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  1. #1
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    Default Electrical panel qeustion

    I inspected a 1950's house that a new service equipment installed on the exterior by the meter. The interior panel in the bedroom closet had also been replaced and moved to the hallway that backs up to the closet.
    Inside the hallway panel there is a ground wire attached to a lug at the top of the panel. There is also a ground wire that is attached to the ground bar. They have extended the ground wire that attaches to the ground bar and wire nutted the connection.
    It looks like the ground and neutral lugs touch at the top of the panel.
    Is the ground wire that runs the ground bar allowed to be wire nutted together?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    According to section 250.64 of the 2008 NEC Handbook.

    (C) Continuous. Grounding electrode conductors shall be installed in one continuous length without a splice or joint except as permitted in (1) and (2):

    (1) Splicing shall be permitted only by irreversible compression-type connectors listed as grounding and bonding equipment or by the exothermic welding process.
    (2) Sections of busbars shall be premitted to be connected together to form a grounding electrode conductor.


  3. #3
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Crouthamel View Post
    I inspected a 1950's house that a new service equipment installed on the exterior by the meter. The interior panel in the bedroom closet had also been replaced and moved to the hallway that backs up to the closet.
    Inside the hallway panel there is a ground wire attached to a lug at the top of the panel. There is also a ground wire that is attached to the ground bar. They have extended the ground wire that attaches to the ground bar and wire nutted the connection.
    It looks like the ground and neutral lugs touch at the top of the panel.
    Is the ground wire that runs the ground bar allowed to be wire nutted together?
    Charlie ... it is very difficult to answer your questions without asking more questions. Needless to say the panel your picturing has several violations. This panel is attached to the dwelling that also has the service equipment and therefore a 4 wire feeder is required to that panel. However it appears that the egc (that big bare copper wire) of that feeder is bonded and terminated to neutral which is a big no no. It should be kept electrically isolated from neutral and connected to that grounding bar on the right hand side of the panel. The factory bonding means should not be installed... I can't tell if it is or isn't. You have a lot of current returning to the service equipment neutral bar on that feeder equipment grounding conductor. Shouldn't be like that at all can be very dangerous to human safety.
    The lug is a violation though it can be reasonably safe if done properly and the panel bonding is correct. Still though it is not allowed with out approval.

    The ground wire that is wirenutted together can be ok if it is an equipment ground for a branch circuit. It looks like a grounding electrode conductor and if that is the case then it shouldn't be installed in that panel at all.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Maybe I'm reading the original question/statement wrong, but to me it says that the service equipment is outside and that wire nutted ground wire is inside, which means there is another problem as the service equipment is what needs to be grounded to the grounding electrode system with a continuous grounding electrode conductor.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    looking at the pictures,and based on the original posters comments about the service equipment on the exterior by the meter, I will say that there is some terminology confusion.

    It appears that the installer used a bare copper conductor for the Equipment Grounding Conductor in the feeder to that subpanel.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    I agree with Ken (mostly, see the ... ):
    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    It appears that the installer used a bare copper conductor for the Equipment Grounding Conductor in the feeder to that ...panel.
    Except that Charlie stated ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Crouthamel View Post
    Is the ground wire that runs the ground bar allowed to be wire nutted together?
    ... that that bare ground wire goes to the ground bar - that's my problem, that bare ground wire shoule go to the service equipment, where it should be connected to the ground terminal, the grounding electrode conductor should go from the ground terminal to the grounding electrode system (the ground rod). IF that conductor bypasses the service equipment, then the service equipment is not properly grounded.

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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    And IF that bare copper is the Equipment Grounding Conductor then the splice is perfectly legal,
    and it is terminated incorrectly


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Has no one mentioned the wires entering the box through an unprotected hole as shown in the second picture. That alone would flag for it to be evaluated by an electrician..


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Boyer View Post
    Has no one mentioned the wires entering the box through an unprotected hole as shown in the second picture. That alone would flag for it to be evaluated by an electrician..
    Why would that cause that panel to be evaluated by an electrician?

    The defects and deficiencies need to be corrected by an electrician after you write the defects and deficiencies up, but why would an electrician need to evaluate it?

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    The box says "handyman/amateur" installation. What else may be missed in the short time you are there? Did we establish the wire nut on the ground is okay? Do we want to go on record as an electrical expert that all else is okay when there is evidence of hidden little traps?

    If I point out something in the box that is obviously not professionally installed, then from a liability standpoint, I would call for an evaluation by a electrician. I do not consider a HI to be qualified in stating what connections are proper, or what ground is proper....it is simply if the panel is right, or the panel is suspect. This panel is suspect. There are hundreds of connections in this panel done by who knows who. Now, does every 20 amp breaker have #12 wire? If I remember correctly, this panel was moved...what that done correctly?

