Reasons to Get an Electrical Inspection Before Buying a Home

An electrical inspection is one of the most important steps to purchasing a home. It gives you an opportunity to ensure the property complies with National Electric Code safety standards. You also get an overview of the home’s electrical health and learn whether an electrical repair is needed. The same goes for the plumbing, foundation, roof, and other major components.

When Do You Need an Inspection?

The electrical system, its components, function, and safety should be evaluated in these circumstances:

  • Buying: If you are purchasing a home that is over 100 years old, or even a few decades, the electrical wiring could be severely deteriorated. Outdated technologies such as knob and tube wiring aren’t compatible with the electrical demands of modern appliances and devices. Before making your buying decision, it’s important to weigh any wiring and rewiring work that is necessary.
  • Selling: When selling your home, an electrical inspection determines what measures are needed to get the system up to date. Avoiding this step can reduce property value. And if you’re buying a resale home, you should have the electrical system inspected. The wiring may have been up to date when the house was built. However, additions and renovations may have involved unskilled work, raising issues such as poor installation and premature wear.

If any electrical problems are found before a sale, the seller is responsible for fixing underlying problems.

  • Renovation: Homeowners who renovate properties often add on to the original electrical construction, which presents a few challenges. One is whether the system in its current configuration can support this. An inspector can tell you whether the work can be safely done. Or, they can recommend updating major electrical components to ensure your home is safe and functional after it is renovated.

Electrical systems should accommodate a home’s current needs, leaving room for additions in the future. An insurance company may also require an inspection to assess risk when making a claim or if switching policies.

What to Expect

An electrical system inspection, which can take 1 to 3 hours, involves a comprehensive look at many components. The process covers various elements, including electrical wiring, panels, circuit breakers, safety switches, smoke alarms, and connections with devices. During a rough-in inspection, installation of electrical cables is examined as are panels, conduits, and electrical boxes. An inspector will also look for fire hazards.

A service inspection specifically looks at the service panel to see how it was installed. The inspector will check whether it is grounded and properly secured. During a final inspection, electrical breakers are examined or, if necessary, installed, to ensure the system is fully operational.


A comprehensive electrical inspection provides the following advantages:

  • Safety: Flaws in an electrical system can lead to shocks and electrocutions, shorted-out appliances, and home fires. Faulty wiring, the wrong components, incorrect installation methods, and DIY work can jeopardize safety on many levels. A knowledgeable inspector can spot any of these issues to determine how to make your home safe.
  • Prevention: An inspector can identify issues that can lead to problems in the future. The system may currently be safe. However, correcting potential trouble points now can avoid dealing with electrical failures, safety concerns, and higher costs down the line. This approach can even help an electrical system, its components, and appliances and devices last longer.
  • Wire Health: Overloaded wires, exposed metal, and loose connections can accelerate wear and create a fire hazard. Wires run throughout your home and connect to outlets, switches, lights, and various fixtures. They’re in places you don’t normally see, but a technician knows where to look for potential problems.
  • Price Negotiation: A home inspection is a useful tool in negotiating prices. If the electrical system is in poor condition, it may be possible to negotiate a lower sale price. At the very least, you can offset the price of repairs, or discuss having the seller complete repairs before you move in.

Contact CMC Service Experts

If you need a professional electrical inspection, CMC Service Experts has the knowledge and experience to examine the entire system in precise detail and provide electrical repair in Cary, Chapel Hill, or Apex. We can schedule regular inspections in your area as part of our Home Protection Plan. In addition, we are trusted for all types of home electrical services, from wiring and rewiring to panel upgrades, to home generator maintenance, outlet repair, and ceiling fan installation. Call us at 919-335-7109 to schedule an inspection or electrical service today.