Electricity is one of the most important aspects to a home. Without proper electricity, a number of amenities would be affected. We would not be able to use lights, appliances, computers, air conditioners, some cable and phone systems, and even our heaters or hot water heaters. When you are considering a new home purchase, it is valuable to check the home electrical systems to ensure your needs are met.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when checking the electrical systems of a new home…

  1. Know what to expect. An electrical system includes incoming power lines, the electric meter, the service panel, subpanels, household wiring, electrical boxes, the receptacles or outlets, switches, appliances, lights, and extra equipment used for home entertainment or communication. These should all be included in a new home.
  2. Ask for the age of the electrical system. There have been a number of upgrades through the years. It is important to know how old the electrical system is so that you can ensure it is up to code for the house you are buying. Older systems might need to be replaced to handle your electrical needs and this could become quite costly.
  3. Check with the Electric Company or previous owners for an estimate on their electric bill. Although you might use more or less electric then the current occupants, you can get a general idea of what to expect.
  4. Consider how you will use each room. Make sure there are proper outlets and switches to fit your needs. You do not want to set up your home office and realize you have no phone or internet connection to access. And, if you are building a new construction home, it is a lot cheaper to make these adjustments before the house is complete.
  5. Check and existing light switches and outlets to make sure they work properly. A common problem is a switch that does nothing or an electrical outlet that is not functional. These are issues that should be cleared up before buying the house.
  6. Make sure the electrical system is sized to handle the electricity amount that you plan to use. An average amp size is 100 or 200 but larger homes could require up to 400 amps. Having the correct size electrical unit will prevent future “blown fuses” when a larger amount of electricity is suddenly needed.
  7. Insure that the electrical box is properly labeled. In the event that a circuit needs to be reset, you will want to know which breaker to switch. You do not want to be left cold and in the dark without a clue as to how to reinstate your lights and heat.
  8. And, finally, BE SAFE! Electrical systems are required to pass building codes. This increases the safety of you and your family. Circuit breakers prevent fires, Ground fault circuit breakers protect from electrical shocks, and smoke alarms alert occupants of an emergency. These should all be incorporated and working correctly in your new home.

Guaranteeing the electrical system is accurate to your needs and working efficiently is an important and valuable process when purchasing a home. You do not want to be stuck paying high costs for electrical fixes or attempting the “Do it yourself” method. Be sure to use these helpful tips to make certain you are not left in the dark!