    Yes, I would continue to inspect the panel and give it extra scrutiny, but early on, the panel would be suspect and a call for further evaluation by a licensed electrician will be in the report no matter what more I find. Isn't that what we do? I am not an old hand by any means....


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Steve good call. I agree there might be other things that were missed. if a sparkie is already there looking and being aware there might be other issues shouldn't cost more for them to look and be aware of that possiblity. now if there is more to be repaired then the cost goes up accordingly. one service call can cover more than one issue, and being aware there might be more to be fixed properly is in the benifit of the homeowner. Just not their pocket books lol in the short run.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Boyer View Post
    If I point out something in the box that is obviously not professionally installed, then from a liability standpoint, I would call for an evaluation by a electrician.
    No, from a liability standpoint you should be calling for CORRECTION by a electrician.

    You should list all the items you observed and then add that the electrical contractor should correct all those items and any other other items they find or create.

    Calling for an evaluation is like saying that you you did not do the evaluation for which you were paid to do, and, it leaves it open for an electrician to say that NOTHING needs to be done, not even the things that you should have written up.

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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    In Florida A Home Inspector is not licensed to open the cover on the panel. Not sure how they get around that fact.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Schrenker View Post
    In Florida A Home Inspector is not licensed to open the cover on the panel. Not sure how they get around that fact.
    One does NOT NEED a license to open the cover on a panel.

    Whatever makes you think that a license is required for that? Especially with home inspector licensing and a requirement (sort of a requirement) to open those covers and have a looksee inside??

    You probably did not know that as you are from the "USA" and not a specific place, such as from Florida - now you know.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    No, I meant evaluation. Do I want an electrician telling a client that "the home inspector should have caught xxxx" as he is "correcting" the one or two things I point out... Do you want a judge to say that? Why state things in the report which puts me in the position of being an electrical expert? I now look like the idiot to my client... This box is probably loaded with little stuff.

    Yes, I could probably study this panel and catch most of the typical amateur mistakes....or could I. I would definitely include as many faults as I could find...of course. Why wouldn't I want a true, recognized by the authorities, electrical expert to now look at the whole installation? There is a 50-50 chance the buyer will never get any of the work done (hey, the toaster works...why spend the money) and if anything happens in the future, what should the report have said?

    I think we are just talking about wording here.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    The 2010 Florida Statutes(including Special Session A)


    Title XXXII
    REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
    Chapter 468
    MISCELLANEOUS PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
    View Entire Chapter
    468.8311 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
    (1) “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
    (2) “Home” means any residential real property, or manufactured or modular home, which is a single-family dwelling, duplex, triplex, quadruplex, condominium unit, or cooperative unit. The term does not include the common areas of condominiums or cooperatives.
    (3) “Home inspector” means any person who provides or offers to provide home inspection services for a fee or other compensation.
    (4) “Home inspection services” means a limited visual examination of the following readily accessible installed systems and components of a home: the structure, electrical system, HVAC system, roof covering, plumbing system, interior components, exterior components, and site conditions that affect the structure, for the purposes of providing a written professional opinion of the condition of the home.
    History.—s. 2, ch. 2007-235; s. 16, ch. 2010-106; s. 8, ch. 2010-176.

    Mr. Peck. What does Readily accessible mean to you? In my mind you are required to use tools to remove a panel cover. But thanks for setting me straight.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Boyer View Post
    No, I meant evaluation.
    YOU were paid to do the "evaluation", so you are saying that you did not do the evaluation you were paid to do?

    Do I want an electrician telling a client that "the home inspector should have caught xxxx" as he is "correcting" the one or two things I point out... Do you want a judge to say that? Why state things in the report which puts me in the position of being an electrical expert? I now look like the idiot to my client... This box is probably loaded with little stuff.
    I guess you did not read all of my post, I will quote it here for you, with underlining and bold:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No, from a liability standpoint you should be calling for CORRECTION by a electrician.

    You should list all the items you observed and then add that the electrical contractor should correct all those items and any other other items they find or create.
    That way you did not miss anything, you pointed out SOME of what you saw (maybe even all of what you saw), then acknowledged that should the electrician find other things the electrician needed to correct THOSE THINGS TOO, and, you also pointed out that you are acknowledging that it is quite possible for the electrician to MAKE THINGS WRONG while making other things right, and that the electrician should CORRECT THOSE THINGS TOO.

