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  1. #1
    David Block's Avatar
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    Default Bonehead Inspector

    I keep running across one of my competitors business cards in the most peculiar location...inside the main electric panel. I have run across this at least five times now. I take the cover off the panel and proped up inside the main panel is this guys business card. I'm not sure who he is intending to solicite his services...the electrician or other inspectors but I'd say he is setting himself up for a lawsuit should there be a fire. Has anyone else found another inspectors business card in an electric panel? Am I the only one to find this bonehead marketing ploy?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    David,

    Many inspectors do this as a way of showing proof they opened the panel. No other reason.

    rick


  3. #3
    David Block's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    I guess it never occurred to me to put flamable objects in the electric panel...especially when my name and picture is on it. Thats just me though....always wanting to limit liability. Wouldn't taking a picture of an open panel and including that in your report be wiser decision?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Years ago, we did not have the digital cameras that we all have today, so we tucked a business card in the lower corner of the panel to show that we did open the panel.

    It the same as writing your name on an attic rafter in the further most part of the attic, or placing your name, date on a floor joist in the crawlspace.

    How many green tags have you come across by the AHJ that is in the panel box. I've seen hundreds.

    rick


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Whenever I see an inspectors card in the panel, it seems it wired all wrong..

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    And when you see another HI's card in the box, don't assume that everything you see wrong and automatically think that the other inspector must have overlooked because the problems still exists.

    Nothing worse than an inspector bashing another one and not knowing what was on the other HI's report. We know most of the comments we make on a report never get repaired.

    rick


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    I agree Rick, I should have added that in my post.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    As you can see my card is in the box along with another previous inspectors card.

    It is quite common around here to do so.

    Mine is in a laminated card and I've done inspections where I've opened up a service panel and found my own card, and not realize I've been in the house before.

    rick
    (alias: bonehead)

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by David Block View Post
    I keep running across one of my competitors business cards in the most peculiar location...inside the main electric panel. I have run across this at least five times now. I take the cover off the panel and proped up inside the main panel is this guys business card. I'm not sure who he is intending to solicite his services...the electrician or other inspectors but I'd say he is setting himself up for a lawsuit should there be a fire. Has anyone else found another inspectors business card in an electric panel? Am I the only one to find this bonehead marketing ploy?

    The real question is how is this guy getting so much work?

    I guess if you keep finding the cards it means you're working too...


  10. #10
    David Block's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Yeah I guess that makes sense...in an "old school" kinda way. The guy leaving them is an older guy who's been in the business for quite some time. Myself, I've been in the business for 5 years. I guess I lean more to the cautious side of things and avoid putting flammable objects in electric panels. I figure if the NEC requires the panels to have clearance from flammable materials, it doesn't make much sense for me to put them into the panel. I know its a remote possibility but so is being struck by lightning or having a car accident or being hit by a tornado but we all take great precautions from those hazards.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    David,

    Your not wrong in your thinking don't get me wrong.

    Its just of all of the burnt up panels I've seen in my time, not a trace of a card was observed. (if it had been there)

    Go figure.


  12. #12
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    As Rick has alluded the whole card trick thing was started by some moron who had more business cards than synapses. When I find them I put them in an envelope and send them back to the dim bulb that left them there along with a note from hell.

    Use your imagination,

    Aaron


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Ummm ... guys, you do read what is on those labels the manufacturers put in their panels don't you?

    You know the labels which tells about the panel, torque, terminals uses, etc.

    The PAPER labels ...

    The business card is not going to start the fire, and, by the time the business card catches on fire ... it is too late for anything other than the fact that the panel enclosure is designed and intended to contain that fire.

    I'm sure you've tagged wires with combustible tags, insulated wires with combustible insulation, insulated wires with combustible insulation with combustible NM cable outer sheath labels, etc.

    I would not worry about a business card or two or the AHJ tag ... a stack of them ... a large piece of cardboard ... a large wad of paper ... those latter things I would (did) write up ... not because they would start the fire, but because they could add to the fire (and I will not even say 'significantly' add to the fire because there is no 'significant' amount of fuel being added to a fire, not considering the amount of combustible fuel already in there).

    And, no, I never put my business cards in there 'to show I was there', that was on my report - reading my report would provide evidence 'that I was there'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  14. #14
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    I would . . . add to the fire . . .to show I was there . . .
    BCJ:

    Good idea. I should just burn them on the spot and save my stamps.

    Aaron


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    I was one of those dim-bulbs Aaron alluded too and always left my business card in every electrical main service panel at every property I inspected. I also wrote the date of my inspection on my cards. I did this for the reasons already noted plus it was not unusual to run into a property I had previously inspected several years before as our data bases where not state of the art, there where no digital cameras back then and my computer was an original IBM with very limited memory and we did the best we could with what we had. Of course this was in the "dark ages" of home inspections and we had to keep our eyes peeled for roaming Tyrannosaurus Rexís who where card carrying members of the local county real estate association. Itís truly remarkable how far and fast technology has come since those days.
    I concur with Jerry P that a small business card placed at the bottom of an electrical service panel really doesnít provide a fire hazard.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Never seen cards left inside the panel. But have seen P2P leave their cards wired to the main breaker, water shut off, furnace, et ceteras.

