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  1. #1
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    Default Would you change this panel?

    If this was in your condo unit, would you want it replaced? An electrician has installed a new breaker lower down and plugged the old holes in the deadfont. Is it OK?

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  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Thats got to go.

    Why would he do a quick fix on a something like that. I wounder what it looks like behind the breakers.


    Best

    Ron


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Thats got to go.

    Why would he do a quick fix on a something like that. I wounder what it looks like behind the breakers.


    Best

    Ron
    Most likely the electrician was doing what he/she was paid to do. It is up to the customer that is footing the bill as to the extent of the repair.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    If this was in your condo unit, would you want it replaced? An electrician has installed a new breaker lower down and plugged the old holes in the deadfont. Is it OK?
    JK: Lose it.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    I would definetly have another electrician take a look at it for further assessment or the electrical safety authority in your jurisdiction. There may be nothing wrong with it and to replace it would be rather expensive.


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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Most likely the electrician was doing what he/she was paid to do. It is up to the customer that is footing the bill as to the extent of the repair.
    Completely agree.

    Of course we would suggest replacement. The next question is "How much?".
    Then the next next question is "What are my alternatives?".


    I am not sure why anyone would "blame" the electrician for making this "repair".


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I am not sure why anyone would "blame" the electrician for making this "repair".
    Because the electrician is supposed to be the expert and know the proper way to fix it. It is up to the experrt to verbalize the issue to the owner and present the options. Most people do not know what to ask and nearly none of them want anything to do with going inside a service panel, for good reason.

    Homewoners cannot be expected to open their service panel to inspect the work and be able to tell what is and is not acceptable. That's what professionals are for.

    And yes, I would want the panel changed.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 07-25-2009 at 07:02 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Most likely the electrician was doing what he/she was paid to do. It is up to the customer that is footing the bill as to the extent of the repair.
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Completely agree.

    Of course we would suggest replacement. The next question is "How much?".
    Then the next next question is "What are my alternatives?".
    "Mostly likely the electrician was doing what he/she was paid to do."

    While that is true, it is also "Most likely the electrician was doing what he/she ... " recommended by done.

    As Peter said:
    "Of course we would suggest replacement. The next question is "How much?". "
    "Then the next next question is "What are my alternatives?". "

    A potential alternative would have been to recommend replacement of panelboard interior as that looks modern enough that the panelboard interior may be available. The interior may be available by itself from the manufacturer or by buying a new complete panel and just using the interior, as long as it is of the same type and model it should be acceptable - there is nothing wrong with replacing a listed interior in a matching listed enclosure.

    Now, if that alternative was not available, then replacing the entire panel would be the way to go, but at MUCH greater expense.

    While we (HIs) do not know what alternatives the electrician offered the owner and which alternative the owner chose or for what reasons, we really have no need to know ... it is our job to recommend it be replaced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I am not sure why anyone would "blame" the electrician for making this "repair".
    And I don't see where anyone did. Of did I miss something in the posts?

    Peter, you seem to jump to that statement or similar ones, a lot in defending the electrician, even though no one here jumps to blame them. If I missed where the electrician was blamed, would you point it out to me?

    Thanks.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Peter, you seem to jump to that statement or similar ones, a lot in defending the electrician, even though no one here jumps to blame them. If I missed where the electrician was blamed, would you point it out to me?
    Yes, I do. I do because there very often seems to be an automatic "The electrician didn't do what he was supposed to", or "HE is the professional. HE should do what's right", mentality with home inspectors. This is typically in hind sight and with no idea what went on during, before or immediately after the installation.
    The real world is often not consiudered in these cases.


    Examples:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Thats got to go.

    Why would he do a quick fix on a something like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Because the electrician is supposed to be the expert and know the proper way to fix it. It is up to the experrt to verbalize the issue to the owner and present the options. Most people do not know what to ask and nearly none of them want anything to do with going inside a service panel, for good reason.

    Homewoners cannot be expected to open their service panel to inspect the work and be able to tell what is and is not acceptable. That's what professionals are for.



  10. #10
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    "While we (HIs) do not know what alternatives the electrician offered the owner and which alternative the owner chose or for what reasons, we really have no need to know ... it is our job to recommend it be replaced."

    Jerry,
    Does it really have to be replaced? If there is no problem with the rest of the circuits, the buss bars are safe and the only problem is with future expansion, what do we base recommending replacement on? The buyer is purchasing a house with X number of circuits installed. Future circuits should not be the responsibility of the seller. If we HI's report that X number of unused positions are unusable for future circuits and a licensed electrician finds nothing unsafe with the panel, should we recommend replacement?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    "While we (HIs) do not know what alternatives the electrician offered the owner and which alternative the owner chose or for what reasons, we really have no need to know ... it is our job to recommend it be replaced."

