The electrical service panel is the piece that controls a large portion of your home as it contains the circuit breakers for every electrical outlet and item in your entire home.
The electrical panel will be one of the items that your professional home inspector will review during our home inspection.
It can also pose a safety risk, both from the standpoint of electrocution risk and fire risk, so making sure that the panel is fully functional is important.
Service Panel Inspection
Some of the things that your home inspector will be looking for:
- Aluminum branch wiring
- Circuit breakers that are not properly sized for their load
- Sharp-tipped screws or wires that have been damaged by these types of screws
- Improper clearance. Electrical panels require minimum clearances in front, to the side, and above the box.
- Physical contact points not making good contact, which can result in arcing and potentially fire.
- Corrosion of any parts of the panels. Corrosion on wires can increase the risk of electrical arcing, which can lead to fire.
- Damage caused by rodents – including mice and rats, squirrels, or even raccoons. Rodents can chew through the wires and have even been electrocuted.
- Evidence of electrical failures, such as burned or overheated components
- Evidence of water inside the electrical panel
- Evidence of missing or improper bonding
There are also a couple of specific manufacturers that have been known to have problems with their electrical panels, and if your panel falls under one of those models, your inspector will likely note this issue.
Electrical panels are one of those things that aren’t always at the forefront of a homeowner’s mind unless you trip a breaker or are experiencing other issues. The professional inspection can let you know if there are some concerning issues that should be addressed to keep the safety of functionality of your home’s electricity optimal.