There are a number of situations that are appropriate for an electrical inspection, the most critical being at the first sign of a potential problem. Electricraft, Inc., the electricians in San Luis Obispo, always stress “safety first.” Anytime you notice any of the following, it is time for an inspection:
- Flickering light: Lighting that dims or flickers during can indicate a problem in the circuit. An electrician can test the circuit and make the necessary repairs.
- Strange smell: New appliances sometimes give off a slight smell as light oil or duct is burned off. If the smell continues, there may be a problem with the appliance. A smell of burning around electrical outlets or from a fuse box is definite sign of a problem. Turn off the power and call an electrician.
- Hot switches or sockets: A switch or outlet that gets warm even if there is no electrical device attached may have a wiring problem. Don’t use it and have it checked.
- Tripping circuit breakers: Fuses and circuit breakers are designed to trip whenever the power load is too high. This is a built in safety feature. When circuit breakers trip routinely it is time for an inspection to determine the cause and make the necessary repairs.
- Strange noises such as buzzing or humming could be a sign of faulty wiring or a defective appliance. If you hear sounds coming from outlets, sockets, wiring or electrical fixtures, call and electrician.
- Rooms that have water supplies such as bathrooms and kitchens need special ground fault circuit interrupters (CFGIs). Water is an electrical conductor and the special sockets are necessary to prevent injury and fire. These sockets have two buttons in the middle. If your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or other room with a water supply does not have CFGIs, call an electrician.
- Anytime sparks or smoke appear, turn off the power and call an electrician.
- Too many extension cords means you need more outlets and maybe even some rewiring. You are in danger of overloading your current electrical circuits.
These conditions are safety issues that need immediate attention to prevent fire or possible electrocution. Other times for an electrical inspection include:
- Before starting a remodel. An electrical inspection makes sure the new outlets and fixtures are installed in the right places and that your current system will support new wiring.
- After DIY electrical work as a safety precaution to make sure the work is safe and is in accordance with building codes.
- Older homes that are 30 years old or more should be inspected every few years to replace old wiring that is failing and to stay ahead of emergencies. A good inspection is the time to get an estimate and timeline for updating the wiring and other electrical components.
- Before buying, especially if you are not comfortable with the inspection that was done.
- After storm damage to be sure any leaks or flooding has not damaged your electrical system.
- Any sudden or recurring problem is a safety issue, as listed above, and requires an electrician.
- Sometimes, insurance companies require an electrical inspection.
Always call a licensed and trained electrician. San Luis Obispo’s Electricraft, Inc. has been providing residential and commercial electrical services since 1984. Electricraft’s electricians are skilled in all aspects of electrical wiring, electrical services, solar installation, and public agency projects.