    Jerry,
    Does it really have to be replaced? If there is no problem with the rest of the circuits, the buss bars are safe ...
    Are they?

    Likewise, then, about 20 years ago when I found a Zinsco with a bus bar burned in two, a breaker being used to feed another breaker on the lower section of the bus bar, that was also "safe" (the "bad" section was not being used) ... right? No way, even if it had not been a Zinsco.

    You know for sure that NOTHING happened to the bus bar when that arcing burned that breaker up?

    and the only problem is with future expansion,
    *I* do not know that is the "only problem". You are making a lot of assumptions.

    what do we base recommending replacement on?
    Uh ... that the panel HAS BEEN DAMAGED?

    The buyer is purchasing a house with X number of circuits installed.
    No, the buyer is purchasing a house with a GOOD PANEL in it, regardless how many circuits it has.

    Man, you sure make a lot of assumptions trying to make it fit to leave. Do you work for the seller?

    You need to think about your basic assumptions and who you are trying to protect from what. Sounds like you are trying to protect the seller and the agent from losing a sale, and letting your client hang out in the wind to spend money after they buy instead of having the seller address things or credit money for things before the deal closes.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Yes, I do. I do because there very often seems to be an automatic "The electrician didn't do what he was supposed to", or "HE is the professional. HE should do what's right", mentality with home inspectors. This is typically in hind sight and with no idea what went on during, before or immediately after the installation.
    The real world is often not consiudered in these cases.

    Examples:
    Peter,

    I didn't read those that way, but now I can see why and how you did read them that way.

    I agree with you in that most HIs typically think 'Now why did so-and-so-tradesperson do that instead of doing it the right way.'

    That is because we are looking for "the right way" as agreed upon by our clients, and the tradesperson is doing what they and their client agreed upon.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Cut and dry. The first thing any FIRE MARSHALL is going to look for is black marks.

    2. We do not no the extent of any other damage that has occurred in other places in the panel. do to this fact we should assume other damage items may exist in the panel.

    That things got to go...

    Best

    Ron


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    If we HI's report that X number of unused positions are unusable for future circuits and a licensed electrician finds nothing unsafe with the panel, should we recommend replacement?

    Jerry & Ron, I've highlighted the point of my question. Is it up to us to call it bad enough for unconditional replacement?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Cut and dry. The first thing any FIRE MARSHALL is going to look for is black marks.
    Ron, why is the Fire Marshall looking at the panel? Is he is looking for a reason to blame the panel on a fire? I can understand blaming it on black marks under in use circuit breakers, but not on old scorch marks were no circuits are installed.

    Ron and Jerry, don't get me wrong. This is a question I have had for some time and have struggled with what is the correct answer.


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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    If we HI's report that X number of unused positions are unusable for future circuits and a licensed electrician finds nothing unsafe with the panel, should we recommend replacement?

    Jerry & Ron, I've highlighted the point of my question. Is it up to us to call it bad enough for unconditional replacement?
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Ron and Jerry, don't get me wrong. This is a question I have had for some time and have struggled with what is the correct answer.
    Vern,

    The correct answer is to call for replacement ... period.

    Not 'and further evaluation by ... ' as that is just asking for someone to say 'Oh, yeah, that whatever-it-is is okay by me.'

    Once you, the HI, have called for replacement, then the seller either replaces it or brings in an contractor to say it does not need to be replaced, you tell your client (if not replaced) that in your professional opinion IT STILL SHOULD BE REPLACED and that you ARE NOT GOING TO ASSUME THE RISKS of it not being replaced, and that if the electrician wants to, there is nothing the HI can do.

    Then I relate a true story which happened to me 15-20 years ago:

    I inspected a fuse panel in a house with about everything wrong in there you could imagine and wrote it up for replacement.

    The seller hires an electrician their agent recommended and the electrician said it all okie dokie and there was nothing wrong, that it all met code.

    I reiterated to my client that NOTHING in there met code and that it was a fire hazard.

    My client allowed their agent, and the sellers agent, to bully them into accepting that panel based on the electricians letter (at least they followed my advice had had the seller produce a letter on the electricians letter head which stated it all okie dokie and he signed it and put his license number under his name).

    That was during the summer.

    Six months later they turn the heat on for a cold front which came through (not everyone uses the heat in South Florida but they did), that weekend they had a fire in the panel.

    Long story short is that the "electrician" was a guy using his dad's electrical contractor license, with his dad's permission, to do unlicensed electrical work - basically going wherever the agents called him to go and say it was all okay.

