Home Seller Tips – Receptacle tester

electrical inspection

Home Seller Tips – Receptacle tester

If you’ve ever sold a home before or purchased one and followed around the home inspector, you may have seen them with one of these handy gadgets.  A receptacle tester.  One of the most basic and inexpensive tools a home inspector carries, but also the most used.

When I inspect a home, I try to test every accessible or visible receptacle I find with one of these.  This will tell me if that specific receptacle has been correctly wired.  We have a lot of older home here in Northern Michigan, and a lot of DIYers that may or may not be proficient in their electrical work.  It’s pretty common to find receptacles with open grounds(not hooked up or many times no ground present), open neutrals, and hot/neutral wires reversed.  The good news is that these are pretty simple fixes that only take a few minutes to correct.

You can also purchase these testers with a small button on top to test your GFCI receptacles.  You will typically find these receptacles in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, unfinished basements, and exterior areas, and will have the small “test” and “reset” buttons on them.   These are designed to protect you and cut power should a ground fault occur.  Pressing the button on your receptacle tester will simulate a ground fault to see if your GFCI is working.  A defective GFCI receptacle is probably one of the most frequent defect found and reported on during a home inspection.  Sometimes even a handful of them throughout the house will not be functioning properly.

If you want to get ahead of the game before you decide to sell your house, be sure to pick up one of these tools and check your receptacles.  *We highly recommend you hire a licensed electrician for any repairs needed.*