More Blogs on Similar Subjects:

  1. How come my generator hookup got tagged as defective by the home inspector?

  2. How can I tell if the electric outlets are grounded?

  3. Is the electric panel big enough for this house?

  4. What is the best emergency back-up generator for the power outage after a storm?

  5. Is there an adapter that can be placed on a two-slot receptacle to make it safe?

  6. My air conditioner won’t turn on. What’s wrong?

  7. How dangerous is old electrical wiring?

  8. The electric panel is marked “Trilliant” and it’s all grey plastic. Is it alright?

  9. Why do you pay so much attention to electrical safety?

  10. Why does that wall plug have push-buttons in the middle?

  11. Does this place have one of those “bad” electric panels I’ve heard about?

  12. What is knob-and-tube wiring?

  13. What is the life expectancy of a circuit breaker?

  14. What is a three-way switch?

  15. Can an electric panel be mounted sideways-horizontally?

  16. How far apart should the electrical receptacles be placed?

  17. My circuit breaker won’t reset. What’s wrong?

  18. My bathroom electric receptacle/outlet is dead, and there is no tripped breaker in the electric panel. What’s wrong?

  19. What is a “missing twistout” at an electric panel?

  20. What is an “open junction box”?

  21. What is reversed polarity at an outlet/receptacle? Why is it dangerous?

  22. How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be placed?

  23. How can I figure out what a mystery wall switch does?

  24. What is the switch on the wall with only two pushbuttons for?

  25. What are those strange looking wall switches in houses from the 1950s and 1960s?

  26. What is a lock device on a circuit breaker for?

  27. Will the electric company remove branches rubbing against the overhead service lines to my home?

  28. Why are Zinsco and Sylvania-Zinsco electric panels a problem?

  29. What is the life expectancy of electrical wiring in a house?

  30. How can adding wood paneling or a wainscot create an electrical safety hazard?

  31. What are the most common electrical defects found in a home inspection?

  32. What is an open electrical splice?

  33. Why is an old fuse panel dangerous?

  34. What does it mean when a wire is “overstripped” at a circuit breaker?

  35. What is the difference between “grounded” and “grounding” electrical conductors?

  36. What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)?

  37. Will a GFCI receptacle that is not grounded still function properly?

  38. Does a home inspector remove the electric panel cover plate and examine the inside of the panel?

  39. What are the most common defects with over-the-range microwaves?

  40. Can an electric panel be located over stairs?

  41. What are the code requirements for NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable or Romex®) in an attic?

  42. How can I change a 240V circuit to a 120V circuit?

  43. Can old electrical wiring go bad inside a wall?

  44. How do I trace and identify each circuit breaker in my electric panel to make a circuit directory?

  45. Why are extension cords dangerous?

  46. What problems does having too many electrical outlets on a single circuit cause?

  47. How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?

  48. When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required?

  49. What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers?

  50. How can I tell if the electrical service is 3 phase or single phase?

  51. What is the building code requirement for receptacle outlets at stairs and stair landings?

  52. Can a home surge protector be installed loose in the bottom of an electric panel box?

  53. Can a bare bulb “lampholder” light fixture be installed outdoors?

  54. Can you add circuit breakers by different manufacturers to an electric panel if they fit?

  55. When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?

  56. What is the difference between an electrical receptacle, an outlet, and a plug?

  57. Should I buy a house near a high-voltage power line?

  58. What is a “while-in-use” weatherproof electrical receptacle outlet cover?

  59. Why is it unsafe to bond neutral and ground wiring at subpanels?

  60. Are wall light switches required to be “up” for “on” and “down” for “off”?

  61. What is the maximum number of circuit breakers allowed in an electric panel?

  62. Why do home inspectors get so picky about calling out minor electrical safety defects?

  63. Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit?

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We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

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   The letters “TR” embossed on the front of an outlet indicates that it has the required tamper-resistant feature. An additional benefit of the new, safer receptacles is that those annoying little plastic receptacle caps are no longer necessary for newer homes with small children.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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