    Not only was he brought in and fined for unlicensed contracting, but his father was brought in and his license suspended because he was knowingly allowing it. The fines were somewhere around $10,000 and the license was suspended for one year as I recall, and then the dad had to retake some type of test to show he understand that what he had done was not allowed. The son tried to get his own electrical license but the word was out about what he did and he could never pass everything which was thrown at him.

    Had it not been for that fire, probably would have never been caught, and if caught a minor fine and told to get licensed - it was the life threatening event resulting from his actions which did him in so deep.

    After I related that story, my clients understood where *I* was coming from, regardless of what the electrician said about what was under discussion.

    Was it one bad apple spoiling a barrel of apples? Yep. But it helped make my point to my clients - and THAT was my job.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Jerry I understand recommending replacement for a panel that is truly unsafe. The panel at the beginning of this thread is like several I have seen. Scorched contacts but otherwise no visible defects. If the rest of the panel contacts and components are inspected and found to have no defects by a "licensed electrician", do the unused scorched contacts make the property uninhabitable or unsafe? I report on the condition of the property at the time of inspection. I am not a henchman for the buyer nor an underling of the agent. Just the facts, wherever they may land.
    So back to the question. Does the panel have to be replaced and why.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Jerry, I am suprised you have not mentioned the paint overspray along with the code reference that does not allow any foriegn matter in the panel.

    Even if we were to overlook the obviously burnt damaged section, then the panel needs to be replaced due to the overspray. The code specifically states cleaners cannot be used in the panel. Panel is DRT (dead right there).

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Scorched contacts but otherwise no visible defects.
    Still trying to defend not calling for replacement. Not much else I can add to have you work for your client.

    If the rest of the panel contacts and components are inspected and found to have no defects by a "licensed electrician",
    Did you not read what a "licensed electrician" did?

    do the unused scorched contacts make the property uninhabitable or unsafe?
    No one is saying the property is "uninhabitable", that must be coming from your position in trying to justify leaving it there, "unsafe" - yes - potentially so. If that is not enough for you then you are not working for your client.

    I report on the condition of the property at the time of inspection.
    Does not appear so. It appears as though you are trying to justify not calling it our for replacement.

    I am not a henchman for the buyer nor an underling of the agent. Just the facts, wherever they may land.
    Sure sounds like you are trying to turn "the facts" to where you do have to write that up for replacement.

    So back to the question. Does the panel have to be replaced and why.
    Re-read the above information - if that does not give you the information you need to understand it, then I am not sure we can be of additional help.

    You are working for ... SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING FOR ... your client, and when something is in doubt in are not to look after the seller or the agent or the deal and "try to save money", you should looking out four clients best interests.

    "Facts" are "facts" and many "facts" can be interpreted in various ways. If you are not interpreting them for the best interests of your client, you are doing your client a disservice.

    It really IS that simple.

    Is the glass half full or half empty? Well, when you pull your car up to the gas station, your "glass" (the gas tank) is "half empty" so you put more gas in it.

    If you typically consider the glass as half full then why fill up with gas? Your client has enough circuits to make it through tomorrow and closing, then it is not your problem.

    If you happen to be an engineer and consider the glass as being twice as big as needed, then you probably think the house is also twice as big as your client needs.

    Sorry, but I just do not get home inspectors who are not looking out for their clients.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Jerry, I am suprised you have not mentioned the paint overspray along with the code reference that does not allow any foriegn matter in the panel.

    Even if we were to overlook the obviously burnt damaged section, then the panel needs to be replaced due to the overspray. The code specifically states cleaners cannot be used in the panel. Panel is DRT (dead right there).
    Bruce,

    I did not mention that as the arcing and burned areas, along with the soot are also "foreign matter" and do not belong in the panel.

    I cannot even get Vern to accept that.

    Bringing paint into it would just confuse the discussion.

    Yes, that is one reason, just one OF THE reasons, we are all (almost "all" anyway) saying that panel needs to be replaced.

    Just trying to address one issue at a time.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    "Did you not read what a "licensed electrician" did?"

    Uh, what?

    "Long story short is that the "electrician" was a guy using his dad's electrical contractor license, with his dad's permission, to do unlicensed electrical work "

    "I did not mention that as the arcing and burned areas, along with the soot are also "foreign matter" and do not belong in the panel."

    So if dirt-dobers leave dirt in the panel or the electrician smokes a cegar while working on the panel, it must be replaced?