    Okay, now, if you would, point out where what I said would allow the electrician to say that the home inspector missed blah-blah-blah ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Schrenker View Post
    The 2010 Florida Statutes(including Special Session A)


    Title XXXII
    REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
    Chapter 468
    MISCELLANEOUS PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
    View Entire Chapter
    468.8311 Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
    (1) “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
    (2) “Home” means any residential real property, or manufactured or modular home, which is a single-family dwelling, duplex, triplex, quadruplex, condominium unit, or cooperative unit. The term does not include the common areas of condominiums or cooperatives.
    (3) “Home inspector” means any person who provides or offers to provide home inspection services for a fee or other compensation.
    (4) “Home inspection services” means a limited visual examination of the following readily accessible installed systems and components of a home: the structure, electrical system, HVAC system, roof covering, plumbing system, interior components, exterior components, and site conditions that affect the structure, for the purposes of providing a written professional opinion of the condition of the home.
    History.—s. 2, ch. 2007-235; s. 16, ch. 2010-106; s. 8, ch. 2010-176.

    Mr. Peck. What does Readily accessible mean to you? In my mind you are required to use tools to remove a panel cover. But thanks for setting me straight.
    I see YOUR problem ... you are applying the NEC definition of ""readily accessible" to something (anything) other than the NEC.

    From above:
    - (4) “Home inspection services” means a limited visual examination of the following readily accessible installed systems and components of a home:

    From the FABI (Florida Association of Building Inspectors) SoP:
    - Readily Accessible:
    - - Available for visual inspection without requiring moving of personal property, dismantling, destructive measures, or any action which will likely involve risk to persons or property.

    This would include:
    - Readily Openable Access Panel:
    - - A panel provided for homeowner inspection and maintenance that is within normal reach, can be removed by one person and is not sealed in place.

    Again, being as you are (apparently) from someplace other than Florida (and other than most other states with licensing), you may not have made the connection that NEC definitions are for use with the NEC and are not applicable to all other uses, even though the NEC itself states that those definitions are applicable to that code:
    - ARTICLE 100 Definitions
    - - Scope. This article contains only those definitions essential to the proper application of this Code. It is not intended to include commonly defined general terms or commonly defined technical terms from related codes and standards. In general, only those terms that are used in two or more articles are defined in Article 100. Other definitions are included in the article in which they are used but may be referenced in Article 100.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    I could not find the word "evaluation" in either the NAHI or ASHI standard. Mostly used was the words "inspect" and "report". I am not sure, but I may be arguing with someone who just likes to argue. You basically said an electrician should evaluate the installation but just used different word.

    I do not wish to argue the minor semantic point further. The debate makes no sense to me. If you want to fill your report with inferences that you are an expert on these systems and not a generalist, that is your decision. If a foundation wall has a horizontal crack, I would never say the crack needs to be corrected by a general contractor and anything else be fixed he may see. I would say the foundation needs to be evaluated by a structural engineer. The crack in this case is not the problem...it is the symptom. Amateur wiring is not a problem, it is a symptom of a possible handyman improper panel. I do not know how to explain my point further. Like I said, probably a 50-50 chance the new homeowner never gets around to fixing any of it anyway.

    No where does it state that I am to evalute the electrical panel. Inspect and report is my job. Sorry I cannot seem to make myself clearer. If you can find where a home inspector is hired to evaluate in any of the standards of practice, I will happily stand corrected.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Boyer View Post
    I could not find the word "evaluation" in either the NAHI or ASHI standard. Mostly used was the words "inspect" and "report".

    No where does it state that I am to evalute the electrical panel. Inspect and report is my job.
    And how do you decide what to report in your report ... being as you are not doing an evaluation of what you are inspecting?

    Please explain what method you use to determine what to report.

    Words DO make a difference, words make a BIG difference, both to keep you from being sued and to protect you when you are being sued ... if you do not evaluate what you are inspecting, please enlighten me as to your methodology.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Inspecting and then reporting is evaluating as a generalist. Asking a specialist to evaluate as a specialist is inspecting and then suggesting action as a specialist using the clues I found as a basis to start. I will set myself up for trouble if I try to fill both roles on all systems of a house.

    What is this argument about? I am done and apologize to anyone who has had to read this thread for extending it by replying.

    You said words matter. No where in my standards is the word "evaluate" stated as my function even though generalized evaluation is what I am doing.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Steve, forgive me for butting in but, if I may, let me paraphrase the intent of Jerry's posts to get past the straining at semantics.

