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Thread: What to do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    14

    Default What to do?

    New Inspector...

    My client emails me this... "We literally just closed not even a week ago and the home is having an issue with one of the breakers tripping for no reason multiple times throughout the day.
    Thought everything looked good?"

    How do you respond?

    Thanks,
    Kurt

    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,503

    Default Re: What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Stein View Post
    New Inspector... My client emails me this... "We literally just closed not even a week ago and the home is having an issue with one of the breakers tripping for no reason multiple times throughout the day.
    Thought everything looked good?" How do you respond? Thanks, Kurt
    First thing is to address the new owner's concerns. Customer service is a large part of being an inspector. Make immediate contact, make an appointment and go over to take a look as soon as you can. Find out what is going on. Find out which circuit breaker and take a look in the panel. Is this a GFCI device and they don't know the difference between that and a breaker? Ask if they have done anything like hang pictures or do any work (something that might result in a nail through a cable). Take a look around the area where that particular circuit services. Unplug every appliance, light, etc. on that particular circuit (there might be a problem with some device/appliance of theirs). Find out what they are doing when the breaker trips (are they using multiple hair dryers on the same bathroom circuit?).

    Assuming you are using some recognized standards of practice, there are limits to what you can do as a home inspector, and operation of circuit breakers and verification of tripping are generally beyond the scope of a home inspection. Basically, the home inspection is a "snapshot" in time and if the breaker did not trip off while you were at the inspection then you cannot comment on it. If this is something that occurred in the past, particularly repeatedly, it should have been in the seller's disclosure (at least in California - I don't know about Florida).

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,348

    Default Re: What to do?

    AFCI's have a large number of nuisance tripping in many newer homes. Very common complaint around here.

    Dom.


  4. #4

    Default Re: What to do?

    As has been previously stated, call them back and go out to take a look today!
    Show concern.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,785

    Default Re: What to do?

    When the issue is resolved you may want to look over how you prepare your report so that you don't give the client the wrong impressions.

    They may have introduced motors or other things that are causing the tripping problem. First thing I would look at are the the appliances and ceiling fans on the problem circuit.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,868

    Default Re: What to do?

    Call the clients back. Go take a look at the panel.
    Be pleasant with your return call. The email appeared to be informal.

    As Dom correctly stated AFCI's are known for nuisance tripping. There was also a SEIMENES AFCI recall in 2002.

    As it appears now they are concerned. Just reach out to them. Be happy and always smile. Good service equities to further recommendations.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    S.W. Missouri
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: What to do?

    Definitely contact the client back.
    As mentioned it may be just something that the client has done that is causing the tripping. Often time, homes are vacant, with light electrical loads when the inspections are done. Fill a home with people and all there electrical devices, you now have a different condition as it relates to electrical loads.


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