The 5 Most Common Electrical Problems Home Electrical Inspectors Find

Posted on: 3 September 2015

Having your electrical system inspected is something that you should have done if your home is older, before you purchase a new home, or if you are having problems with your electrical system. The electrical system is complex, and there are many things that could be wrong with your electrical system. There are 5 common problems that an electrical inspector might find when they are inspecting your home's electrical system.

Electrical Outlets Don't Work

One of the first and easiest things that the inspector will examine are your electrical outlets. Using a specialized tool that will check to see if the electrical outlet is generating electricity that can amply and adequately supply appliances, the inspector will begin his or her work. If the outlet is not working, he or she will then check the breaker.

The electrician will check to ensure that the circuit breaker isn't tripped, as well as check if the other outlets in the room are working. If the circuit breaker isn't tripped, the other outlets are working, and the electrician's specialized tool informs the electrician that a particular outlet isn't working, it is likely that the problem is that the outlet has burnt out. You will have to have the outlet totally replaced if this is the case.

Sparking Of Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets that are working might have a few problems lined up, as well. This might include the outlet sparking. Many times this is normal. If electricity is supplied too quickly to an at-rest outlet, it might generate static electricity, which can cause a spark.

However, the inspector should be able to determine if the cause is due to too much heat build-up. If this is the case, you have a problem on your hands. Too much heat can melt the insulation around the wires in the outlet, which can lead to electrical fires.

There are many other reasons, some of small concern like loose screws, that your electrical outlets could be sparking.


An electrical inspector will also make sure that your appliances are in working order. A failing appliance is no concern for an electrical inspector, but he or she may be concerned that the appliance itself is leading to some sort of failure in the integrity of your electric system. If you have appliances that are constantly causing the circuit breaker to trip, allow the inspector to know. He or she can investigate the appliances and make sure that they are not too high wattage for your electrical system, which can cause an overall failure at worst and, at best, will serve to continue to trip your breaker.

Bulb Burnout

This can be the sign of a serious problem and you should definitely let your electrical inspector know if this is something that you have been experiencing over the course of some time.

Often times bulb burnout is due to the fact that the wattage of the bulb is too great for the fixture to handle. However, this can become more serious, akin to the electrical outlet issue, where too much heat generated by the fixture is causing the bulb to burn out and the insulation around the fixture's wiring to melt, which paves the way for electrical fires.

Flickering Lights

Your inspector should be committed to checking all of the lights in your house. Let him or her know if you have problems with any flickering lights in the house. A flickering light problem is probably due to a bad connection, and as such, an electrical inspector can discover the root of the problem.

An electrical inspector can provide you with an invaluable service. He or she can make sure that you are not putting yourself in a dangerous position by continuing to live with a situation which puts you at risk due to unsafe electrical wiring. If any serious issues with your electrical system are found, be sure to have them repaired as soon as possible. Find more information on the services electricians can find by contacting an electrical contractor in your area.