection with a detailed report of our findings at your request. For a free estimate, call us at (407) 646-8700.

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