You’ve just acquired your dream fixer upper and you're excited to get started. You envision an open concept or perhaps you’re looking to move some rooms around for a better flow. Before you start kicking down walls and sledge hammering your way through the house, it’s always a good suggestion to hire an electrician to do a complete home electrical inspection. As many HGTV viewers have witnessed, you just never know if (K&T) knob and tube or faulty electrical wiring is powering the home. Home sellers are not required to provide an electrical inspection and your general home inspection only entails a visual assessment of the electrical. This can often lead to surprises since many electrical issues are found once the framing is exposed.
A Got Watts electrical inspection includes:
A Got Watts Electrical Safety Inspection is a full blown assessment of the electrical systems throughout the home. Our estimator goes room by room, pops his head into any attic or crawl space, opens each panel and a few outlets and/or switches - inspecting the wiring and health of the connections and looking for any known issues or hazards that require correction. From there, the inspector will put together a thorough color-coded report detailing the good, the bad and the ugly. This report is accompanied by an estimate for all repair work called out in the inspection report (along with a credit based on the inspection fee and total cost of the estimate).
Can I apply the cost of the electrical safety inspection to work performed?
Absolutely. We apply a credit toward the quoted repair work found during the inspection. It’s based on a sliding scale with 50% of the inspection fee credited to estimates totalling $1000-2500, and 100% of the inspection fee is credited to estimates.
If you've recently purchased an Eichler, looking to purchase one or have owned one for many years and are ready to renovate, we're excited for you. Got Watts is just a phone call away to help you get started. Here are a few things to expect when you begin an Eichler renovation.
Eichler homes were not built with access areas like attics, crawl spaces or basements, therefore the electrical wiring is run underneath the home’s slab, as well as across the roof and within the wall panels. After years of exposure to elements such as moisture from leaking pipes, roof drains or sprinkler systems, the thin tubing around the wiring can corrode and develop grounding issues and failure. We will provide a full electrical inspection to identify any of these potential issues.
Eichler homes also commonly have Federal Pacific or Zinsco electrical panels which have been deemed unsafe by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). If you have either of these panels, replacement is recommended sooner than later to prevent damage to your home. You can read more about Electrical Panel Upgrades here.
Knob and Tube
Between the 1880s - 1950s, knob and tube wiring was used to power homes by running copper through tubes that connected to porcelain knobs. The design functioned well for many years as our electrical usage needs were much lower; however, as our power consumption grew the design could no longer safely handle powering homes due to not having ground wire incorporated into the electrical system.
Per the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors in 2014:
"Ground wires protect you and your home in the event of a short circuit or other fault by redirecting electricity to the ground via the wire, rather than through you. Without these in place, the risk of fire and electrical overload increases."
Insurance companies typically will not insure a property with knob and tube due to the increased fire risk.
In some cases knob and tube wiring is next to or sandwiched between insulation, this traps heat from the wiring over time potentially causing an electrical fire.
It is recommended not to try and figure out if you do have knob and tube yourself. Please hire a professional, as the risk of electrocution is higher than with proper electrical wiring.