I sort of have a thing for old houses. I think I’d like to own one someday. I’m not saying that modern homes can’t be beautiful, but somehow, nothing beats original hardwood floors, antique trim, and maybe even a little glint of stained glass bordering the top of an accent window. I’m talking homes that have squeaks, warmth, and decades of memories – not mirror-polished granite countertops and sulphur-tainted Chinese drywall.
My husband and I have recently taken to surfing the Web for older houses on the market in his hometown, which has more than a few cute 1920s bungalows. Every time he comes across a reasonably well-kept abode that he thinks I’ll like, there are a few questions that I fire off on my way to take a peek at his latest discovery. What year is it? Wood, vinyl siding, or brick? (I’m holding out for brick). What kind of shape is the roof in? How old is the wiring?
Yes, that’s right. Nostalgic, charm-soaked old houses often come with not-so-endearing electrical systems that have been wired by who knows who. Jerry-rigged electrical receptacles are no party, because you never know whether or not they’ll work, and even if they do, there’s always the question of whether or not they can support the power draw of whatever you decide to plug into them. I don’t know about you, but I prefer houses that aren’t smoldering. Guess that means that a thorough home inspection is in line…
Whenever you’re considering purchasing a home, old construction or new, it’s always to investigate a few things yourself, even if you’re bringing in a professional inspector. And guess what? You have what it takes to tackle all of those power outlets on your own… at least, you do if you have an Ideal® Receptacle Tester.
Simple enough for any electrical rookie to use and read, this plug-in outlet tester checks for all of the most common problems homeowners run into, like improper wiring, open ground, open neutral, open hot, hot/ground reversal, and hot/neutral reversal. Three lights instantly diagnose these problems, or indicate the lack thereof. And then there’s the test-result key that’s printed right on the tester – it’s basically a quick-reference guide that helps you decipher what different light patterns mean.
No more keeping your fingers crossed, or discovering electrical problems through trial and errror. It’s nice to know that peace of mind is as easy as plugging in, isn’t it? (And by the way, it doesn’t cost much, either.)