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#171152 - 11/20/07 10:43 PM Home Inspectors  
George Little  Offline
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,489
Michigan USA
I guess things will never change. I have a home inspector who invested in that tester that checks for polarity, grounding, GFCI protection AND voltage drop. Since he has paid $300+ for his new tester he is charging $600+ for the home inspection required prior to the sale of the house. When the tester simulates a 10a. load on the end of a 150 foot long, 15a. circuit and it shows a 10v. drop he reports to the customer that there is something wrong with the wiring in the house???? What should I tell this "gentleman" and not risk offending?

George Little

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#171154 - 11/20/07 10:57 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: George Little]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Ask him if he can get a refund.

#171155 - 11/20/07 11:06 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: George Little]  
Redsy  Offline
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Bucks County PA
Tell them...

1) Codes are not necessarily retro-active

But, more importantly...

2) NEC considers voltage drop an FPN, and therefore not enforceable even under new installations.

#171158 - 11/21/07 01:12 AM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: Redsy]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
Actually I think that is really a 12a pulse the SureTest uses and I question how accurate that short pulse really is in predicting voltage drop. I would love to borrow one and look at the pulse on a scope to see what it really looks like. For that matter I would like to verify the result with a volt meter and a hair dryer.

I guess it is still not important. They will still be writing these things up on their report along with other "hazards" like "double tapped" QO breakers and calling out old tinned copper wire as "aluminum".

The bottom line is these guys are not enforcing code, they are trying to give buyers a bargaining chip. I suppose a few of them will have to get sued by buyers before they back off.

Greg Fretwell

#171166 - 11/21/07 08:41 AM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: George Little]  
Elec N Spec  Offline
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 33
Rochester Hills, MI USA
Tell the homeowner unless the circuit is feeding a fire pump motor there's nothing in the code that's enforceable. Just pulling your leg a bit but I see no problem with informing all parties that testers like these are limited in their ability to accurately test for voltage drop. Regards…Tony

#171167 - 11/21/07 09:12 AM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: Elec N Spec]  
leland  Offline
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Lowell area, Ma. USA
"1) Codes are not necessarily retro-active"

Alot of HI's don't know this, even with that said, they will be 2 cycles behind.

We have all seen it. "those kitchen 2 wire rec need to be GFCI"... "The bathroom can't share the hall lights"...etc.. (Not bad observations from a safety point)
But then they walk right buy the broken ground outside,overlook the 15 twin/mini brkrs and the neuts and grounds dbld up on the busses.

Now we get the call and try to be diplomatic, and explain the real dangers and the lack of knowledge, And justify the service call bill.

This will go on forever.

#171179 - 11/21/07 11:23 AM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: leland]  
Theelectrikid  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 810
Levittown, PA
My mother- "But the home inspector said it was safe."

Me- "Maybe because he's blind. (Mind you this guy passed on the recessed-behind-paneling outlets, but said the house needs to be covered in vinyl for "safety." I think these guys are on commission from the vinyl contractors.)

Her- "The guy was a professional."

Me- "Perfessional is more like it. Those guys only take 6week courses then start charging 100s of dollars.

Her- "What was it that he missed?"

Me- "Two outlets in the traffic light room don't work, the orange cable going to the dryer breaker and the old 50s one going to the outlet, etc."

<You get the idea.>
This is the standard talk between me and my parents trying to explain that something that the "perfessional" is right, is actually wrong, or in the case of asbestos siding, not bad.

Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

#171183 - 11/21/07 01:45 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: Theelectrikid]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
I took the NACHI test, got a 94 on it and I have never seen an oil furnace or a boiler. I am about $400 away from being a "certified" home inspector. It is not something I am going to do but I was curious.
I talk to those guys over on tyhe NACHI BB and there are some ECs who hang out there trying to beef up their skills but those are only the ones who participate in the training and want to learn. Some are really conscientious and want to do a good job.
I fear a scary number of HIs are just in that business because their old business failed. Florida is starting an HI licensing program but anyone working now will be grandfathered in. Right now, anyone with a $30 occupational license and a flashlight can be an HI, flashlight optional.
If you want to see what the result of that is, I could show you pictures of my kid's house and what the HI reported when they bought it.
Missed items, one room with zero receptacles, served with a romex extention cord punched through the wall
The only light in the under stairs storage space (with the romex cord and plug connected water heater) was a black rubber lamp holder connected to a romex poked through the wall to a receptacle box, no connector and connected to the lamp holder with flying wirenut splices. Unscrew the bulb to turn it off.
All that was fine with the HI but he did note the uneven pavers in the next door neighbor's patio.
He did notice the home made "light kit" in the ceiling fan (a lamp holder, fastened to the hole in the bell with the blank 1/8" pipe plug, pigtail wires through 2 drilled holes). He called it "missing trim".

It was after that when I decided I would find out what it takes to be an HI.

Greg Fretwell

#171185 - 11/21/07 03:55 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: gfretwell]  
EV607797  Offline
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
Fredericksburg, VA, USA

Please post the report and/or pictures. I would really enjoy reading it. One of these guys cost me over $500.00 during the sale of my last house because I had a twin 15/15 breaker in my panel and he indicated in the report that this is a 30 amp circuit requiring #10 wire. Due to tight settlement constraints, I just gave the buyers the money to "get it fixed" on their own.

Funny thing (or I should say NOT so funny) is that it was in a sub-panel in my shed. They could completely rewire the whole thing, including the 10' of 10/3 UF to the panel for half of what I gave them!


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."

#171189 - 11/21/07 06:50 PM Re: Home Inspectors [Re: EV607797]  
Theelectrikid  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 810
Levittown, PA
Greg: Pictures please!

Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

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