It’s the holidays here in Chicago land and a lot of people like to decorate their home with lights and lighted decorations. Unfortunately most of these homes do not have the proper breaker box configurations. Basically the load on the wiring and the breakers in these boxes may be overloaded due to the extra load from the decorations. That was the case at the Glenview home inspection I recently was hired to perform. The issues with the electric did not start until I started to test the microwave in the kitchen. As you probably could guess the microwave use of electric was the tipping point that made the breaker trip that happened to be tied to the exterior outlets also.
Generally the electric for the exterior outlets of a home have their own dedicated breaker as do the kitchen appliances. Unfortunately I found that the electric at the Glenview home inspection had other issues that would need correction. When I went to reset the breaker in the breaker box I unscrewed the breaker box cover and found double taps and triple taps. A double tap or triple tap is when multiple wires are installed in one breaker. Each breaker should only have one wire. This is why the breakers where found to be overheated at the Glenview home inspection.
The next issue I encountered at the Glenview home inspection was that there was no room for future breakers in the box. That is probably why the breakers had multiple double tap connections. The correction for all of these issues was to hire a licensed electrician who would install a larger electrical panel and to separate the double and triple taps. The repair cost for a new electrical panel is $700.00 – $1600.00 depending on where you live in the country.
During home inspections my clients are always concerned what repairs are required immediately? Overheated breaker panels and double tapped breakers are defective issues and I would recommend immediate repair. That is exactly what I recommended my clients from the Glenview home inspection do.
Electrical breaker panel inspections are a very important portion of any home inspection and should be taken very serious. If you have any questions about electrical panels or any issue in your home or building contact me at 312-961-4228 or The Thermal Home Inspector. Thank you for stopping by and stay safe.