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Are you up to code? Common electrical code violations

Common Electrical Code Violations

There are a few common electrical code violations that can trip up homeowners and businesses alike. Some of the most common violations have to do with improper installation or maintenance of electrical outlets, switches, and wiring. Others have to do with failing to properly label circuit breakers or not having tamper-resistant receptacles installed where required. Below we will go over the most common electrical code violations.

Failing To Install The Correct Circuit Breaker

One of the most common electrical code violations has to do with improper installation or maintenance of circuit breakers. Circuit breakers are designed to protect an electrical circuit in your home or business from damage due to overcurrent, an overload, or even a short circuit. However, if they are installed incorrectly, they can actually become a fire hazard themselves. 

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Code Violation Lack of Tamper Resistant Receptacles

Lack of tamper-resistant receptacles

Another common electrical code violations is neglecting to install tamper resistant receptacles. These are special outlets that have a spring loaded shutter that covers the hole where you would insert a plug. This is to prevent children from sticking something into the outlet and electrocuting themselves.

While these are some of the most common electrical code violations, there are many others that exist. These are just a few of the most important ones to be aware of. If you are ever unsure about whether or not something is up to code, it is always best to consult with a licensed electrician. They will be able to tell you for sure and help you make any necessary changes.

Switches Do Not Have a Neutral Wire

Another often overlooked code violation would be switch locations not having neutral wires. In order for switches to work properly, especially for automated light switches, they must have a neutral wire running to them. If there is no neutral wire present, you will only be able to get incandescent lighting. Using fluorescent, LED, or other lighting devices under 20w requires a neutral wire in order to be within code. The neutral wire is important as it completes the 120-volt AC circuit by giving a safe path back to the electrical panel. The neutral wire connects to the ground in order to prevent electrocution. 

Code Violation - Switch Doesn't Have a Neutral Wire

Exposed Electrical Wires

Exposed electrical wires are another code violation. These are wires that are not properly covered and/or are left exposed. This can be a serious safety hazard because people can accidentally come into contact with them and get electrocuted. Exposed wires can also cause fires if they come into contact with anything that is combustible.

If you have exposed electrical wires, you will need to have them repaired as soon as possible. You should never try to repair them yourself as this can be extremely dangerous. Always hire a licensed electrician to make any repairs that are needed.

Not Enough Receptacles

Another common electrical code violation has to do with not installing enough receptacles. In general, you should have one outlet for every six feet of linear wall space. If you have a room that is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, you would need at least five outlets. However, some rooms may require more depending on how they are being used. For example, a kitchen may need more outlets than a living room because of all the appliances that will be plugged in.

Not having enough outlets can be a serious fire hazard because people will often use extension cords to make up for the lack of outlets. These extension cords can easily overheat and cause a fire. If you are not sure how many outlets you need, it is always best to consult with a licensed electrician. They will be able to assess your needs and make sure that you have enough outlets installed.

Code Violation - Uncovered Outdoor Receptacle

Uncovered Outdoor Receptacles

One code violation to be aware of has to do with leaving outdoor receptacles uncovered. These are outlets that are located outside of the home, such as on a porch or in the yard. They must have a cover over them in order to protect them from the elements.

If they are left uncovered, they can easily become damaged and stop working. This can create a serious safety hazard and could lower the value of your home. So make sure that you always keep them covered when they are not in use. 

Lack of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

Another electrical code violation that is becoming more common has to do with failing to install ground fault circuit interrupters. These are devices that are designed to protect people from electrocution. They work by quickly shutting off the power if they detect that there is a current flowing through the ground.

Ground fault circuit interrupters can be installed in both homes and businesses. If you are unsure about whether or not they are required in your area, you should consult with a licensed electrician. They will be able to tell you for sure and help you make any necessary changes.

Code Violation - Lack of Ground Fault Interrupters (GFCIs)
Code Violation - Outdated Wiring For Homes Older than 50 Years Old

Outdated Wiring for Homes Over 50 Years old

If you live in a home that is over 50 years old, it is important to be aware that the wiring may not meet current code standards. This is because the electrical code has changed over time and homes that were built, especially in Bucks County before these changes were made may not have been updated.

This can be a serious safety hazard, so if you live in an older home, it is important to have the wiring checked by a licensed electrician. They will be able to assess the situation and make any necessary repairs or upgrades.

Improper Configuration of Panels and Breakers

The final electrical code violation that we will cover and that is becoming more common has to do with improperly configuring panels and breakers. This is something that should always be done by a licensed electrician as it can be extremely dangerous to do it yourself.

Improperly configured panels and breakers can cause serious safety hazards, so if you are unsure about how to configure them, we recommend consulting with one of our electricians. They will be able to help you make sure that everything is set up correctly and safe.

Code Violation - Improper Breaker or Panel Configuration

Is your Home or Business Violating Electrical Codes?

Electrical Inspections | Code Violation | Get Up to Code With McClain Bros.

If you’re a homeowner or business owner, it’s important to make sure your electrical system is up to code. Not only could an outdated or faulty electrical system pose a safety hazard, but it could also lead to expensive repairs down the road. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an electrical inspection performed by one of our licensed electricians.

During an electrical inspection, a McClain Bros electrician will carefully examine your electrical system to identify any potential problems. They’ll also make sure that everything is up to current code standards. 

If you’re concerned about the condition of your electrical system, don’t hesitate to call McClain Bros for an inspection. It could save you money and headaches in the long run.

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