Electrical issues are becoming more commonplace



Old and faulty wiring is becoming more of an issue in people’s homes due to ongoing lockdowns.

Experts say that electrical problems are emerging more because the remote work and education trends mean that more people are using devices at home for longer, and that is putting additional strain on old fuse boxes and fraying wires.

The Washington Post reported that most electricians consider any systems that are older than 1980 to be the most likely to experience problems. It’s an expensive problem too, with the costs for upgrading such a system rising to $25 to $30 per hour to replace a receptacle, for instance. Bigger tasks such as rewiring a single outlet can run up to $200, while a completely new, rewired electrical system can cost upwards of $300, the Post noted.

That is a problem for buyers too, because with today’s market firmly in favor of sellers, most are unable to have the negotiating power to ask the seller to repair any problems with their home first.

“Buyers don’t have the luxury to reject an old house in this market,” Catarina Bannier, a sales associate with Compass in Chevy Chase, Md., told the Post. “With lean inventory and multiple offers, buyers aren’t taking the chance of losing competitiveness by adding contingencies, even ones as ordinary as an inspection clause. A few years ago, I had a buyer who walked away because of an electrical problem, but I doubt I’d see that now.”

Bannier’s colleague Rebecca Weiner said that buyers would do better to consider a pre-offer inspection on the home they’re interested in – with the seller’s consent – before submitting any offer.

“A pre-offer inspection lets you know what you’re buying, what fixes you’ll have to make, and, generally, will make you feel more comfortable about the state of the house,” Weiner said. “If you’re out a few hundred dollars, it’s a risk worth taking and the cost of doing the business of buying a house.”

Home inspectors say that pre-inspections are limited inspections primarily used to determine the age of the furnace, air conditioners and water heater and things like that. It’s only during a full inspection, which usually comes once an offer has been accepted, that they will test wall outlets and verify things such as that the circuit breakers are properly matched and that they correspond to the electric wire sizes.

The Post reported that some of the most common issues with electrical systems include the overloading of outlets and safety hazards from aluminum wiring, which is most often found in older homes. In addition, many older homes do not use the safer three-prong outlets that help to ground the electricity supply. Instead, most properties older than 10 years use two-prong outlets that are associated with an increased risk of fires and electric shocks if they malfunction.

About Mike Wheatley

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at mike@realtybiznews.com.