The electrical system of a residential home has the most rules and codes out of any other system.  Rightfully so, electricity is inherently dangerous, especially to folks who are unfamiliar or lack proper training in working with electricity.  In this two month series of articles we will talk about the most common defects that we find during home inspections, break it down in to simple terms and talk a little bit about how easy most of these are fixed.

Electrical service.  This section deals with the power as it enters the home.  There are two types, overhead and underground service entrances.  Overhead entrances are typically found on older homes and as such, we typically find more problems with these services.  Most are age related and simply need updates. The common items we find are poor penetrations where the service enters the home (typically through the roof), we all know that electricity and water don’t go together well and if not dealt with promptly can create a shock hazard and also deteriorate other components of the electric system.  The other item we often find is deteriorated wiring or sheathing. This is due to age, as the materials wear from inclement weather and sunlight they break down and will need repairs. The good news is this usually a simple repair from an electrician and can typically be completed for less than $800.

Distribution wiring-  This section deals with power as it travels around the home via the wiring system.  Often times there are joints in the system known as splices or connections, and these connections are required to be made in what is called a junction box.  Often times we find these connections just out in the open without a box, or the box is there and is missing the cover plate. These two items are the most common defects we find, and are something we call out in report as needed repairs.  These wires normally have power running through them, and if not protected by a box and cover plate can pose a shock hazard. Another easy fix on these items, depending on the number of occurrences you can expect an electrician to charge $100-$200 for repair.

Next month we will discuss outlets and fixtures, electrical panels, and more.  Have questions? Feel free to contact us at Top To Bottom Services, LLC. at (301)938-9100 or email us at