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#40444 07/20/04 07:11 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 33
ok i find this very mom is looking into buying a house, and the other night we had a showing of it, while they were looking at the rooms etc, i went around and checked outlets and so forth just to see if everything was in good shape, when i got to the basement i dont think there was a single 1900 down there that had a connector for the nm going into it, several ends of the nm was scorched, all the lights were the cheap 4' fluroecsents that are supposed to be plug connected hardwired with pullchains rigged onto them, and in one spot the nm that feeds the washer/dryer recepticle is pinched by the refrig lines for the a/c condensor and the suction line is burning its way thru the insulation.....i received a copy of the city inspection report today and the only electrical violation listed is for a gfi in the bathroom....what do you guys think of that


#40445 07/20/04 07:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Sounds like he phoned it in. [Linked Image]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#40446 07/20/04 09:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
Another case of an inspector having knowledge by appointment, rather than by experience or education?

(Trust me, my town's had quite a few of those. Anyone with real hard core experience or learnin' wouldn't put up with the BS politics around here [Linked Image] )

#40447 07/20/04 09:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,333
Likes: 7
There are a few of us AHJ's here, I also still am an active EC, so I'll voice my comments.
Here in NJ, we can only 'inspect' work that has a permit basically. We cannot walk into someone's home on a whim, we can under certain situations, but it's not common.
Doing that, if I see a dangerous condition, I can request that it be attended to, or I can have a discussion with the 'sparky'.

"Homeowner" or "Handyman" jobs, fly-by-night, un-inspected jobs/work are a problem all over. Catching an unlicensed person doing electrical can result in a max. $2000 fine, and possible criminal prosecution by the State Board.

A "CCO" type inspection here, by the CCO inspector, should have caught the violations you stated, although the CCO Insp is not an "official" Elec AHJ, he is not blind.

AS an EC, this is the type of problems that unqualified, incompetent people cause, but I came to the conclusion that whatever 'hat' I wear, it's something that is hard to control.


#40448 07/20/04 09:50 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 33
well, i do know that it is the citys dedicated electrical inspector although i do not know what his qualifcations are, they do have seperate plubing/electrical/mechanical/ and building inspectors. i am not complaining too much as the work they want done needs to be done before closing, and i dont think she is going to buy the house anyway, i just found it rather odd that out of everything (well i hope they saw everything) all they careed to cite was for no gfi

#40449 07/20/04 10:55 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
The whole basement needs to be on a GFI so no one gets electrocuted when the whole thing faults.

#40450 07/21/04 03:41 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
I just bought a house, and no city inspection required, but the bank wanted an ASHI or Home Inspector to come in before we bought it.

I show up just as he starts his inspection. I just let him roll with what he's doing. But I'm looking around myself.

He inspected the roof from the ground, the attic from the hole. Spent more time chit chatting the fiance, than looking at the house. Meanwhile, I'm pointing things out to his assistant (Son), been through the attic, and all other crawl spaces. Spotted electrical, plumbing, all kinds of other violations and dry rot. Then on to the roof and I cleaned the gutters while there. (I knew I was bidding on the house by then, good bones.)Meanwhile, he's going on about the lack of, and dangers of ungrounded outlets to my fiance, who is about to die laughing. She says, "My man's an Electrician... That guy on the roof..," He looks up at me pale faced, and says, "I thought you were the inspector for the seller!" At that point he swallowed his tongue, and started following me around trying to find out what I already knew.

The bottom line here is beurocracy. The bank and appraiser want his "opinion" in writing. I have to pay him $300 for it. The two banks do the swicth-a-roo with hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm in hock to the bank for my natural born days... Everybodys happy right?

His skimpy report about refinishing the floors and drippy faucet type stuff is what keeps the bank happy I guess.

Last week end I had some plumber buddies re do my gas lines, due to a noticable leak I spotted first thing. While I pulled all the flying slpices out. As well as the garage door receptical that was wired in #18.2, no box hanging from the cieling. (The "Inspector" had to duck so it wouldn't hit him in the face.) And started a new sub-panel. (All on permit) All easy to spot items, that weren't on his list at all. He didn't look! I don't have a week-end for the next year, but I knew that when I bought it. I pity the fools who bought the houses I didn't bid on. Most of them are future customers!(Somebody bought a house on a sink hole!)

We all have customers who've said to us, "How come this wasn't in the inspection when I bought this place?" After you just told them they need to start from scratch on re-wiring the whole house. Or refuse to go into thier attic because the trusses are cracked. We just roll the eyes don't we? Cause we then have to defend them because our customers can't make the distiction between truth and fiction. If they get the bug that everybody in the construction industry is glossing the facts, we then have to defend ourselves too. So we say, "Maybe they didn't see it." When we know they didn't look...

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
#40451 07/21/04 01:35 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 33
well, definatley not gonna get the house, since its the estate of ____ selling it, the bank wants liscend contractors to do all the fixup....even for putting the 1.99 backflow preventors on the outside sillcock and laundry tub.... go figure anyway more houses this weekend....i can only imagine what ill find this time


#40452 07/21/04 04:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Tom Offline
One of the complaints that many inspectors have is their workload. When I read how many inspections some inspectors are supposed to do in a day, I don't think they could do it in 24 hours, let alone 8.

Another problem, is multi-hat inspectors. It is a rare person that is competent to inspect all trades, but there are plenty of jurisdictions that do this.

Finally, some inspectors have no experiance at all. They have been appointed to the position. This is the situation in the state I live in. As an independent inspector, I had to pass 2 nationally recognized tests and have a master electricians license and cough up $100 a year to the state. Those that work for a municipality, county or state government don't have to have any certification whatsoever. Go figure.


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
#40453 07/21/04 07:48 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 116
I guess I was truely blessed when I bought my home in SoCal (Ventura County) several years ago. The home inspector that my realtor recommended was extremely thorough. He tested every outlet, light, faucet, drain, heater & a/c, craweled all through the atteic, was on the roof, etc.

He took pictures of everything (about 70-80 as I recall) and gave me a photo album of the photos, comments, and receommendations. He let me know what was "no longer" code, but that had been when the home was bulit.

To me, he was well worth the $$ I spent.


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