Real Estate Agents and Home Electrical Inspections
Why is the Electrical Code so important when Selling a Home and having a Home Inspection? Home Inspections and Electrical Code Violations, Deciding what to do if a home inspection discovers electrical problems.© By: Dave Rongey
Electrical Codes and Home Inspections
Electrical Question: Why is the Electrical Code so important when Selling a Home and having a Home Inspection?
- The inspector told the buyers that the electrical box needed to be grounded, and the seller has agreed to do this, however the buyers have assumed this means to increasing the 100 amp service panel to a 200 amp service panel.
- After explaining that the two are very different, the buyers demanded that the home needs 200 amp to be sold.
- The home size is only 1200 sq ft.
- They are afraid when they put a dishwasher in or their kids use their computers, there will not be sufficient power, or “juice” as they say.
- I am a real estate agent and I am going through a very hard time explaining what is meant by the electrical code.
This electrical wiring question came from: Clarice, a Other from Seaford, New York.
Thanks for your electrical code question Clarice.
Home Inspection and Electrical Code Violations
Home inspections help by reporting the condition of the home as it relates to building codes. If the home has conditions that are not up to code then these items should be identified for the buyers protection. In some cases a system or equipment may also be found that will need to be repaired or replaced as well. The following may be helpful when deciding what to do if a home inspection discovers electrical problems.
- Home Inspection Report
- With this specific question, rather than trying to educate the buyer, I would stick to what the inspection report is asking for, after all, the licensed or certified home inspector is the authority, so just have the earth ground installed as requested may take care of this item.
- The Cost of an Electrical Upgrade
- It appears that the buyer is attempting to arrange a free service upgrade for the price of installing a ground system.
- For example installing a ground rod and bonding it to the panel may cost about $200 compared to installing a 200 amp service which could be about $1000 or more.
- Electrical Circuits
- I do not believe that adding a dishwasher and a computer will cause a 1200 square foot home to overload a 100 amp service, however a complete list of the circuits and electrical loads would help make this determination.
- Electrical Panel Size
- Chances are that the home already has a dishwasher circuit, depending on the age of the home, however all of these factors should be identified in order to justify increasing the size of the main electric service panel.
More about Home Electrical Panels and Grounding
- House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
- This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
- Electrical Panel Circuit Listing
- Electrical Grounding Methods and Requirements
- Listing of electrical codes for grounding with examples of electrical grounding codes for home electrical wiring.
- Electrical Code Articles
- Electrical Code Directory covering AFCI circuit, electrical-boxes, electrical-circuit, electrical-code-outlets
- electrical GFCI, electrical-grounding, electrical-project, electrical-services
- electrical-underground, electrical-wiring, electrical-wiring-code, lighting-code, smoke-detector
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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