    Jerry has repeatedly pointed out here and numerous other posts a point that I mostly agree with; call for repair of the things that are wrong. If you know it is wrong, say so.
    Don't let the milk toast teachings of inspection schools keep us from pointing out the problems of home because of a perception of protection from liability.

    You are not designing the repair, just pointing out the defect.

    When you call for "evaluation" rather than repair of something that is an obvious defect you just weakened your credibility, the message to your client, as well as their position in negotiating the proper repair.

    Semantics are important but all to often we see inspectors, especially new inspectors hiding behind soft reporting and semantics.

    And yes, Jerry does like to argue.
    But mostly there is a purpose behind his crotchety manner.

    Jim Luttrall
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    You are assuming I am from another state and that I am quoting the NEC. All things which I did not say. You can find the definition for ready accessible in all of the Florida building codes. Quoting an Associations definition would be the last place I would go for the definition.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Schrenker View Post
    You are assuming I am from another state ...
    And I make a fair presumption as you simply state "USA" as your location. If you would like to un-hide your location then that would be a start toward actually being taken seriously.

    ... and that I am quoting the NEC.
    That is because the NEC uses that term and defines that term.

    You can find the definition for ready accessible in all of the Florida building codes. Quoting an Associations definition would be the last place I would go for the definition.
    And trying to quote a building code is being the defined use for a state licensing statute is the place you would go? If you were building something, yes, but if you were performing a professional service under a state statute for that professional service it seems to me that you would go with what pertains to that profession, first to the statute, then to the Florida Administrative Code for Rule pertaining to that profession, then to widely acceptable standards of practice for that profession when not referenced in the statute or the FAC Rules.

    But then, maybe you would look to the building code for readily accessible access to an on ramp onto I-95, I-4, or any of the Interstates or the Florida Turnpike too? Seems a bit far fetched and off target? Yep, but so is what you are suggesting/implying.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 04-13-2011 at 07:57 PM. Reason: left off an 'n' from 'the', should have been 'then'
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    And yes, Jerry does like to argue.
    Jerry does like to create debates ...

    (underlining is mine)
    But mostly there is a purpose behind his crotchety manner.
    ... debating causes most people to actually start thinking about what is being debated ... others just bury their heads in the sand and pass gas.

    Lively debates is where information is freely exchanged, and the livelier the debate, the more one needs to think to exchange information.

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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No, from a liability standpoint you should be calling for CORRECTION by a electrician.

    You should list all the items you observed and then add that the electrical contractor should correct all those items and any other other items they find or create.

    Calling for an evaluation is like saying that you you did not do the evaluation for which you were paid to do, and, it leaves it open for an electrician to say that NOTHING needs to be done, not even the things that you should have written up.
    Agreed...110%

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Jim,
    I appreciate your comments. The assumption was made that I would see one thing and simply pass it off with an "evaluate by" sentence in the report. Others have said Mr. Peck likes to argue...or "debate" is a word he uses. It is neither. It is preaching..

    You called some teachings milk toast. The fact of the matter is the Home Inspection Profession is quickly...finally....becoming more standardized nationally. This is also making the profession a standardized target of lawyers....a target of home buyers that look to deflect bad buying decisions onto someone else. I suppose having a pre-inspection contract stating what your liability is or is not...what you inspect and what you do not....also hurts your credibility with a client? Does calling for evaluation by a structural engineer for a horizontal foundation crack along with strange movement of the framing deplete your credibility as a HI, or do you need to say what needs repaired and not call for an evaluation? I don't think it is milk toast.

    Of course I am going to point out all the things I see wrong...with pictures, arrows, links to information in my PDF...all this to serve my client including the statement of a licensed expert needing to evaluate a screwed up system as important as the electrical.

    He asked me what I thought my job was. Well it is trying to keep new buyers from getting injured, killed,,,or surprised by a huge repair bill right after moving in. That is it in a nutshell. If this panel was moved, it may actually be considered a subpanel (don't jump on me for using that term...everyone knows what a subpanel is) and the neutrals and grounds are all wrong. There is a multitude of things that can be in there.

    I don't give a rat's butt if Mr. Peck never places in his reports that someone else should evaluate anything. Maybe he is the god of all systems residential, and all others bow to his expertise. Many who are now HIs were once in the trades and know Plumbing, or electrical inside and out, but nothing about the rest. Home Inspecting has been all over the place the last couple of decades.

    Mr. Peck has knowledge, but also I see arrogance and ego. There is no debate...only dictation and preaching. It has actually soured me on this whole MB as I now see him everywhere on this site.

    I will consider the word "evaluation", but as of now...I see no problem with it. I actually see this whole thing as silly argument for the sake of arguing.

