4 Point Inspections: A Closer Look At Your Electrical System

4 point inspections are not as comprehensive as full home inspections but they do have some unique benefits. They are often requested by insurance companies before home purchases in order to make sure that the home you’re buying, the one that they have to insure, isn’t going to be a huge liability. In turn a good report can easily lead to savings on your homeowners insurance as it shows that you’re less of a risk.
So, while a 4 point inspection isn’t as comprehensive as a full home inspection and it’s certainly not something you would want to hinge your final decision on, they can still reveal quite a lot about your home. In a prior post we covered the roofing: why it’s important and what kind of roofing issues a 4 point inspection can uncover. Now let’s take a look at another one of these points, specifically the electrical system, in greater depth.

Electrical Systems Can Cause Big Problems
You probably don’t need too much convincing that faulty electronics can lead to disastrous outcomes. They are one of the leading causes of home fires, and electrical fires are perhaps one of the greatest threats you face as a homeowner. Electrical problems can also, predictably, lead to inflated electrical bills.

A big issue with electrical systems is that, unlike your roof or your HVAC, they can appear to function normally right up until the point that they fail. The lights will come on, appliances will work as they should, there won’t be any sparks flying out of the sockets. Then, without warning, something shorts out and catches fire.

What Your Inspector Will Look For
One of the primary concerns when it comes to the electrical system is that it meets code. Everything must be properly grounded and the size of the electrical system must be in line with the size of the home. The exact specifications vary from place to place, even towns a just few miles apart can have significant differences in their codes. If the inspection indicates that it is not up to code this is often, though not always, a nonstarter for insurance companies. Really, it depends on how severe the violations are and whether they’re a matter of safety or of semantics.

Unacceptable Components
When assessing an electrical system there are some components and practices that are simply unacceptable. These include:

  • Aluminum branch wiring
  • A double-tapped breaker
  • Knob-and-tube-wiring
  • Federal Pacific Electrical Panels

to name just a few. The thing that most of these components have in common is that they are fairly old. Aluminum wiring was primarily used in the 1960s and 70s and has since fallen out of favor. Knob-and-tube-wiring fell out of use in the 1930s. You are unlikely to run into these issues if the house is relatively new, but if you’re looking at an older house be aware that they could come up and should be taken very seriously.

At Super Inspection Pros our licensed inspectors have years experience performing efficient 4 point inspections. We’ve worked with many insurance providers so we know how to tailor our reports to get you the best results possible. Please, contact us today to learn more about our inspection process or to schedule a 4 point inspection for your home.

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