Electrical inspections can be stressful, especially if you've never dealt with one before. Although they are stressful, electrical inspections are useful and serve a purpose, which is to help protect your home and your family. If you've never dealt with an inspection and hope to get a new house or work on a remodel project, here's a simple list that you can check off as you look around your home.
1. Sufficient Circuits
Having a proper amount of circuits is crucial in a home, especially for kitchens. Each appliance pulls large amounts of power, so it is important that each appliance has it's own circuit and has the proper breaker installed. Appliances you want checked off are: Fridges, garbage disposals, ovens, and dishwashers. Also make sure your washer and dyer are on their own circuits and are getting the right amount of power. The bedrooms and living spaces are to also have their own circuits to ensure the lights and receptacles in each room are powered and will not pull power from other circuits.
2. GFCI and AFCI Protection
GFCI's are a critical part in any home, as they prevent any injuries from happening if the situation arises. GFCI's (ground-fault circuit interrupters) are checked on their location and if they're operating. GFCI's are expected to be by small kitchen appliance outlets, outdoor outlets, or any source of water and will be thoroughly checked in the final inspection. While GFCI's are always permitted in the given locations, while AFCI's (arc-fault circuit interrupters) are a newer installation in inspections. AFCI's are not permitted for every circuit, but they are still checked in the common areas, such as: hallways, living rooms, bedrooms, closets, and laundry areas. AFCI's are not required for pre-existing appliances, but new homes and remodels will need the AFCI's to be checked off their list.
3. Box Heights (Switches and Receptacles)
When having an inspector walk through your house, they may measure the heights of your switches and receptacles. This is to see if they are consistent and also at the height requirement, which is that switches must be at least 48 inches above the floor and receptacles must be at least 15 inches above the floor. Now the heights may vary for certain circumstances, such as a child's room may have the switches a few inches lower than every other room. Generally speaking, try to keep the boxes consistent.
4. Wire Labeling
This requirement can be optional depending on your city's code, but even if it's not, it's still useful to label for future use. The best way to label wires is what circuit the wires power and the amperage of each circuit, just to be sure. This makes your job easier and the inspectors job easier and quicker. This is also helpful because if you need to find a circuit in your panel, it will already be right there for you without having to flip through all of your breakers!
5. Surge Protection
This one may go overlooked by homeowners, but it is just as important as the others. Most appliances you use on a daily basis need surge protection and inspectors will be looking for isolated ground receptacles. This protection will make sure your devices never fluctuate because of power being pulled from it's circuit and also make sure it's getting the proper amount of electricity. You can also invest in whole house surge protectors or individual ones for each device, just depends on your budget and what your inspector is looking for.
6. Ask the Inspector
hen in doubt, ask the inspector! It will be helpful to know everything they're looking for personally instead of getting a broad list from online sources. Every inspector is different and by asking them for a complete list of what they will be looking at, it will help you and them.