When buying a home its a good idea to to get a conveyancers electrical inspection for a number of reasons. The prepurchase electrical inspection makes sure that you, as a new home buyer will have the knowledge in an inspection report that the wiring in your home if of a safe standard.
Whilst out on a job in Darwin one of our licenced electricians was in the process of installing a new switchboard and a few other bits and pieces for a client. These particular clients had just bought the home without an electrical inspection – and had experienced a couple of odd issues occurring with their electrical wiring that they wanted checked. On completing diagnostics it was noted that a few things were not really installed in a ‘tradesman’ like manner.
Unfortunately unlicensed electrical work can be a hidden cost of buying a new home.
In the kitchen our technician found an incorrectly wired plug top connected to the range hood, this caused the range hood to be unsafe.
In the lounge room our techician also found a large air conditioner requiring a dedicated circuit. This unit had been linked to the bedroom airconditioner and was not dedicated. Amongst all this was a large amount of cabling that was also wired in backwards. The circuit feeding the airconditoner also had inadequate circuit protection and no safety switch!
In a situation like this there is no warranty on a new aircondtioner if it is not installed to Australian Standards by a licensed refrigeration technician.
However, when all was complete and the switchboard was installed it was noted after considerable testing that a cable to a light had been damaged some time in the past and the previous owner/ licensed ? Whilst the light fitting did still work, the cables had been incorrectly terminated. With the old fuses it worked find, but as it was a safety issue the RCD safety switch picked up the fault and tripped immediately diffusing the electrical hazard.
Whilst this wiring may have worked previously it did not do so in a safe manner – because the previous owner had removed the earth from the light and used that for something else, this in turn caused voltage to be found on the fan blades in another room. Voltage was also found on the body of the fan itself which was not connected to a building earth and installed on a wooden beam.
To sum up, if there was a fault with that fitting at any time in the future, and you or your family were having a bath for example, it could be a shocking experience to say the least. At this property the fans, taps, sink and anything earthed was found to have different levels of electricity flowing through them. Most of it only low readings, however in one section we found 80Volts, enough to jump start you before work.
Protect your family when buying a home or buying property by having a pre purchase inspection. Making sure everything is to code, smoke alarms are installed, all electrical is completed by a reputable Darwin company with licensed electricians before you buy a house.
We don’t recommend not having a pre purchase electrical inspection at the point of sale when you buy a new property. In the current property market there is a lot of information available to the prospective buyer, especially in Darwin and it is a good idea to make use of it where possible.
Some other inspections that are worth getting when buying a home and using licensed conveyancing services are:
Plumbing reports – very good idea to be sure that your toilets are in good working order, sceptic is correct, no leaks in the system.
Building reports – Being in the NT and with the cavalier approach to all trades but especially building, definitely worth making sure things are constructed well and up to the task.
Pest control reports – There are a few streets around Darwin affectionately known as Masto Alley. These areas are a melting pot for termites and its essential to get an inspection done.
Certification of all buildings is vitally important. If you buy a property that has had building work completed that has not been certified then you may not be able to get insurance for cyclone damage etc.
For more information and tips to think about are online forums such as Property Talk which is a great resource if you are buying property or have questions about reports. Some other helpful links include MoneySmart and Finder with a wealth of information included.
Speak to your real estate agent or conveyancer and get a new home buyer electrical inspection today.