Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). The National Electrical Code (NEC), requires a GFCI in bathrooms, garages, outdoors, basements, crawl spaces, kitchens, laundry rooms, and in close proximity to sinks. The two best ways to test for GFCI protection are to use the test and reset buttons on the GFCI itself or to use a three-pronged tester that has a GFCI test button. Meeting GFCI code for selling a home can be as simple as installing some GFCI outlets.
Grounded Outlet. NEC requires all three-pronged outlets to be grounded. The easiest way to test this is with the same three-pronged tester we used on the GFCIs. The tester will indicate if there is power and if the outlet is properly wired and grounded. There are several corrective actions that may be taken, depending on the home’s wiring.
Open Air Splice. Open air splice is a term used when a junction or splice is made but not contained within a junction box. These are typically located in attics and crawl spaces, usually taped up into an amalgamation of jumbled wires. To correct this issue the old splice should be taken apart and installed in a proper junction box. Depending upon the amount of wire available after the original junction is dismantled, this may include multiple junction boxes.
Federal Pacific or Zinsco Panel. These name brands are leading cause of home fires; ergo, these are a red flag to inspectors. Many insurers will not insure new purchases until a Federal Pacific or Zinsco panel is replaced. The only remedy to is to have a new panel and breakers installed.
Service Entrance Cables. A cracked or frayed service entrance cable allows easy access for water to enter your electrical system. This can cause some serious problems, and the cable should be replaced as soon as possible.
Smoke Detectors. If your smoke detectors are yellow, chances are they were not manufactured that way. Factory recommends full replacement of smoke detectors every ten years and battery replacement twice a year. Most smoke detectors have no indication as to when they are bad so if your smoke detectors are old, make the safe choice and install new smoke detectors.
Inoperable Switches and Outlets. Every house has that one mystery switch that seems to not control anything or that one outlet that never worked. Believe it or not these small issues can cause hang-ups in the selling process. Inspectors will note inoperable switches and outlets on their report. Typically some trouble shooting is required to identify and make these switches and outlets operable. A good rule of thumb is if its installed it should work.
Being proactive gives you an edge when selling your home. Radle Electric can provide free estimates for many inspection findings by simply viewing your inspection report.
By: Jake Deckard, Supervisor, Homeowner Maintenance Division