    I'm open to this! Convience me the panel is unsafe or needs to be replaced for other than additional circuits.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Vern- Before stating that the electrician did "unlicensed electrical work" Better find out what the licensing requirements are where the work was completed.
    Not all areas require everyone doing electrical work to hold a license. Some places all that is needed is a licensed electrician is to be employed by the company and assign their license to the company and pull the permits. Anyone working in the company is good to go on company projects. Other areas require everyone doing electrical work to hold some sort of license. Some areas have NO licenses at all.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Vern- Before stating that the electrician did "unlicensed electrical work" Better find out what the licensing requirements are where the work was completed.
    Not all areas require everyone doing electrical work to hold a license. Some places all that is needed is a licensed electrician is to be employed by the company and assign their license to the company and pull the permits. Anyone working in the company is good to go on company projects. Other areas require everyone doing electrical work to hold some sort of license. Some areas have NO licenses at all.
    That was not my statement! It was part of Jerrys story.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    I need to figure out how to do the fancy multiple quotes!


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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    I need to
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    figure out
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    how to do the
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    fancy multiple quotes!
    Copy, cut & paste Bud.


    Here is what above looks like. Replace "{" & "}" with [ & ] .

    {quote=Vern Heiler;93407}I need to {/quote}

    {quote=Vern Heiler;93407}figure out {/quote}

    {quote=Vern Heiler;93407}how to do the {/quote}

    {quote=Vern Heiler;93407}fancy multiple quotes!{/quote}


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    I know I'll get slammed for this, but I don't think that is nearly enough paint to justify replacing that panel on that basis alone.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Yes, I do. I do because there very often seems to be an automatic "The electrician didn't do what he was supposed to", or "HE is the professional. HE should do what's right", mentality with home inspectors. This is typically in hind sight and with no idea what went on during, before or immediately after the installation.
    The real world is often not consiudered in these cases.
    Pete,
    Ok I haven't figured it out yet! (the quote thing)

    But would you recommend replacement of the OP panel for any other reason than berating by anal HI's? That is if you (a licensed competent electrician) had inspected the panel and found nothing else wrong. Being HI's we would like everything perfect. I would like Faith Hill to blot me dry after my shower with cotton balls, but we don't get everything we want do we.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    "Did you not read what a "licensed electrician" did?"

    Uh, what?

    "Long story short is that the "electrician" was a guy using his dad's electrical contractor license, with his dad's permission, to do unlicensed electrical work "
    Vern,

    Read it again.

    Here, I'll post it with red text for you.
    - "Long story short is that the "electrician" was a guy using his dad's electrical contractor license, with his dad's permission, to do unlicensed electrical work ".

    See it now?

    He was ACTING under a license - his dad's, THE WORK was "unlicensed electrical work" in that THE WORK was that bad.

    Had that son said he was WORKING FOR his dad, and not used his dad's ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR LICENSE as his own, there would not have been any problems with the license as an electrical contractor is allowed to have non-licensed workers working for them - regardless of whether or not THE WORK is electrical contractor quality work.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I know I'll get slammed for this, but I don't think that is nearly enough paint to justify replacing that panel on that basis alone.

    Peter,

    The NEC does not give a "how much is too much" other than:
    - 110.12 Mechanical Execution of Work.
    - - Electrical equipment shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner.
    - - - FPN: Accepted industry practices are described in ANSI/NECA 1-2006, Standard Practices for Good Workmanship in Electrical Contracting, and other ANSI-approved installation standards.
    - - (B) Integrity of Electrical Equipment and Connections. Internal parts of electrical equipment, including busbars, wiring terminals, insulators, and other surfaces, shall not be damaged or contaminated by foreign materials such as paint, plaster, cleaners, abrasives, or corrosive residues. There shall be no damaged parts that may adversely affect safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment such as parts that are broken; bent; cut; or deteriorated by corrosion, chemical action, or overheating.

    Other than "shall not be" which means any.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    He was ACTING under a license - his dad's,
    So he was not a licensed electrician, right!


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Ron, why is the Fire Marshall looking at the panel? Is he is looking for a reason to blame the panel on a fire? I can understand blaming it on black marks under in use circuit breakers, but not on old scorch marks were no circuits are installed.

    Ron and Jerry, don't get me wrong. This is a question I have had for some time and have struggled with what is the correct answer.
    You have never had a FIRE INSPECTION. I have in my office. boy the stuff will hit fan if they see anything that looks like that panel...

    I think that any of you that are sitting in the fence of the issue should go take a trip down to you local fire station and have a short talk with your local Fire Chief... I will put $ 100.00 on him setting you straight. These guys see to much of this fire stuff and look at home and building fires.
    and if they see anything that looks like this panel HOT BUTTON.

    If Jerry and I can't help you understand the need to replace this as HI. Please go talk to your FIRE CHIEF.

    Best

    Ron


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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Peter,

    The NEC does not give a "how much is too much" other than:
    ......

