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Do I Need an Electrical Inspection or Tune-Up?

Air conditioning master entering malfunction.

You probably don’t give much thought to the electricity in your San Marcos, TX, home––until it goes out or you have a problem with it. If that’s the case, you’re in a majority. But is it safe to only think about it on these few occasions, or should your home’s electrical system be part of your overall regular home-maintenance plan? Do you need an annual home electrical inspection? What about a tune-up? Our professionals at Dean’s Shop recommend thinking about it a little more often but only scheduling an electrical inspection and tune-up under certain conditions.

Why an Electrical Inspection and Tune-Up Are Important

An electrical inspection for your home examines your home’s entire electrical system to be sure it meets legal safety standards. The inspection certifies that all systems, wiring, and components, like your home’s appliances, are up to legal snuff. All electricians operate under the National Electric Code (NEC) when conducting inspections, which delineates the parameters for minimum standards across the U.S. Since most things in your home run with electricity and, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one of the top five reasons for house fires is electrical distribution/electrical failures, it’s more important than ever to have a complete inspection of your home’s electrical system.

An electrical tune-up, on the other hand, typically only refers to tuning up your electrical panel. The panel isn’t something that changes often, so a tune-up isn’t required unless there’s a specific reason to think you might need one. Some reasons to think about a tune-up would be water leaks in the vicinity of your panel, improper wiring, your panel being underpowered or crowded, tripping and blowing fuses, or a poorly manufactured panel. These are all potentially dangerous situations, and a tune-up would be in order to correct them to keep you and your home safe.

When you schedule a home electrical inspection, generally these are the things to expect a licensed electrician to check:

  • Your electrical panel for proper operation, amps, and labeling (a tune-up may be recommended)

  • All arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs)

  • Appropriate surge protection

  • Wall outlets and switches

  • Grounding systems

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, both placement and testing/condition

  • Outdoor electrical systems

  • Possible shock or electrocution situations

  • Security and safety lighting

  • Appropriate light bulb wattage

  • Appropriate wiring of major appliances

Upon completion of either your inspection or tune-up, you should receive a detailed analysis, in the form of a report, of what your electrician concluded or performed. From here you can discuss repairs or replacements that may need to be made.

When to Schedule One

A home electrical inspection or tune-up isn’t necessary annually, like an HVAC inspection or tune-up. As far an inspection, our professionals recommend only scheduling one every five years or under the following circumstances, whichever comes first:

  • Your home is forty years old or older.

  • You’re purchasing a new home.

  • You’re having a major renovation done to your home.

  • You’re adding a new appliance.

As far as an electrical tune-up, as mentioned above, there are specific times you should get one. It’s not an annual recommendation.

Don’t put off getting a home electrical inspection or tune-up if your home meets any of our recommended reasons to have one. Electricity is nothing to ignore. The results could be potentially dangerous, or, worse, even deadly. Call one of our Dean’s Shop licensed electricians at 512-353-4770 to schedule your inspection or tune-up today.

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