    I thank you for your comments and the form they were presented.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Boyer View Post
    I will consider the word "evaluation", ...
    The reason for the debating is to get one to think, and you are now thinking about it ("will consider" was the way you said it).

    I actually see this whole thing as silly argument for the sake of arguing.
    The whole thing was to get you to think about it, and that was achieved.

    Where you go from there is up to you. Others already understand the usefulness of debating the use of terms and their drawbacks, some will understand that usefulness over time, others may never get it.

    All that debating can do is supply the water, it cannot make one drink to satisfy the thirst for more information, nor can it even create that thirst for more information.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    what about the wording of "further evaluation"? Showing that you as the inspector DID evaluate and found problems and recommend FURTHER eval by a licensed electrician to repair what was found and to repair what else he may find as an expert because he evaluated more as he is more qualified to do so.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The reason for the debating is to get one to think, and you are now thinking about it ("will consider" was the way you said it).



    The whole thing was to get you to think about it, and that was achieved.

    Where you go from there is up to you. Others already understand the usefulness of debating the use of terms and their drawbacks, some will understand that usefulness over time, others may never get it.

    All that debating can do is supply the water, it cannot make one drink to satisfy the thirst for more information, nor can it even create that thirst for more information.
    Kudos Jerry Peck, another understudy has been groomed. Keep up the good work, one neophyte at a time. I hope I am still around to watch the last one see the light.

    Sarcasm and underlining were mine.


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by biglebowski View Post
    what about the wording of "further evaluation"? Showing that you as the inspector DID evaluate and found problems and recommend FURTHER eval by a licensed electrician to repair what was found and to repair what else he may find as an expert because he evaluated more as he is more qualified to do so.
    By and large, the home inspector did THE evaluation and should identify everything which they saw that makes them consider that "further evaluation" by someone else is needed, and then state that such person needs to (depending on what it is):
    - (structural) such person needs to design appropriate repairs (and that person cannot do that without first making their own evaluation of the conditions, they do not need to be told to make that evaluation, they simply must do it to come up with a design for appropriate repairs - or no repairs if they so deem appropriate)
    - (electrical) makes all repairs/corrections identified and any others found or created during that work (again, you do not need to tell the electrical contractor to "think first" before doing the work, they simply must "evaluate" what needs to be done before doing it, even if their evaluation means they put a wire nut on an exposed wire)
    - (HVAC, plumbing, etc.) see electrical above

    Telling someone to evaluate what they are going to be looking at before doing any work on it should be taken as you think they are too dumb to think before doing any work, and it still leaves it open for them to come back and say that nothing needs to be done.

    If you tell them what you saw, and that corrections are needed, and that there may likely be other items they will need to correct once they start working on something, you have at least stepped up to the plate and called for repairs, which makes it much more difficult for the contractor and seller to try to get away without making those repairs - you have actually told your client that such-and-such needs to be repaired and you have given your client the information they need to support their position to get that repair done, or get money for it so they can have the repair done after they take ownership of the property and the repair.

    Every time you leave it to someone else to "make the evaluation", even in "further evaluation", you raise the chance that someone will come back and say "no work is needed".

    You at least need to write up what you see and call for repairs.

    After that, no person making those repairs can make those repairs without first evaluating what they see.

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

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bertrams View Post
    Sarcasm and underlining were mine.
    "Sarcasm"

    I expected nothing less from you, and you did not disappoint.

    Yes, sometimes it takes prolonged debates to get people to think, but when people think, good things happen ...

    ... and you have shown that you are not yet ready to think.

    Hopefully ... I did not disappoint you either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    By and large, the home inspector did THE evaluation and should identify everything which they saw that makes them consider that "further evaluation" by someone else is needed, and then state that such person needs to (depending on what it is):
    - (structural) such person needs to design appropriate repairs (and that person cannot do that without first making their own evaluation of the conditions, they do not need to be told to make that evaluation, they simply must do it to come up with a design for appropriate repairs - or no repairs if they so deem appropriate)
    - (electrical) makes all repairs/corrections identified and any others found or created during that work (again, you do not need to tell the electrical contractor to "think first" before doing the work, they simply must "evaluate" what needs to be done before doing it, even if their evaluation means they put a wire nut on an exposed wire)
    - (HVAC, plumbing, etc.) see electrical above

    Telling someone to evaluate what they are going to be looking at before doing any work on it should be taken as you think they are too dumb to think before doing any work, and it still leaves it open for them to come back and say that nothing needs to be done.