    Other than "shall not be" which means any.
    Yeah, I know.

    Once again, in the real world we would have wiped that tiny bit of paint off the internal parts and been done with it.

    I have seen panels where you could not tell what color any of the wires are because of all the paint. THAT is not a good thing.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    This is a scenario I see a lot and always bugs me. We're paid to tell them what's wrong... we give our opinion and then some contractor comes in for free and says nothing's wrong. Usually he's a contact of some agent.

    So, since he didn't charge anything, does he still have any liability? I say yes. I think many contractors don't think so and/or they just aren't put on the spot enough like we HIs to have it come back and burn them when they make the wrong call.

    This is why what JP's always harping on is so important. We can't just say 'further evaluation' etc, etc. We also must tell them to replace it. Like with Federal Pacific panels. I know many clients don't have it replaced. They'll just take the money and plan to do it or just not think it's that big of a deal. If we recommend replacement and the house burns down there's not even a chance of a case against us. Realistically, if we call it out and just say 'further evaluation' it's a stretch that we'd ever be in trouble but it can be a long expensive road to get there.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    OK. I would like my clients to have a nice pristine new panel. It will make it easier for them to sell when that time comes. Some other HI will push the panic button when he sees this 5 or 10 years from now. So we are recommending a replacement on that ground, but the sellers will scream foul, no doubt. They'll say it was checked out and declared safe by their electrician.
    So I suggested my clients get a declaration in writing that there is no danger, or they get a new panel. It affects the property value.

    The paint is a bad thing, but I agree with SP, not enough to ring any alarm bells.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    We can't just say 'further evaluation' etc, etc. We also must tell them to replace it. Like with Federal Pacific panels. I know many clients don't have it replaced. They'll just take the money and plan to do it or just not think it's that big of a deal. If we recommend replacement and the house burns down there's not even a chance of a case against us. Realistically, if we call it out and just say 'further evaluation' it's a stretch that we'd ever be in trouble but it can be a long expensive road to get there.
    But we are not immune to suit by the seller. If the buyer is only looking for the repair cost to be high enough to get out of the sale to recover the earnest money, and we have stated a repair must be made that is disputed by a professional in that field, we could have some splaning-to-do!


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Guys, it really is as easy as we have said it is. Why make it so difficult?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    So I suggested my clients get a declaration in writing that there is no danger, or they get a new panel. It affects the property value.
    Doing that will almost always back-fire in your face.

    YOU made your initial call.

    YOU gave your professional opinion and stated why.

    YOU need to stand by your professional opinion and not allow someone some contractor to come in and say it is okay by them, and by the way, the home inspector pushed that call off onto me, so now I made that call.

    YOU need to tell your client: "This is what I said in the report, this is why I said it, and this is why *I* *AM* *STILL* *SAYING* *IT*.

    HIs cannot force anyone to do anything, but if you make a call and then let someone override you and you say okay, your word and opinion is now worthless to your client.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    But we are not immune to suit by the seller. If the buyer is only looking for the repair cost to be high enough to get out of the sale to recover the earnest money, and we have stated a repair must be made that is disputed by a professional in that field, we could have some splaning-to-do!
    And that splaining is "This is my professional opinion and why." Don't walk in fear of being sued by THE SELLER ... YOUR CLIENT IS THE BUYER, they are the ones you are working for.

    IF IT IS NOT RIGHT ... SAY SO ... AND STICK TO IT.

    Either that or be convinced you were wrong and then never make that call again on a future inspection - but do not vacillate back and forth with your client, you will only end up looking like you have no idea what you are doing, and, if you have no idea what you are doing you need to learn, and learn fast.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  37. #37
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    John I'm going to agree with Jerry. ( scary isn't it - just kidding)
    If you made the call in your report to change the panel- stick to your guns!
    If you back down then you open the door to everything else in your report as suspect.

    You sell your yourself as a professional, made a professional report, now you need to back up your professional opinion.

    State the facts- the panel has been damaged at some point in time.Should someone try and use the damaged part of the buss it could result in further damage or become the source of a fire. The damage voids any UL listing.For these reasons the panel is being reported for replacement.

    The issue with the paint - not enough to get excited about- (besides if it gets changed the paint goes with it)

    It's when you are challenged in your call that one can tell how professional one is. If it is a good call one will stand firm on it.

    By the way , in my professional opinion - I say Change it


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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    AD, I have NO idea what the picture has to do with anything on this site, let alone this thread. Care to fill us in on it's relevance?


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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Yes, I do. I do because there very often seems to be an automatic "The electrician didn't do what he was supposed to", or "HE is the professional. HE should do what's right", mentality with home inspectors. This is typically in hind sight and with no idea what went on during, before or immediately after the installation.
    The real world is often not consiudered in these cases.

