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Most Common Errors Found During Electrical Home Inspections

The most common errors found in electrical home inspections include miswired switches, ungrounded receptacles, overused extension cords, and more. Electrical home inspections are a vital part of protecting your electrical systems from costly damages or safety hazards. 

Are you a homeowner looking to hire an electrician for an electrical inspection in the Harford County, MD, area? Do you want to know what issues to look for with your own electrical system? 

In this article, we will discuss the eleven most frequent errors found during electrical home inspections. Keep reading to learn all about the different issues and their signature signs. 


11 Common Electrical Problems Found in Home Inspections


A licensed electrician will identify any electrical error during a home inspection, like any miswired switches, unground receptacles, or other problems. They will have the experience and tools necessary to thoroughly look through the house’s wiring and electrical systems. 

Electrical home inspections are an important practice as they will be able to identify any potential issues and fix them before the problem becomes even bigger. You will be able to save yourself from costs and safety hazards by regularly scheduling electrical inspections. 

We will discuss the errors in greater detail below. 


1: Miswired Switches

Miswired switches can happen when wires are installed incorrectly and the polarity is reversed. This means neutral wires can be wired incorrectly, creating a shock hazard.


2: Ungrounded Receptacles

Ungrounded outlets have only two slots for plugs, whereas grounded outlets have two slots and one hole for the ground wire. Ungrounded receptacles are common in older homes. 

Grounding is a safety feature that helps redirect electric currents in the event of a short circuit or electrical fault. Without proper grounding, there is an increased risk of shock or fire. 


3: Overused Extensions Cord

Extension cords are meant for temporary use, and overusing them means you do not have enough outlets necessary for your appliances. When you permanently rely on your extension cords, you are increasing the risk of overloaded circuits or overheating. 


4: Absent or Faulty GFI Outlets

Faulty Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) outlets can frequently cause tripped circuits or no tripping at all in the case of a ground fault. This can leave you at the risk of electrocution.

Absent GFI outlets in areas close to water are also a safety risk. 


5: Improperly Buried Wiring

Improperly buried wiring can become susceptible to damage from different environmental factors like digging or the natural movement of the soil. This can expose live wires, which poses a direct risk of shock. 

Electrical wire needs to be buried at the correct depth to mitigate these risks and create a safe and reliable electrical system. 


6: Absent Smoke Alarms

Absent smoke alarms are a significant safety risk to you and your home. Ideally, there should be smoke alarms installed on every floor and outside every bedroom. If you do not have any smoke alarms, you should see to getting some installed immediately to protect your home from fire. 


7: Issues with the Service Panel

Issues with a home’s electrical service panel can include visible damage, breaker issues, corrosion and wear, inadequate labeling, and more. These issues can lead to safety hazards and electrical malfunctions.

An electrical service panel, also known as the breaker or fuse box, is a vital part of a home’s electrical system. Making sure the service panel stays in good shape can protect you and your home. 


8: Absent Covers

Your home’s electrical switches, junction boxes, and receptacles should be covered for your safety and to protect the wiring. Missing covers can pose a risk of coming in contact with live circuits. Missing covers is especially a serious issue in homes with children or pets. 


9: Double Tapped Breakers

Double-tapping occurs when two or more wires are connected to a single breaker. Single breakers are created for single wires, and double-tapping can lead to loose connections, overheating, and possible fire hazards. This can be fixed by adding additional breakers. 


10: Blocked Drip Loop

Blocked drip loops mean water can get inside your wiring. Drip loops act as protection against water, keeping it from traveling down the cords and into your outlets. If you have obstructed drip loops, this can cause major issues and these should be fixed as soon as possible. 


11: Outside Foliage Leaning on Power Lines

Outside foliage touching electrical wires is a major safety hazard. If branches touch powerlines, it can cause power outages or momentary power interruptions. In more serious cases, fallen foliage can break your power lines and create a fire and shock hazard. 


There are many different errors that can be discovered in electrical home inspections that can cause significant safety hazards. By understanding what issues to look out for, you can work together with your electrician to understand what repairs need to be made around your home. 

If you’re a homeowner in the Harford County, MD, area, you can contact JPS Electrical Services to set up an electrical home inspection. We are fully licensed and certified and offer a white glove service with exceptional craftsmanship and customer satisfaction. 

With the help of our electrical experts, you can have your home inspected and protect yourself against any electrical hazards. Call us today at (410)656-4311 or reach out to us on our website

Frequently Asked Questions


What are some of the most frequent issues in electrical installations? 

Poor electrical installations can result in common issues like wrong wiring sizes, insecure wiring, and connection issues. When hiring a professional for electrical installations, make sure you are hiring a reputable, licensed expert. 


What are some warning signs of an overloaded electrical circuit? 

Some signs of an overloaded circuit include dimming lights, buzzing outlets or switches, hot outlets or switch covers, scorched outlets, and burning odors. Watch out for these warning signs, as an overloaded circuit poses a significant fire risk.