If you have been in the market for a new home, be it a single family dwelling, a townhouse or a condo, you will know that the Greater Vancouver area is hot. According to the BC Real Estate Association, experts predict a 33.6% increase in home sales for this year, with prices increasing by a predicted 14.3%. There is little doubt that 2021 will be a truly remarkable year for the real estate market. As a home owner, or someone who may be in the market for their first purchase, there are aspects of home buying to be aware of – most that would be covered in a home inspection; however, aspects like residential wiring can be inspected in your first open house, if you know what you are looking for.


If you are buying a home, here’s what to look for in residential wiring


1. Gain access to the electrical panel 

This panel will give you information you need about not only the age of the home, but also the durability of the electrical system. Inquire about the capacity of the electrical panel and ask questions like:

  • Is it possible to expand this panel to accommodate my modern appliances?
  • When was the last time an electrical inspection was done?
  • What is the age of the electrical panel?


2. Inspect the outlets 

Dated outlets can pose a hazard to you and your family. Section 26 of the BC Electrical Code outlines information about the location of panel boards, location of outlets, and more. Of course, when you work with an electrician like our team here at Stapleton Electric, we can support you to ensure your home is protected.


3. Ask about the electrical wiring in the home 

If the home you are looking to purchase is more than 30 years old, there may be signs of an older electrical system. Many homes within this age range can have copper wiring versus aluminum wiring. Overall, copper wiring can be less durable than aluminum. It is important to review the wiring metals – if you believe anything is outdated,


Why should you do an electrical inspection before buying a home?


While in the heat of the real estate market, many people are placing offers without subjects. Of course, you and your family must make a decision that works best for you and your level of risk; however, we always recommend conducting an electrical inspection before purchasing a home.

Within an electrical inspection, we will review:

  • The service panel. We will follow a service panel checklist to ensure you aren’t making an offer or purchasing a home that has faults.
  • Common mistakes made in electrical wiring. As mentioned above, we will check to see if there is old wiring that we must be aware of, or incorrect wiring or mistakes that may have happened.
  • The lifespan of the home’s wiring. Standards have changed over the years, much like our nod to copper vs. aluminum wiring. Outlets and wiring can wear out, and may need to be replaced. You should know the risks or expected electrical renovations before purchasing.
  • Capacity of the electrical service system. Even if you are not planning a renovation now, you may in the future. An electrical inspection will check for the overall capacity of potential expansions or renovations.


When making an offer or purchasing a home, you must be aware of the state of residential wiring. Whether it is in the form of an electrical inspection upon offer, or subjects that can be included in your offer, be sure to do your due diligence to protect yourself, your family and your investment.

To learn more about how we can support your electrical investigation, contact us here.