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Thread: Near Meltdown

  1. #1
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    Default Near Meltdown

    I did an inspection for a client back in April of this year. Some electrical issues turned up in that inspection and the buyer asked me to come inspect the repairs a few weeks ago. The 1st time I went to inspect the repairs, there weren't complete and the electrican was at the house doing the work while I was there. I had to show him a pic of the deteriorated and cracked insulation jacket on the service cable as he couldn't find it. So, the client asked me to go back again the next day as repairs were supposed to be complete which included replacement of the service cable. So I go back and.......nope.......nothing. Everything was the same as when I left the day before. The cable was not yet replaced and the electrican was there at the same time as me again. Even though I was being paid for both trips, it was getting annoying. I never went back down to inspect the repairs as settlement was the day after my 2nd reinspect and the buyer didn't aske me to come back.

    Fast forward a few weeks to Wednesday of this week. The client (and now the owner) calls me because the work the electrican did resulted in her service panel almost burning up. She lost all power in the house on Sunday night and had to call for emergency electrical service on Monday. Her panel had to be replaced.

    Pic #1 shows what her old panel looked like after the near meltdown.

    Pic #2 is a picture I took of a picture the owner gave me of the way the 1st electrician spliced the new service cable to the lateral service line at the rear of the house.

    Pic #3 shows the drywall screw electrician #1 used to secure the top of the cable to the house and the split he put in the siding.

    The emergency service call with panel replacement and repairs set her back $2,000.00. And I still found a 20 amp breaker in the new panel with 14 gauge wire. Anybody want to take a guess as to whether or not the bedroom circuit breakers were changed to AFCIs?

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  2. #2
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
    Kary Krismer Guest

    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    Clearly this is your fault, because if you'd not said anything in the first place the repairs would never have been made!


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    I know that it's not unusual but how did this lady get stuck with the problem when she had been told some issues existed? Didn't she have a seller make any corrections?

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I know that it's not unusual but how did this lady get stuck with the problem when she had been told some issues existed? Didn't she have a seller make any corrections?
    That's what was supposed to have been done Eric. It seems that whatever the 1st electrician did (or didn't do) in the replacement of the service cable created the meltdown in the panel. And I attempted to inspect the requested repairs twice as I stated above but the work was incomplete and in progress both times so I never got to see the finished product.

    I am seeing more and more crap work done by "professionals" on reinspections. My client contacted the listing agent for the house as she was the one who arranged for the 1st electrician to make repairs for items I called out in my inspection report. The agent told her to contact the home warranty company. The 1st electrician got uppity with my client after she had him come back to the house to see how her panel almost went up in flames as he wanted to see it for himself before any other electrician. Two peas in a pod.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Anybody want to take a guess as to whether or not the bedroom circuit breakers were changed to AFCIs?
    Why would you ask this? This is not an NEC requirement. Only the installation of new circuits or additions to old would require the AFCI protection. Installing a new panel would not qualify, unless there is a local amendment.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    I would ask this Jim because I thought a new panel would require the breakers be upgraded to AFCI. If I am wrong, then I am wrong.

    Is it not required that bedroom circuit breakers be changed to AFCI with a panel change?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    Not according to the NEC.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    Thank you. When is it required aside from new construction?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    I don't know of any requirement to retrofit AFCI protection.

    There was a proposal for the 2011 to require AFCI protection if a receptacle was replaced in a location that would call for AFCI protection.

    Here is the change. Article from iaei.org

    Quote:

    ARTICLE 406 Receptacles, Cord Connectors, and Attachment Plugs (Caps)

    New: 406.4(D)(4) Replacements Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters
    This proposal would require AFCI protection in existing locations where a replacement receptacle is installed in a location where AFCI protection would be required in new installations. The existing requirement in 406.3(D)(2) requires GFCI-protected receptacles where replacements are installed at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in the NEC. The benefits of AFCI protection have been well substantiated over the last few NEC code cycles. There is no practical reason to limit the level of safety provided by an AFCI to new homes only. This proposal will provide AFCI protection for older homes by requiring the gradual replacement of non-AFCI-protected receptacles with new AFCI-protected ones.
    These same receptacle replacement requirements have been proposed for tamper-resistant receptacles at 406.4(D)(5) and for weather-resistant receptacles at 406.4(D)(6).


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    When is it required aside from new construction?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    I don't know of any requirement to retrofit AFCI protection.
    Define "retrofit".

    It is required when a "new circuit" is run as that "new circuit" is required to meet the current code.

    As Jim pointed out, it is likely that AFCIs will be like GFCIs and required when a receptacle is replaced in a location which requires (GFCI protection now) (AFCI protection then). There are only a few retroactive conditions in the NEC, the GFCI replacement is one, the other is Edison bases fuse replacement with safety fuse adapters when there is evidence of over-fusing.

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post

    I am seeing more and more crap work done by "professionals" on reinspections.
    I seldom see things corrected correctly on reinspections. I feel bad for the client because by this time they're down to the wire on the closing. The caliber of the contractors is really quite disturbing and I don't see any indication that it will improve.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  12. #12
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    I'm seeing lots of money being put into escrow at closing when repairs are not done properly and there is not time to have the work done again. In the past 60 days I have seen over $13,000 paid by sellers into escrow for shoddy repair work. I understand from buyers that the sellers were not happy campers at the closing table.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Near Meltdown

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I'm seeing lots of money being put into escrow at closing when repairs are not done properly and there is not time to have the work done again. In the past 60 days I have seen over $13,000 paid by sellers into escrow for shoddy repair work. I understand from buyers that the sellers were not happy campers at the closing table.

    Precisely why, all over South Florida, there was no attempt at "repairs", only "cost of repairs" and giving the buyer that as a credit at closing, then the buyer either: a) using the money for a big screen TV; or b) being in charge of the contractor they want to make the repairs.

    I am sure you can easily figure out which was done most of the time.

    Which is why I told my clients that if they did not have the repairs made, which was absolutely their prerogative, then they needed to be aware that they may need to, and willing to, "pass the money on to their buyer when they sell". Which usually fell on deaf ears.

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

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