    If you tell them what you saw, and that corrections are needed, and that there may likely be other items they will need to correct once they start working on something, you have at least stepped up to the plate and called for repairs, which makes it much more difficult for the contractor and seller to try to get away without making those repairs - you have actually told your client that such-and-such needs to be repaired and you have given your client the information they need to support their position to get that repair done, or get money for it so they can have the repair done after they take ownership of the property and the repair.

    Every time you leave it to someone else to "make the evaluation", even in "further evaluation", you raise the chance that someone will come back and say "no work is needed".

    You at least need to write up what you see and call for repairs.

    After that, no person making those repairs can make those repairs without first evaluating what they see.
    ok, i think we are agreeing here. I just maybe didnt write it out how i meant. I usually would write out what repairs that I see are definetly needed and then say something along the lines of recommending further eval. should be done one top of the repairs that i already mentioned. Or is that not what you meant either? ie. Observed double tapped breaker at # 4 breaker and overfused breaker at #6, 14 awg wire at 20 amp breaker at main electric panel. Recommend further evaluation and repairs by licensed electrician. bueno?


  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    This wonderful weather was keeping me from breathing so I thought I would pop on the computer for a few waiting for the Afrin to kick in.

    Everyone loves to play with words and most think their words are the best to use.

    In saying that "evaluation" is what any tradesman is going to do no matter what you write up for repairs. No one is going to open a panel whether it be an electric panel or the front panel on an Air Handler and go straight to fixing anything before a thorough evaluation of their own.

    You just cannot be more straight forward than that statement. Every single time anyone wrote up a list of items to be repaired in a home, no matter how many people were before me writing those items and others up, I did my own evaluation before making any repairs. Sure, the basics were mentioned by folks before be but I was not just going to take their word for it. At times every single item was written up and the systems needed no other work than what was already mentioned but that was never the norm. More was found once things were pulled apart to make the repair.

    No one is made to look like a fool or incompetent if they write up repairs needed on a system and a further evaluation of a system at that time.

    If that were the case that there was no further evaluation needed then that would mean that we are representing ourselves to be the utmost expert about every system in the home.

    As Jerry stated

    "You should list all the items you observed and then add that the electrical contractor should correct all those items and any other other items they find or create.

    Calling for an evaluation is like saying that you you did not do the evaluation for which you were paid to do, and, it leaves it open for an electrician to say that NOTHING needs to be done, not even the things that you should have written up."

    He is not saying he did not already do an evaluation. He is saying that for the very limited time that he was at the home he found particular faults with the home. He listed those items. As far as anyone not finding anything else behind you? That is why there is limited liability statements from almost every home inspector on the planet. If a client wants an inspection that was so in depth that you were going to find 99.9% of everything in the home then they would need a plumber, electrician, insulation contractor, framer, engineer etc etc etc etc. and the home would be half torn apart with a dozen folks roaming around it spending as much time in the home as the inspector ..... on the one system ...and still not every single item would be found due to items buried behind others or in the concrete etc

    To state to someone that these are the items you found AND to fix anything else he finds at the time ?????????????? Kind of sounds like he is doing a further evaluation at the time for any further needed repairs. I don't care if he just looks in the panel and instantly finds something or if he checks every circuit from one end to the other including all attached fixtures down to a bulb. He is doing his own evaluation as he should be and not just taking your word for it and only fixing what you found.

    Crack in the foundation ? Well depending on your findings a further evaluation is needed. They will take measurements throughout the home and see exactly what is going on. There is no way a home inspector could write up a report like a master electrician, engineer, master plumber etc etc etc in the short amount of time he is at a home. If they find further items behind an inspector it is because you did ..... a further evaluation, deeper evaluation, spent a few hours there on one system, brought in superman in with his ex-ray vision, had and xray done on the home, rain a camera in all the drain and waste lines etc etc etc.

    Writing up items in a panel and when the electrician is there and he finds other items .... oh I mean when he does a further evaluation of his own .... I mean did further testing .... made further corrections on items he may find along with what you wrote up ... I mean ............................ It can go on for ever.

    Write up what ever you find. When the tradesman is there to make those repairs he will do a further/deeper evaluation at that time and make corrections on the other items he finds.

    Or just write up what you find and when they find more upon "their own evaluation" of the concern and what you wrote up was so matter of fact and final sounding and you miss/ don't find all items and the electrician says "What a fool this guy is. How could he have missed these items?" Now if you were to say that additional repairs may be needed upon their evaluation by the particular hand dandy, bonified, licensed, wiz bang, expert, qualified, exceptionally skilled tradesman ... and they find items ... you are the hero. If no more is found ... then you are the hero. Not the fool that missed something.