    Examples:
    My comment was not made with the purpose of debating whether or not the electrician's work is proper. My point was that a couple posts early in this thread appeared to place the onus on the homeowner to make sure the work was done properly.

    For example, Ken said.......Most likely the electrician was doing what he/she was paid to do. It is up to the customer that is footing the bill as to the extent of the repair. Speeddy Petey then said.............Completely agree. Of course we would suggest replacement. The next question is "How much?".
    Then the next next question is "What are my alternatives?". I am not sure why anyone would "blame" the electrician for making this "repair".


    If it seems to be generally agreed that an electrician did this work and most of us would like to see the panel replaced, then who is is there to finger for what may appears be an inappropriate and inadequate repair? I'm sure the owner of the house didn't put a gun to the electricians head and tell him "I want the holes in the deadfront plugged and a new breaker installed.....or else". 99% of homeowners have no knowledge of service panels or the proper repairs needed when something goes kablooie like whatever happened at the top of that panel. I'm sure the homeowner did not pick up a Home Depot Wiring 1-2-3 book and say "this is what I want". Even if an owner did tell the electrician to fix it a certain way that he knows may be wrong, it is the professionals choice to either take the money and perform work he knows to be substandard or he can refuse the job and tell them it needs to be done his way. The same holds true for whatever alternatives the electrician may or may not have given the homeowner.

    Therefore, if it is generally agreed that the panel should be replaced based upon the limited info we have here and I think I've read most posts here correctly, who does the responsibility for the work fall upon? Last man in (ie- the electrician). And if we are to look at this panel in it's "repaired state" and still say it should be replaced, is that the fault of the homeowner for following advice from somebody they thought to be a professional?


    I hadn't even chimed in on this thread before Speedy made his first comment about "blaming the electrician" for the repair. Yet, my comment was used as rationale for saying what he said............before I even had a chance to say it.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post

    I hadn't even chimed in on this thread before Speedy made his first comment about "blaming the electrician" for the repair. Yet, my comment was used as rationale for saying what he said............before I even had a chance to say it.
    The timing was just right and it was relevant. So sorry I used your comments after the fact.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    AD, I have NO idea what the picture has to do with anything on this site, let alone this thread. Care to fill us in on it's relevance?
    It's not a very good likeness of me is it .


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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Therefore, if it is generally agreed that the panel should be replaced based upon the limited info we have here and I think I've read most posts here correctly, who does the responsibility for the work fall upon? Last man in (ie- the electrician). And if we are to look at this panel in it's "repaired state" and still say it should be replaced, is that the fault of the homeowner for following advice from somebody they thought to be a professional?
    Once again. Blame the electrician.

    You just said it. THE LIMITED INFORMATION WE HAVE.
    How do you know the electrician did not suggest replacement??? How do you know he said, "Nah, it's fine."???

    Why is there such a disdain for trades people in the H-I field??? Why are all contractors hacks and unprofessional in the eyes of so many of you?
    And I am serious. I have had enough exposure to this to form an educated opinion. This is not some whim I am imagining.


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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    I based my original post on the ASSUMPTION that the electrician explained to the homeowner the situation inside the panel. Showing the damage to the homeowner. Then the homeowner figuring I'm going to be selling this place, so just do whatever it takes to get it working for the least cost. How many times have we seen this approach ?

    Do we know WHEN the repair was made ? (Might have been the day before the inspection, as a quick get it fixed I got a buyer!)
    Do we KNOW that the Electrician just did a quick repair instead of trying to replace the panel ? Do we KNOW that the homeowner didn't want to pay the extra money to correct it the proper way ?

    Too many unknown variables to place blame on the electrician or the homeowner.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    KH: Methinks the lad doth protest too much.


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    I don't have a disdain for tradespeople Speedy and I never said I do. I do have a disdain for crap work and people who take other people's money by doing crap work for them. Is that the case here? I don't know. All I know is I would like the panel replaced if it were mine. You said you would also suggest replacement. Many of us in this thread would call for replacement. Now if John K who started this thread can come back to us with additional info about the panel, alternatives that were posed, and whether or not the work done is considered acceptable, then I have no problem admitting to being wrong.

    I only chimed in because it was suggested the quality of the repair is all on the homeowner. How many times have we had an HI client who wants us to put something in a report that doesn't belong there or falls outside the scope of the inspection or try to tell us how to word something in the report? If a professional, regardless of field of work, wants to compromise themselves and their work for a paycheck, that is their call. Just because somebody waves money in your face doesn't mean you have to do what they ask.


