Electrical work can be difficult. Unfortunately, sometimes homeowners and renovators will either attempt to tackle projects far beyond their skill level, or will hire unqualified unlicensed amateur electricians to do their work for them. While this will save some money in the very short term, it can be a very bad idea. But people do it anyways, and sometimes you are left wondering if the wiring is even safe. If you hired an amateur and are regretting it, or if you are looking to move into a recently renovated house and are curious about the electrical work, here are a few things you can do to determine the quality of the electrical work.
If the work was done on your own home, then there are a few obvious indicators that electrical work might have been done shoddily. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that a nonfunctioning light switch or a faulty outlet have not been assembled properly, but other problems can be harder to spot. Pay attention to smells and visual cues. If there is a burning smell, or an outlet begins to discolor, this is a very bad sign. Call an experienced and licensed electrician immediately, this could be sign that a circuit is not properly insulated or installed, and could be a major fire risk.
If you are buying a property, a complete inspection should be done before you purchase the property. However, if you are shopping around, it is useful to have the ability to perform basic examinations yourself. Keep an eye out for obvious problems such as flickering lights. Additionally, if the house has been recently remodeled, there is a chance that recent electrical work was done. Look in out of sight or somewhat hidden areas, such as under cabinets or behind furniture. If you find wires in awkward places, it might be a sign the work was done by an amateur electrician.
Another way to find out if the electrical work might not be done well is to look for documentation. If it was done in your own house then this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you are buying one it can be appropriate to figure out if any additions to the house were properly permitted. An experienced and licensed electrician will always know local building code and understand when permits will be required for work. At the end of the day, if you are worried about the quality of work, then it is best to call a professional electrician who will be able to examine any work done and verify the integrity of your electrical system.