    Just my late night, cannot breath with all this crap in the air, tired, gotta go back to sleep, opinion. Everyone will do their own evaluation before doing any work on anything and that is what I tell every client. I will never have them believe for a second that someone coming behind me will just fix what I find because I am the know all end all. "T
    hey may find other items at that time upon their own evaluation before and or after these particular repairs. Not a soft worded report. Just a fact and as honest as I can possibly be to my clients.

    I am their to "REDUCE" the out of pocket costs associated in the home buying process. Not eliminate all costs or find all concerns. For that they will need many separate trades doing their own evaluation along with me and then not every item will be found.




    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 04-16-2011 at 01:39 PM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "Sarcasm"

    I expected nothing less from you, and you did not disappoint.

    Yes, sometimes it takes prolonged debates to get people to think, but when people think, good things happen ...

    ... and you have shown that you are not yet ready to think.

    Hopefully ... I did not disappoint you either.
    Does that mean that I have to sit in the back of the class?


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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bertrams View Post
    Does that mean that I have to sit in the back of the class?
    (my turn at sarcasm )

    I didn't know you were even in the class.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  37. #37
    Steve Boyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Ted, thank you. amen.

    This has gotten beyond silly....that is my evaluation.


  38. #38
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Jerome

    Readily accessible is a catch 22 with electrical. You can argue all day about what is accessible but "all" standards I know of require inspecting branch circuit conductor type, over current devices and compatibility of there amperage and voltage, service entrance conductor type as minimum of inspecting. How do you do this with out removing cover.

    I guess you could say on every panel to have it further evaluated.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Mike, first let me say I agree a home inspector should check all parts of these systems and be allowed to remove any panel that is easily removable and not distructive. I took a class given by Contractors Institue and was taught that it was not allowed per the statute. The state should clear up just what they meant by readily accessible. I still believe the fact that they included readily accessible instead of accessible, that they knew what they were doing. Readily accessible is defined in the 2007 Florida Residential code specificly not allowing the removeal of panels. Right or wrong. Thanks


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Schrenker View Post
    I took a class given by Contractors Institute and was taught that it was not allowed per the statute.
    I have taken classes there too, smart guys they are, but they are not always correct.

    Readily accessible is defined in the 2007 Florida Residential code specificly not allowing the removeal of panels.
    Incorrect.

    The 2007 Florida Building Code, Residential does not address "readily accessible" as "not allowing the removeal of" panel covers. It does not address this generally or specifically.

    The definition of "readily accessible" does *not require* the removal of panel covers, which is quite different than "not allowing" their removal.

    Be that as it may be, the Florida Building Code Commission, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) are different entities and are not tied together. Add to that that DBPR also has different entities within it which are not connected to each other, the list of "regulated" (which is not the same as "related" or "connected" in any way) go from beauticians to home inspectors to contractors to building code inspectors/plans examiners/building officials/etc to barbers to auctioneers to farm labor to harbor pilots to real estate to (the list goes on and on).

    Are you trying to tell me, all of us, that because the DBPR regulates home inspectors, contractors, and building code inspectors/plans examiner/building officials that the Florida Building codes apply to all regulated professions? If so, please explain how the Florida Building Code, Residential applies to hotels and restaurants (which is also regulated by DBPR).

    Please explain that connection to me.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  41. #41
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    I am a licensed electrician and when I take off a panel cover and see a mess I will note the major items that need repair (like a three wire feeder) and then say that the panel needs to be further evaluated by a licensed electrician and repaired as needed. I am not going to stand there and note every problem since I have found enough problems for an electrician to be called anyway. I have 10 minutes in a panel where an electrician can spend all day if needed.


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    SECTION R202 DEFINITIONS

    ACCESSIBLE. Having access to but which first may require the removal of a panel, door or similar covering of the item described (see Readily Accessible).

    ACCESSIBLE, READILY. Signifies access without the necessity for removing a panel or similar obstruction.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The definition of "readily accessible" does *not require* the removal of panel covers, which is quite different than "not allowing" their removal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Schrenker View Post
    ACCESSIBLE, READILY. Signifies access without the necessity for removing a panel or similar obstruction.
    Which is what *I* said, not what *you* said - that does not "not allow" the removing of a panel cover, that simply states that to be readily accessible does not require the removal of a panel cover.

    To show you how far off that definition is, it could successfully be argued that having removing the panel cover *is still readily accessible* (albeit that I *am not* making that argument).

    You are probably scratching your head and wondering why that could be so ...

    The definition for accessible, readily states: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - ACCESSIBLE, READILY. Signifies access without the necessity for removing a panel or similar obstruction.