  46. #46
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    Wink Re: Would you change this panel?

    If you happen to be an engineer and consider the glass as being twice as big as needed, then you probably think the house is also twice as big as your client needs.
    True but we don't make that call...Sales and Marketing does.

    We're more concerned with the thickness and type of glass.


  47. #47
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I don't have a disdain for tradespeople Speedy and I never said I do. I do have a disdain for crap work and people who take other people's money by doing crap work for them. Is that the case here? I don't know. All I know is I would like the panel replaced if it were mine. You said you would also suggest replacement. Many of us in this thread would call for replacement. Now if John K who started this thread can come back to us with additional info about the panel, alternatives that were posed, and whether or not the work done is considered acceptable, then I have no problem admitting to being wrong.
    Absoultely. Unfortunately we will likely never know what took place during this job, so everything here is speculation.





    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I only chimed in because it was suggested the quality of the repair is all on the homeowner. How many times have we had an HI client who wants us to put something in a report that doesn't belong there or falls outside the scope of the inspection or try to tell us how to word something in the report? If a professional, regardless of field of work, wants to compromise themselves and their work for a paycheck, that is their call. Just because somebody waves money in your face doesn't mean you have to do what they ask.
    At the same time, maybe there was simply not enough money waved in someone's face. Hence the bare minimum repair.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    I would replace that right away. The electrician repair was just a quick and cheap temporary repair to buy some time until the panel could be replaced.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    But we are not immune to suit by the seller. If the buyer is only looking for the repair cost to be high enough to get out of the sale to recover the earnest money, and we have stated a repair must be made that is disputed by a professional in that field, we could have some splaning-to-do!
    I'm my 30 years of inspecting I have had many buyers back out because of the information in my reports.
    HES A DEAL KILLER OR THAT'S A BAD REPORT.

    Its not the inspector or the report... it's the information... Most buyers back out because they were just looking for any reason the back out.

    Odd but true.

    But in the 30 Years I have never be had a legal case come up...

    You will piss off a seller now and then. and I think more now because of the Times we are working in. But get a good nights sleep and just do your JOB

    I would rather make some one mad at me before the close of escrow then after...

    Replace the panel...

    Best

    Ron


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Last I heard, an electrician will be taking a look at it. I brought it to the attention of my clients and their realtor. That's all I know.

    There's little need for more circuits here, maybe one more for a garburator.

    How does a scorch mark render this panel unfit? That is my question.


  51. #51
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    A.D.you still did not explain your post.#37


  52. #52
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    If this was in your condo unit, would you want it replaced? An electrician has installed a new breaker lower down and plugged the old holes in the deadfont. Is it OK?
    John, a few questions:

    1 - What amperage is the the breaker that was installed lower in the panel? I can't tell from the 2nd pic due to the angle.

    2 - Does the panel still have one main shut-off served by the new breaker? I'm wondering whether or not this panel still deenergizes in 6 throws of the hand or less.

    3 - Is it a new service cable that runs to the new main breaker? If so, what is going on with the service cables still attached to the top of the hot bus bar?


  53. #53
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    A.D.you still did not explain your post.#37
    MG: Self-explanatory.


  54. #54
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Ron, my post regarding suit by the seller was in response to Matt's assertion that no problems can come from recommending replacement. Nothing is fool proof!

    I can see it now: (Attorney) Mr. Heiler, you are a HI, is that correct.

    (Me) yes.

    (Attorney) and you recommended replacement of the panel at great cost to Mr. Seller.

    (Me) Yes.

    (Attorney) Are you also a licensed electrician or otherwise specialist in regards to this panel.

    (Me) Uh, no.

    (Attorney) What led you to believe the panel had to be replaced.

    (Me) It had scorch marks at unused locations and someone may try to use those locations.

    (Attorney) Isn't it true that the contacts have been removed from those locations making it impossible to insert breakers there.

    (Me) Yes.

    (Attorney) You say it has scorch marks. My car has a dent in the right front fender, doesn't mean the car is not functioning as intended. Did you as part of your inspection test any of the electrical system, like range, dishwasher, garbage disposal, A/C, etc.

    (Me) Yes.

    (Attorney) And did the panel smoke or burst into flame.

    (Me) No.

    (Attorney) Did you recommend further investigation by a licensed electrician to determine the status of the panel.

    (Me) No.

    (Attorney) Your Honor, Mr. Seller would like to recover the 10K earnest money he lost due to Mr. Heiler practicing outside his license authority.

    Jerry, I do not "WORK FOR" the buyer. I inspect the property and provide an unbiased report of its condition at that time. The buyer has agreed to purchase the report prior to the inspection. My report would be exactly the same for whomever purchased it. That may not be the norm, but it makes it a lot easier than taking sides.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    A.D.

