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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Question from a Home Inspector:

I know inspecting the electric panel requires removing the cover.

Shut down the main power first!

My question is...What if people are still living in the house at the time of the inspection. What about Computers, security alarms etc. Won't shutting down the power cause problems?

[Linked Image]

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 246
A quick word to the tenants will let them know that the power will be off for a few minutes. If now one is home, it would be no different that a power company outage. Just turn it back on when complete.

Power outages can cause problems with electronics, but they can just shut them down beforehand.

Rick Miell

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Good call Rick.
After all, it's not as though it's going to be off all day.
It's when people don't get told, that the feathers start to fly. [Linked Image]

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Joe, Rick and others,
Who is to say what is behind that cover?.
Who knows how well the wires have been tightened in the Disconnect?, Line or Load side.
Or, as I have come across before today, the cover was holding the Pan unit in place.
There are just so many variables and with Short-Circuit Fault Currents getting higher and higher, the need to isolate Live Panels, while not actually working on them, just opening them up, is fraught with danger these days.
If it will melt metal, just think about what it will do to your exposed skin.
It's like an un-controllable Arc Welder.

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,294
What happens if a Home Inspector shuts off the Main Breaker, does his thing, and then can't reset it?

Does he call an electrician and foot the bill himself?

Just curious.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 34
Why is some Home Inspector in a Panel? Most have no idea what they are looking for. A simple 8 hour class and a new notebook does not qualify them. They base their opinion on who hired them. If the seller hired them everythings OK, if the buyer hires them they will find a problem.

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 51
If you switch off equipment in the correct manner and it fails to restart that is the financial responsability or the said owner of that equipment as it is not fit for purpose or is faulty. Obviously it should be handled with some diplomacy and the equipment should not be left in a dangerous condition. Not shutting down the power may cause more problems to the inspector, but if he isnt qualified to open panels he shouldnt.

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
Just shutting down the main is not enough for complince with the rules in 70E. The line side would also have to be shut down before you remove the cover, unless you are in Canada. The panels in Canada have an additional metal cover over the line side terminations that is not part of the main cover.

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 38
electure you have a good point. i was adding a circuit to a office bldg last year. i turned off the main, when i went back to reset it it would not reset. that is not a good feeling at 8pm. and of course it was an old style breaker that had to be ordered.

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 135
I just got a call the other day from a woman who was troubleshooting her own electrical system in her house. She told me that when she went to remove the panel cover (to replace the breaker she thought was defective-it wasn't of course)that everything went dead in the house. I asked her if she was ok, but it turns out that she was just careless (in more ways than one) and bumped the main breaker while she was removing the cover. Oh my gosh!

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