    And surely you would agree that the home inspector is not going to be removing a panel ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  44. #44
    Clifford Mark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Steve Boyer,

    As a generalist home inspector, I can tell when something is 'wrong' or appears to have been done by a non-professional. Once I've found a few things that merit 'repair' or further 'evaluation' by a non-generalist, or conclude that there is some non-professional aspects to the work involved, that's all I need to convince me to check the deficiency box and recommend the 'repair and/or further evaluation.' My credibility is not impacted if I infer that there may be other things wrong and to attempt to make an entire list of correction items that is both accurate and complete is beyond the scope of a generalist. I'm regarded as very thorough by clients but I leave the 'perfectionism' to the specifically licensed tradesmen and do so gladly.

    Mr Peck is a value to these discussions - and I'm glad he's in them - but I suspect he could ruin a spectacular sunset by expounding on the optical aspects of what we're seeing, the vantage point of our visual, the impact of the smog or smoke from a nearby wildfire, the altitude and nature of the cloud formations and why this sunset has no green ray. It detracts to overanalyze. It's a sunset, after all. In the same light, houses aren't nuclear weapons and knowing when to recommend another view is judgment not incompetence. Know your strengths and you'll be fine. And thanks Mr. Peck.

    Bye the way, Jerry, are you any relation to Chuck Peck who went to Cal-Western University in San Diego in 1969-70 school year and wanted to be a cop?


  45. #45
    Steve Boyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Well Clifford, of course you are right. It is easy to go to far defending just as you feel someone went way to far attacking. I will step back and enjoy the sunset.


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Arguing the semantics I see.

    Fact is both methods of reporting will produce the same result. An electrician is going to come in and look at it and fix what needs fixing.

    The only difference is the impression left. Simply calling for further evaluation is a poor approach. But, at the other end of the spectrum, home inspectors are not electricians and should not try to pretend they are.

    Call out what you see. Call for correction by a professional and leave room in your reporting for them to add to the overall findings as they are the expert in that area and will no doubt be spending more time on that system then we do during the inspection. If those professionals are turning out many more defects than you do on a regular basis then it might be time for a career change.

    That of course would not apply to the incredible and talented HI's that post here ;-)

    Jerry, I don't always agree with you and you are a bit crotchety but you bring a lot of knowledge to the boards and I thank you for that.


  47. #47

    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    I remove an access panel everytime I enter the attic or crawlspace. Sometimes a screwdriver is required.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    Panel covers? You mean we're supposed to remove them?

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  49. #49
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    Default Re: Electrical panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford Mark View Post
    Bye the way, Jerry, are you any relation to Chuck Peck who went to Cal-Western University in San Diego in 1969-70 school year and wanted to be a cop?
    Clifford,

    I do have a brother named Charles, used to go by Chuck, but in 1969-70 he was (as I recall) in Vietnam digging holes, blowing up trucks, and generally being a pain in the neck to authority figures he was under ... if you know what I mean ... as I recall ... he made Spec 5 and Spec 6 a couple of times (yeah, he ticked people off, got busted back down - on purpose many people think - then was promoted back up, only to tick people off again ).

    His problems in the Army stated in Basic Training when he started a business doing KP for others for 10 bucks, then hiring others to do the KP for him for 5 bucks, started really raking in the dough until one day the wrong people answered 'Here." at roll call ...

    He never wanted to be a cop, blow up a cop station, yeah, but not be a cop - he had ... er ... HAS ... a huge problem with authority (but I think I said that already ).

    Let's just say a brilliant mind was wasted and blown away on all kinds of drugs, he is now a starving artist, VERY good at what he does (painting and sculptures) but cannot keep any money in his pockets.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  50. #50
    Leigh Goodman's Avatar
    Leigh Goodman Guest

    Smile Re: Electrical panel qeustion

    [QUOTE=Clifford Mark;165949]Steve Boyer,



    Mr Peck is a value to these discussions - and I'm glad he's in them - but I suspect he could ruin a spectacular sunset by expounding on the optical aspects of what we're seeing, the vantage point of our visual, the impact of the smog or smoke from a nearby wildfire, the altitude and nature of the cloud formations and why this sunset has no green ray. It detracts to overanalyze. It's a sunset, after all.

    Having seen thousands of sunsets I have probably come less than excited when spectacular sunsets are available for viewing.
    Having someone point out what is occurring and the intricacies of why would likely give me a new perspective on the process, answer some questions I never thought to ask and make me look at the event with a newly gained knowledge and a curiosity to learn more.
    Result for me: sunset enhanced - not ruined.


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