|The Home Inspection Newsletter|
How Shocking is Your House?
Properly installed electrical systems are very safe and efficient. To prevent safety problems, though, you should understand the basics.
- Buy an outlet tester (three prong) and test your outlets to make sure they are grounded properly. Cost: about $8.
- Know where the main electrical disconnect is located and how to use it.
- Don't ever open the electrical panel with your right hand.
- To prevent shocks, any outlet near water (such as next to a sink), and all exterior outlets should have GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection outlets installed.
- Avoid using extension cords as permanent wiring.
- Never attempt an electrical repair unless you know exactly what you are doing.
- Never perform wiring or re-wiring work. Use a professional.
- Identify which breakers/fuses control which outlets.
- If you replace a fuse, always use the same size - 20 amp for 20 amp, 15 amp for 15 amp. Have a few spare fuses on hand
- Know how to reset a breaker. The usual procedure is: turn it off, then on. Some systems use a red indicator or an off indicator to show that a breaker has been tripped.
- Never cut or modify electrical plugs or outlets.
As your home inspector, I utilize a high tech infrared camera to see into the walls so I can see any electrical shorts and / or overloaded outlets to protect the home owner or buyer.
|Outlet tester lights indicate that there is no open neutral, no open ground, no open hot, that the hot and the neutral are not reversed, and that the hot and ground are not reversed.|