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5 Main Reasons to get an Electrical Inspection Before Buying a Home

homebuyers to get electrical inspection

Electricity is a big part of our lives today. With all the appliances and devices that require electrical power, it’s hard to imagine a life without electricity.

Whether charging your car or smartphone or cooking dinner, you want to ensure your electrical systems are safe. We often, ignore systems like plumbing,, pipes,, electricity, and wiring until something breaks.

However, unless your home is new, inspecting the electrical system is crucial because faulty or outdated wiring can pose safety hazards and may require costly repairs or upgrades.


Homebuyers may want to ensure the electrical system meets current safety standards and codes. A quick property inspection usually won’t include a comprehensive inspection of electrical systems. You will need a qualified electrician for the job.

Some specific aspects of the electrical inspection may include checking the following:

  • Condition of the wiring
  • Electrical panels, outlets, and switches
  • The presence of GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protection in areas like bathrooms and kitchens

GFCI outlets are designed to protect against electric shock in areas where water is present, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor locations. Homebuyers should verify the presence of GFCI outlets in the appropriate areas and ensure they are functioning correctly.

If issues are identified during the inspection, buyers may negotiate repairs or ask for a reduction in the sale price to account for the necessary fixes.


Homebuyers should ensure they have clauses in their purchase agreement a thorough examination of the property, including plumbing, electrics and building.

A qualified electrican should carry out an electrical inspection. A plumbing inspection by a registered plumber and a general building inspection by a registered building inspector.

When you visit an open home, be sure to take note of what you see visually.

1. Inspect the Outlets

Faulty or outdated outlets can pose safety hazards. Damaged outlets, exposed wires, or improperly installed sockets increase the risk of electric shock, fires, and other electrical accidents. Inspecting outlets helps ensure that they are in good condition and comply with safety standards.

Outlets are where we plug in all the different appliances so that they can access electrical power. Older homes may have loose outlets that do not hold the cord firmly when plugged in. The stability of the outlets should also be checked to ensure its firmness.

Some outlets might be detached from the walls. This exposes naked wires, which could lead to electrocution.


Different outlets should also be installed in other places. For example, appliances may require a,f power in the kitchen or garage. The outlets should not supply the same amount of energy as those in the bedrooms to avoid overloading personal appliances.

You can visually see the number of outlets per room and where they are located, and make a note to ask the electrician to check each outlet during the inspection and include on the report how many sockets need replacement.

2. Faulty Wiring

Faulty electrical work can lead to a range of serious consequences, including safety hazards, property damage, and increased risks of fire.

Some potential consequences of faulty electrical work include:

  • Fires
  • Electrocution
  • Property damage
  • Power outages
  • Reduced energy efficiency
  • Code violations
  • Insurance issues
  • Resale complications

Perhaps the most significant risk is the potential for electrical fires. Faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, and other electrical issues can generate heat and spark fires, which can spread rapidly and cause extensive damage.

Poorly executed electrical work may expose individuals to the risk of electric shock or electrocution. This is particularly dangerous and can result in severe injuries or fatalities.

Electrical faults can damage appliances, electronics, and other electrical devices connected to the faulty system. In some cases, the damage may extend to the structure of the property itself.

Faulty electrical components or installations may lead to power outages, disrupting daily activities and potentially causing inconvenience for the occupants.

Inefficient electrical systems may lead to energy wastage and higher utility bills. Faulty wiring, for example, can cause appliances to work less efficiently, increasing energy consumption.

Faulty electrical work that does not meet building codes and safety standards can lead to legal issues and code violations. This may result in fines or requirements for corrective action.

Insurance companies may deny coverage or increase premiums if a property has faulty electrical work, especially if it contributes to a fire or other damage. Homeowners are generally expected to maintain their property in a safe and code-compliant condition.

Properties with known electrical issues may face challenges in the real estate market. Prospective buyers may be hesitant to purchase a home with a history of electrical problems, and it can affect the property’s resale value.

3. Changes in the Electrical System

As technology advances, changes in the electrical system are inevitable. Older homes were not designed to handle the electrical needs of modern-day appliances.


Electrical codes and regulations are in place to ensure the safe installation and operation of electrical systems.

Homebuyers should check that all outlets meet current building codes. Outdated or non-compliant outlets may need to be replaced or upgraded to enhance safety and prevent potential issues.

Houses older than 30 years might be using different outlets, fuses and switches. Changing these components is necessary before moving into the new house.

4. Aesthetic Concerns

While not as critical as safety and functionality, the appearance of outlets can be important to homebuyers.

Upgrading outdated or mismatched outlets can improve the overall aesthetics of a home. You’ll need to put together a budget for replacing dated light switches, shades and sockets.

5. Future Electrical Needs

Planing for the future – what do you need to do to the new home? Your electrician can cost up smart home integration which will require smart switches, outlets, and other devices that can be controlled remotely.

Home office

The electrical system may need upgrading to accommodate the increased demand for connectivity and automation. For example, with remote working, if a home office is part of the plan, how much will it cost to ensure there are enough outlets and data ports for computers, printers, and other electronic devices? Consider installing dedicated circuits for office equipment to prevent overloading – this will be an additional cost.

Outdoor living

If you’re planning on creating a outdoor living area you’ll need an electrician to install outdoor outlets and lights for eating, landscaping, and other outdoor activities.

The outdoor outlets will need to be weatherproof and properly grounded.

Summing Up

There are many reasons for electrical inspection. Hiring an electrical to conduct a dedicated electrical systems inspection before you buy a home makes sense. You may be in a position to offer less for the home due to faulty or dated wiring or get the current owner to update the electrics as part of the sale agreement.