Hello Alex.......to answer your question for a typical inspection is as follows:
1) If the basement will be inspected by a state licensed home inspector, they will look at the main electrical panel and see the quantity of circuit breakers and amperage sizes. They will mainly be looking for a well balanced quantity of circuits with no potential of breaker over-loads, ie, insufficient quantity of circuits within the basement area.
2) If the basement has a bathroom, they will be looking for a 20 amp GFCI protected circuit dedicated to the bathroom.
3) Any unfinished areas of the basement that have receptacles, they will be looking for either GFCI protection on these receptacles via a GFCI breaker or GFCI receptacles.
4) A random quantity of receptacles will be tested for proper ground and polarity using either a plug-in cube tester or a 2 prong AC voltage tester. This is mainly performed to determine if the receptacles are grounded.
5) Depending upon any local codes that were applicable in 2002 or which National Electrical Code cycle your local municipality adhered to in 2002, any bedrooms within the finished basement may have required Arc Fault Circuit breakers (AFCI) for the bedrooms during that time.
6) Basements also require one smoke alarm if no bedrooms in the basement and they must be inter-connected to other smokes within the house. If bedrooms, there must also be one smoke in the area directly outside of the bedrooms, ie, a hallway and 1 smoke in each bedroom. If no bedrooms in the basement, then only 1 smoke is required for the entire basement. 1 Carbon Monoxide alarm is also required. Depending upon your local code and/or local Authority Having Jurisdiction, they may let you slide on the smokes not being inter-connected to others in the house.
7) Any local codes would also prevail. Some common local codes prior to them being National Electrical Codes maybe GFCI receptacles for any sump and/or ejector pumps in the basement. If any laundry in the basement, the laundry receptacle needs to be on its own dedicated 20 amp circuit and not shared with anything else. Receptacles near any sinks (laundry, wet bar & kitchen) also need to be GFCI protected.
8) A gas furnace is typically on its own dedicated 20 amp circuit and not shared with anything else. Sumps and ejector pumps are also typically on their own dedicated 20 amp circuit and not shared.
9) If the main electrical panel is opened, they will look for any double-taps onto circuit breakers, look for proper wire sizes compared to the breaker, ie, 14 AWG copper for a 15 amp breaker, 12 AWG copper for a 20 amp breaker, etc. They will also look for proper grounding inside the panel. They will look for any aluminum conductors. Most of the time will be spent visually looking inside the main electrical panel and/or any sub-panels. They will also look for a proper ground to a city or well supply water pipe and an exterior ground rod.
10) If the basement has any type of a kitchen and/or wet bar, they will also look for GFCI receptacle protection. If a kitchen exists, they will look for dedicated 20 amp kitchen counter top circuits for the receptacles.
11) The aforementioned items are common inspection criteria for any state licensed home inspector to perform. A licensed electrician will also perform the same, except they may actually open up some random receptacle and/or wall switch boxes and look for proper grounding conductor sizes, box fill, conduit fill (if applicable). A licensed electrician will most likely spend a bit more time in their inspection. A home inspector may spend 1 hour in the basement. A licensed electrician may spend a little more than 1 hr due to a more thorough inspection. Depending upon labor rates in your area, a licensed electricians hourly rate will range anywhere from $65 to around $120. Average hourly for a non-union electrical contractor will probably be around $85. Figure on approximately 1.5 to 2 hrs for a licensed electrician if the basement must be inspected.
Let me know who has requested a permit and/or inspection? There may be ways around this, but I will need your answers to my initial info request...........Thanks...............Kevin!
If you have any additional questions, just reply back to me and I can provide more detailed answers if need be. The above are the most common criteria for any residential basement electrical inspection.
Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.
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