Our highly trained and experienced professional home inspectors look for problems in the electrical systems of every home we inspect. It’s not only our job. It’s our mission. We want to make sure you are safe in your home.
One of the chief components of a home’s electrical system is the main distribution panel box — often called the main electrical panel. Circuit breakers in the main electrical panel are protective devices, meant to keep the wires and electrical devices in the house operating safely. When over-current conditions exist anywhere in the circuit, the breakers are supposed to “trip” — instantly turning off the power to the circuits they protect.
Overheating is another problem in residential wiring, and it can be directly related to an over-current condition. But overheating does not always “trip” a circuit breaker, and that is a problem. In a case where Aluminum wiring is present, overheating becomes problematic, because of wire sizing and because of the wiring connections.
In the photos in this post, we see a main breaker which is dangerously hot, and we also see an elevated temperature in the wires feeding the general power circuits. When Aluminum wire is used (as it was exclusively in this house), it requires a gauge (diameter) one size larger than if Copper were used. This extra size insures that the current load is safely distributed on the Aluminum wire. In this particular house, there were at least three wiring circuits present where the wires were a smaller gauge (diameter) than the current load required.
Our home inspector called for further evaluation of the entire electrical system by a licensed electrician, because there were numerous such “red flag” issues noted. Truth is: many electrical issues are of more concern to us than other types of deficiencies, because of the potential for electrical fires and shock hazards. “Better safe than sorry,” we always say.
We work for you, in finding and identifying these electrical problems. Our findings have saved hundreds of our clients thousands of dollars in costly repairs. But, more importantly, our expertise has saved folks from dangerous, hazardous conditions that would have gone undetected.
Don’t risk your family’s safety by using a less-experienced inspector, or a “one-price-fits-all” company. Cheaper companies are cheaper for a reason, and you don’t want to find that out too late.
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