When you are preparing to sell your house, home wiring can be an important issue. During the selling process, your house will be scrutinized and an inspection will be conducted in which the home wiring will be looked out. If it is out of date, upgrades will be necessary or it will be very difficult to sell your home.
So, where to begin with home wiring before selling a house?
Here are some things you may want to think about in getting your home wiring up to date so that your home is ready to go on the market.
Knob and Tube Home Wiring
Even though your home’s electrical system seems to be working perfectly, there could be potential dangers, especially in older homes. One of the most common electrical issues that may have to be addressed is knob and tube wiring. This type of wiring is two stranded, with a hot and neutral wire, but there is no ground wire. This means that shocks and fires can easily occur.
Also, the insulation on knob and tube wiring disintegrates easily over time. Other issues include the fact that these systems use a 60 amp service but has wire fused with 15 amps. Knob and tube wiring also doesn’t carry high ampacity loads and the extra loads can cause the insulation on the wires to wear down. Two prong receptacles are commonly used on these systems which also do not have grounding. All of these factors increase the chance of electrical shock and fire.
If your live in an older house that you suspect to have knob and tube wiring, it is advisable that you inspect your home to determine if this might be the case. Look in spaces where you will see the wiring without having to make holes in your walls, such as in attics and basements. If the wiring is connected to little ceramic connectors, that is a sign that you have knob and tube wiring.
Other Signs of Faulty Home Wiring
In addition to knob and tube wiring, there may be other signs that indicate you may need a home wiring upgrade. These include:
- Breakers that trip or fuses that blow often
- A tingling sensation when you touch an appliance
- Flickering or dimming lights
- A persistent burning smell coming from a room or appliance
- Warm, discolored or sparking outlets
- The presence of two prong ungrounded outlets
- No ground fault circuit outlets (GFCIs) in the kitchen and bathroom areas
Another home wiring issue that may be problematic when you are looking to sell your home is aluminum wiring. This type of wiring was used in many houses that were built in the 1960’s and 1970’s It is considered a safety hazard due to the fact that it has connections which tend to loosen up over time, leading to overheating and fires. Sometimes the addition of copper connectors (pigtails) can be installed at receptacles and circuit breakers to prevent potential problems.
Plan for A Lot of Power Being Used
With a technology advancements being made every day, households are using more devices and there is an increased need for power within the home. While it used to be the norm for household power to be at 60 amps, now that number is closer to 200. Not having enough power can be more than an inconvenience, it can lead to damage in sensitive electronics. Even your household has an adequate amount of power, you may need to add outlets as an alternative to relying on power strips and extension cords which can be hazardous as well as inconvenient.
Adding more electrical power to your home may be a financial burden, but it will also make it more attractive and add value to your home, which guaranteed to entice potential buyers. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right. Get ready to accommodate future power needs by running as many wires as you can.
Structured home wiring is a smart investment. These are heavy duty data cables that enable the latest features of TVs, stereos, computers, game consoles, phones, security systems and even remote control based house systems.
Old Home Wiring and Insurance
If you are going to sell your home, you may think the easiest thing to do is just skimp on the upgrading the wiring. After all, it is a big expense and you’re not going to be living in the house anyway, right? Well, tempting as that may be, if you don’t upgrade the wiring on your home, it may be impossible to sell your house. If yes, potential sales might even fall through if faulty wiring is found, and here’s why.
If old wiring is found in your house, especially if it is knob and tube wiring, it may affect the new your ability to insure the house. Most companies will refuse to insure homes that have knob and tube wiring. Without insurance, it will be impossible for new homeowners to get a mortgage.
Some insurance companies will insure houses with knob and tube wiring but the rates will be much higher. Most of the time, these companies will also mandate that the wiring is removed or replaced within 30 days before or after the closing of the sale of the house. Others may agree to insure the house if the wiring is inactive but most will also make sure the wiring is removed first or within 30 to 60 days after the policy inception.
The cost of the upgrade vary depending on the size and location of your house, but it can often run up to several thousand dollars. Although this is a sizable expense for homeowners, it is necessary to have the work performed beforehand if you need to sell your home. It is also a good step to make your home safe for your family, especially if you have an older home and suspect you need a home wiring upgrade. Call in a professional to take a look at your system and he will let you know what to do to prevent electrical hazards.
As you can see, there is a lot involved with checking home wiring before selling a house. The most important thing is to take your time and review everything as carefully as possible. Good luck!