How To Ensure Your Home Passes An Electrical Inspection

Whether you are preparing to sell your home or are adding or renovating a room, you will need an electrical inspection. This is a must before you move ahead. Here is how to pass a home electrical inspection:

What Is An Electrical Inspection?

The most thorough inspections occur when electrical work is being done that requires building permits. This includes major remodeling to a kitchen or bathroom. Inspections ensure electrical codes are being followed and installation is safe. There are two times an electrical inspector will need to pay you a visit.

Rough-In Inspection

This inspection takes place after all of the electrical boxes, cables, conduit and wires have been installed. The inspection must be done before insulation is put in and the walls are closed up. The inspector needs a clear view of the wiring.

Final Inspection

This one occurs when the project is complete, and you are ready to move the furniture in. The walls are done, painting is finished, and floors are complete. Make sure the circuits are functioning, and light fixtures are hung up and connected.

What Inspectors Look For

Proper Circuits. The inspector will make sure the space has the right number of circuits to meet electrical demand. There must be dedicated circuits for each appliance that requires one, such as in the kitchen.

Circuit Protection. The inspector will check to make sure outlets have GFCI and AFCI protection where necessary. GFCI circuit protection is already required for any outlets or appliances in outdoor locations or near sources of water, such as sinks. AFCI protection must now be included on any new or remodeled electrical installation. These two important safety features help protect your home from electrical fires.

Electrical Boxes. These must be flush with the wall and large enough to fit the wire conductors they will contain. Inspectors will also check if the box is securely fastened to the device.

Heights. Inspectors will measure outlet and switch heights to make sure they are consistent. Typically, local codes require outlets to be at least 15 inches above the floor and switches at least 48 inches. The heights may be much lower for a child’s room or for accessibility.

Cables and wires. During a rough-in inspection, a professional will review how the cables are clamped in the boxes. Inspectors will look to see if cables are attached to wall studs and properly secured. They will also check for unprotected wires and wires that are damaged or frayed.

Common Mistakes People Make

Improve your chances of a successful inspection. Here are some electrical no-no’s to watch out for.

Ungrounded receptacles. These are outlets with just two slots and no hole beneath them for the ground wire. Two-prong receptacles should be upgraded to minimize the risk of fire. This can be done by installing a new ground fault circuit interrupter receptacle.

Double-tapped circuit breakers. Most circuit breakers are designed for just one wire. Connecting two wires to one circuit can lead to loose connections, arcing currents and potential fires.

Exposed light bulbs in closets. These must be fully covered or enclosed. You don’t want the heat from the bulb to start a fire.

Hazardous outlets. Outlets are required to be tamper resistant. This keeps a child from inserting an object, like a paper clip, into an outlet.

Unused openings. Openings in an electrical panel must be filled. This is required to keep shocks and sparks from escaping and critters from getting in. Filler plates made to plug the gaps can be found online.

DIY Versus Professional Work

Electrical inspections go fast when a professional has done the work. You can expect a more detailed inspection if you are doing it yourself. Inspectors want to be sure the electrical work is safe and “up to code.” Don’t worry if you make a mistake. You will be given chances to correct it.

Contact Us For All Of Your Electrical Needs

The folks at CKElectric can handle all of your electrical projects, big or small! We can help you with electrical upgrades, repairs and wiring. We serve Sykesville, Eldersburg, Frederick, and all of Central Maryland. Call us at 443-920-3078 or email us at We are happy to serve you!