Perhaps it’s because I grew up and began my real estate business in a city full of 19th century homes, Galveston, Texas.
Many of them still had old fuse boxes with screw in fuses rather than modern circuit breakers. And running in the walls, the attics and under the houses was a form of wiring known as knob and tube.
I used to look at that stuff and marvel that the building hadn’t burned to the ground at sometime throughout the years, destroying everything inside, maybe even causing the death of the residents.
For whatever the reason, I am really big on keeping a home’s electrical service up to the current code, irrespective of what is and what isn’t grandfathered.
Here are some code changes for new homes.
Although retrofitting is not a requirement for existing buildings, each of us still ought to bring our homes up to code.
Regular circuit breakers are now only allowed for 220 applications like electric furnaces, air conditioners, dryers and stoves.
Areas where small appliances are used near water – kitchen, bathroom, etc., require GFCI breakers at the breaker box.
ADCI breakers are required on electrical runs to bedrooms and living areas. They are built to prevent fires.
GFCI outlets in bathrooms, kitchens and outside outlets are still required. They shut down power within a nanosecond of when they notice a condition that can cause electrocution.
Here are some common code violations:
Common violations include a missing neutral wire on a switch; reversed neutral and positive wires; outlets without the ground wire attached; grounding the service to a water or gas pipe rather than to a grounded electrode; flat weather resistant covers on outdoor outlets rather than “bubble covers” -- the covers that allow them to be shut even with extension cords in place; service panels in closets; unbounded satellite, cable and telephone service; old fashioned outlets rather than the new, tamper-resistant ones – the ones that keep children from sticking something in one and getting shocked.
Why not call a licensed electrician to survey your home, and contract with him to bring it up to code?
BILL CHERRY, REAL ESTATE BROKER
Dallas – Park Cities