The service-entrance panel is the heart of the electrical system because it is where all circuits start. This panel must be in good operating condition for the rest of the home's electrical system to work properly.
A qualified professional can perform a visual assessment of the home's electrical system as part of a general home inspection. The first thing the inspector will note is the location of the service panel, the condition of the panel, its functionality based on the number of appliances, its estimated age and capacity.
Indoors, the inspector will survey the light fixtures and electrical outlets. Where visible, the inspector assesses wires for cracking and aging, checks for the presence of grounding and identifies the size of the electrical system. The inspector will note the use of fuses or breakers and check for updated safety items, such as ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's), which help prevent electrical shock.