More Blog Posts About Electric Panels and Distribution:

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

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

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

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

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

  6. What is the right electric wire size for a home?

  7. What is a double tap at a circuit breaker?

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

  9. How dangerous is old electrical wiring?

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

  11. What is a three-way switch?

  12. How do the new tamper-resistant electric receptacles work?

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

  14. I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. Do you check for it?

  15. What is a split bus electric panel?

  16. Is an ungrounded receptacle/outlet dangerous?

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

  18. What is an “open junction box”?

  19. Where are smoke alarms required to be located?

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

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

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

  23. How far apart should electric receptacle outlets be placed in a garage?

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

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

  26. Can multiple neutral or ground wires be secured under the same terminal in an electric panel?

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

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

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

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

  31. What is an open electrical splice?

  32. Why is an old fuse panel dangerous?

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

  34. What is the difference between a Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker?

  35. How can I tell if a receptacle/outlet is tamper resistant?

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

  37. Is a house required to have outdoor electric receptacles?

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

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

  40. What could cause an extremely high electric bill?

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

  42. Why are extension cords dangerous?

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

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

  45. What happens when you press the “TEST” button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?

  46. How many electric receptacles (outlets) are required in a hallway?

  47. Why does painting an electric receptacle (outlet) make it unsafe?

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

  49. What electrical hazards does a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) not protect against?

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

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

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

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

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

  60. What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?

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Welcome to our blog!
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.

    A GFCI is designed to trip when it recognizes that some the electricity leaving the receptacle is not returning back, and someone could be getting shocked or even electrocuted because of it. All receptacles in wet locations such as kitchens, bathrooms, garage, and exterior are required to be GFCI-protected. Because the first receptacle in a string of them running around the home will protect all the ones downstream if it is a GFCI, builders put a GFCI-receptacle in one bathroom, for example, and it protects receptacles in other bathrooms around the house that do not have the push-buttons. Sometimes a GFCI-receptacle in the garage will protect all the bathrooms in a home. So go around your home looking for GFCI-receptacles to see if the top button is popped out. If so, then push it in to reset the GFCI-device and open the circuit and you may—possibly, just possibly—have solved your dead bathroom receptacle mystery.

    To learn more about GFCI-receptacles, go to our blog post Why does that wall plug have push-buttons in the middle?”

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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