Consider Hiring A Residential Electrician To Do An Inspection On An Older Home Before You Buy It
If you're buying a home, you'll probably have a home inspection as a condition of getting a mortgage. This inspection usually covers a check of the home's electrical system. This is a general check and not comprehensive, so you may still feel uneasy about the electrical system if the home is old and the outlets seem sparse and outdated.
If that's the case, consider hiring a residential electrician to do a separate electrical inspection. Here's why an electrical inspection is a good idea.
Old Electrical Systems Can Be Outdated
An electrical system installed decades ago wasn't made for modern electrical needs. Once you move into your home, you may be frustrated over the lack of outlets and other problems. You may trip circuit breakers and have to share outlets because you can't run everything at once like you did in your previous home.
The electrician can point out issues that will probably be problems due to your system being outdated even if they're not technically safety issues. You may need upgrades like a new electrical panel, more outlets, and GFCI protection in some rooms. This might be a significant investment, but one that's necessary if you want to install a hot tub, EV charger, or tankless water heater.
You'll want to know before you close on the house if you want to upgrade the system or put up with the frustrations of living with outdated electrical service.
An Old System Can Be Hazardous
If you have to overload circuits to get power where you want it, you could create a fire hazard in your home. If you rely on a lot of extension cords because there aren’t enough outlets, you can increase the risk of fire and create trip hazards. The house might even have old aluminum wiring that is no longer used because it’s a fire hazard.
If you buy a house with an electrical system that is potentially hazardous, you may not have peace of mind until you've had the system upgraded. The residential electrician may be able to give you a rough cost since the price might affect your decision to buy.
An Old Electrical System Probably Isn't Up To Code
Electrical codes are upgraded occasionally to make your home as safe as possible. The new codes apply to new construction homes and renovations. As long as the electrical system isn't upgraded, you aren't required to comply with new codes. New codes are made for safety reasons, so it's a good idea to make sure the electrical system in your home complies with current codes.
Also, if you decide to add something to your system later, it will have to be up to current codes, and that could mean you'll need to upgrade part or all of the system. That can add to the expense of having modern outlets or a new electrical panel added.