    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  17. #17
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Left Coast Jerry:

    OK, sounds reasonable to me. I retract my statement as regards you and others in your genre.

    Aaron


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    My card can be found in thousands of panels in MS and now in TN. One reason that my state license law requires me look in the panel, so it is my proof that I looked in the panel.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    My card can be found in thousands of panels in MS and now in TN. One reason that my state license law requires me look in the panel, so it is my proof that I looked in the panel.
    Actually, it only proves that your card is in the panel. Anyone could put it there, or remove it, and at any time.

    But I get your point...

    Dom.


  20. #20
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    I suppose, as a construction guy less than an inspector, I would prefer to have less things laying around inside any electrical panel. A Sharpie would be better...lots of writing room, no? Just print name/date. I've seen that on water shutoff's, HVAC units, etc.
    Also, just curious, why didn't anyone mention the nice paint job in Rick's picture on the wire jackets inside that panel. Is that Kosher? Maybe I'm a novice, but I don't like that. I can see the solid busses are nicely preserved, but isn't painting inside the panel after rough in kind of frowned upon?
    thanks, appreciate the advice.


  21. #21
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Stone View Post
    I suppose, as a construction guy less than an inspector, I would prefer to have less things laying around inside any electrical panel. A Sharpie would be better...lots of writing room, no? Just print name/date. I've seen that on water shutoff's, HVAC units, etc.
    Also, just curious, why didn't anyone mention the nice paint job in Rick's picture on the wire jackets inside that panel. Is that Kosher? Maybe I'm a novice, but I don't like that. I can see the solid busses are nicely preserved, but isn't painting inside the panel after rough in kind of frowned upon?
    thanks, appreciate the advice.
    Paint in the panel is a No No! I did see it the first time around but did not say anything because it has been hashed over many times here. Do a search and you will find plenty.


  22. #22
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    "" it has been hashed over many times here. Do a search and you will find plenty."
    My bad...show's I'm new to this site.
    Just couldn't resist, though!
    thanks!


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Daniel,

    Forget the pain job, that is a Zinsco panel - replace that sucker (painted or not painted ... the paint job just makes it easier to write up for replacement for those who try to hedge on those panels).

    Two panels you will soon learn about and understand writing up for replacement 'just because they are those types of panels':

    1) FPE

    2) Zinsco

    (and not necessarily in that order - not really sure which is worse, but I can assure you that neither is 'any good')

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

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Daniel,

    Forget the pain job, that is a Zinsco panel - replace that sucker (painted or not painted ... the paint job just makes it easier to write up for replacement for those who try to hedge on those panels).

    Two panels you will soon learn about and understand writing up for replacement 'just because they are those types of panels':

    1) FPE

    2) Zinsco

    (and not necessarily in that order - not really sure which is worse, but I can assure you that neither is 'any good')
    Zinsco tops my list simply because I have had a "Zinsco Experience" first hand! Pulled the dead-front cover and three breakers slid off the bottom of the bus bars! Yep, they sparked and I had to change my undies!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  25. #25
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
    Daniel Stone Guest

    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Not only are you guys excellent for your knowledge...I get a good laugh too!

    thanks again, I'm not inspecting yet....just curiously interested. I'd like to put my experience to work though. Smart enough not to go right out and become one of those guys I've run across so many times....no experience...no training....no brains....but bragging about the money they're making doing inspections. I'm interested in more knowledge, less gum-flap.

    (***Yes...Jerry......I've been reading about the courses and links and certifications........Don't jump on me!)



    Dan


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Dan
    I was thinking the same thing. I find myself spending way too much time on this site, But what I get from it is priceless.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Zinsco tops my list simply because I have had a "Zinsco Experience" first hand! Pulled the dead-front cover and three breakers slid off the bottom of the bus bars! Yep, they sparked and I had to change my undies!

    Scott,

    I've had just the opposite experience with Zinsco ... could not pry those suckers off that bus bar they had arc welded themselves on so well (and that was in MY HOUSE down in South Florida!).

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

  28. #28
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    I've had just the opposite experience with Zinsco ... could not pry those suckers off that bus bar they had arc welded themselves on so well (and that was in MY HOUSE down in South Florida!).
    Jerry:

    And, no don't tell me, let me guess. Inside the panel you found not just one of Scott's cards, but a copy of the 1968 NEC as well?

    Aaron


  29. #29
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    but a copy of the 1968 NEC as well?

    So that's why the electrician did not know what he was doing wiring a 1975 house?

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

  30. #30
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    I wonder if the inspector put his card in this before the concrete man arrived?

    Aaron

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 05-17-2008 at 12:14 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    I wonder if the inspector put his card in this before the concrete man arrived?

    Aaron
    The Concrete Man waits for No Man.

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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Came across another bonehead today.

    Card dated back to 10/ 95

    Not any charred edges were present.

    Looked up this guys TREC license, and its expired. Now living in Colorado.

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  33. #33
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bonehead Inspector

    Now living in Colorado.
    I met Hale when I first got into the business. Nice guy. Glad he was finally able to escape Texas.

    Aaron


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