    I'm sorry I must be missing something.Can you please explain?


  56. #56
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Jerry, I do not "WORK FOR" the buyer.
    Then who's name is on your contract?

    I inspect the property and provide an unbiased report of its condition at that time.
    As we all do.

    The buyer has agreed to purchase the report prior to the inspection.
    Huh? Your "inspection" is free, you just charge for your report?

    I would like to schedule an inspection for you to do and "inspection" on my home ... keep in mind that I may, or may not, decide to have you issue a report, which means I may or may not pay for the report.

    My report would be exactly the same for whomever purchased it. That may not be the norm, but it makes it a lot easier than taking sides.
    I believe that IS the norm.

    However, the party who pays you is YOUR CLIENT and you WORK FOR ... YOUR CLIENT.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  57. #57
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    John, a few questions:

    1 - What amperage is the the breaker that was installed lower in the panel? I can't tell from the 2nd pic due to the angle.

    2 - Does the panel still have one main shut-off served by the new breaker? I'm wondering whether or not this panel still deenergizes in 6 throws of the hand or less.

    3 - Is it a new service cable that runs to the new main breaker? If so, what is going on with the service cables still attached to the top of the hot bus bar?
    Nick, It's a Sub-panel. (what the heck, I'm already in the electric chair)


  58. #58
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Nick, It's a Sub-panel. (what the heck, I'm already in the electric chair)
    Now prepare to be SUBmerged into a 5,000 gallon tank of saltwater.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  59. #59
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    A.D.

    I'm sorry I must be missing something.Can you please explain?
    MG: Ask VH. He got it. And, careful you do not slip into that tank of water.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Huh? Your "inspection" is free, you just charge for your report?

    I would like to schedule an inspection for you to do and "inspection" on my home ... keep in mind that I may, or may not, decide to have you issue a report, which means I may or may not pay for the report.
    In NC we must provide a writen report. The contract is an agreement that inpart states who will pay for the report.


  61. #61
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    A.D.

    Nope,still not getting it.Maybe it's a southern thing?Can you share with your friends up north?


  62. #62
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    A.D.

    Nope,still not getting it.Maybe it's a southern thing?Can you share with your friends up north?
    MG: Are you from Dense, UpNorth?

    (1) The thread revolves around electricians and their (often specious) opinions.

    (2) Electricians, in my experience, are often referred to as "sparkys" [sic].

    (3) The electric chair is being used, in my imagination, to rid us of at least one sparky (or his opinion).

    (4) This is called "h-u-m-o-r", both down here, and up there in Dense.

    Got it, or should I expound further?

    AND, if you are just wanting to pick a fight, well then, you certainly arrived in the right ring.


  63. #63
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    In NC we must provide a writen report. The contract is an agreement that inpart states who will pay for the report.
    And that is your client, that is who you are working for.

    I'm betting that there are exceptions in there that if I, *the client*, had you do an inspections and I, *the client*, DID NOT WANT a written report, that I, *the client* would not have to be given a written report.

    You are not selling the "report", you are selling, and the client is paying for, "the inspection", which comes with a report - you cannot write a report (not a factual report) without having first done the inspection.

    However, through your thoughts on this process I am now beginning to understand your stance on why you do not want to write those up. Not sure where you are getting those thoughts or who put them in your head, but those thoughts are certainly not for the benefit of YOUR CLIENT ... the one who PAYS YOU ... and the one YOU WORK FOR.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  64. #64
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    (1) The thread revolves around electricians and their (often specious) opinions.
    Oh really. Do you really find this that often?


    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    (3) The electric chair is being used, in my imagination, to rid us of at least one sparky (or his opinion).
    Now why would you want to do that? Or do you only like it when people agree with you?

    I can only assume the latter. I have seen how you react when folks disagree with you.



    BTW- Which one of us would you like to see in your "electric chair" in #3 ?
    This is another interesting way of dealing with those that disagree with you.


  65. #65
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    Default Re: Would you change this panel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Garrity View Post
    A.D.

    Nope,still not getting it.Maybe it's a southern thing?Can you share with your friends up north?
    Let me give you a run-down on the cast of characters:

    Thatís JP lower left. Absolute sure this guy is guilty and strapping him in.

    Thatís Ron lower right. Sure he can help, but gets residential and commercial mixed up.

    Thatís Speedy Petey center rear. Divided as the poor sucker in the chair. Knows the panel should be replaced but canít say it must.

    The two in blue are the lurkers who canít decide but are willing to follow.

    Thatís ME in the chairÖ..Stand back there about to through the switch .


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