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#59467 - 12/06/05 06:07 PM Home Safety Inspection  
Jason_H  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1
Hello all, I am by no means an electrician, but I do have a question. I am in the process of looking to buy a house, and my realitor had said that once we find a house I like, to get a 15 Point Safety Inspection. I called the electrical company that she suggested, but they really didn't explain what all was done. My question is this.

1. What would ALL be tested in this inspection (as much detail as possible please, remember I am not an electrician)For all of you electrical contractors, if I were to have called about this, what would your list include?
2. Is this really needed in buying a newer home, meaning, is this just a marketing thing with the realitor and electrical company?
3. If I do decide to have this inspection, what would be a reasonable price to pay (Seattle Washington area)

I could see if I was buying an older home, but don't want to be taken advantage of.

Thank you to all that take the time to reply

[This message has been edited by Jason_H (edited 12-06-2005).]

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#59468 - 12/06/05 06:37 PM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
JoeTestingEngr  Offline
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 791
Chicago, Il.
Jason, You said that you talked to your realitor. Have you asked your proposed lending institution or insurer for recommendations? You would be penny wise and dollar foolish to not have one done.

#59469 - 12/06/05 06:58 PM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
There are Home Inspection Services that check all the conditions of a home, if they find a problem in any area of construction, they will recommend you contact someone in that field to investigate the problem.

Here is a site that may help you locate a Home Inspector,

15 Point Safety Inspection, sounds like something for your car, not your electrical system. Call the electrician in if a problem is uncovered in the Home Inspection.

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 12-06-2005).]

#59470 - 12/07/05 12:06 PM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
lamplighter  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 101
If I was doing the inspection, I would be looking for any number of code violations throughout the house, unsafe conditions (splices without boxes, exposed wires, etc.) I would also check out all electrical panels looking for signs of excessive heat, loose connections, double lugging (more than one wire terminating at a breaker).
Also, I would check to see if the connections at the service drop are safe and have the correct amount of drip loop.
I would look for a poorly mounted service riser, lack of G.F.C.I. protection where needed, etc.
Basically, I would inspect the whole electrical system for potential future problems and to make sure it meets the code standards.
As a buyer, you would be foolish not to have this done.
Any problems found could be used as bargaining chips for you to bring the cost down.
Also, the last thing you want is to buy the house and find out that you need major electrical repairs or upgrades.
Maybe the seller would be willing to split the cost with you or cover it completely.
I'm not trying to insult your intelligence here but, I would also make sure I have a home warranty and don't be afraid to use it.

Good luck.

#59471 - 12/07/05 10:59 PM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
sparkync  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 830
Just to add maybe a little to lamplighters comments, I am changing a service tommorrow on a house that was suppose to have had a homeowner's inspection 5 years ago, but whoever did the inspection, failed to note to the buyer, that the service riser wires were frayed and in bad shape (outside insulation pratically gone). Now they're having the whole service changed, Outside meter etc. and subpanel on inside. Something like this I think should have been noted to the homeowner. The possibility of loosing the neutral on the riser could cause major damage to their appliances etc. within the house. I've had at least 2 calls in probably the last year, where the homeowner has lost appliances because of this. Hope this helps and adds to the other suggestions already given....Steve

[This message has been edited by sparkync (edited 12-07-2005).]

#59472 - 12/07/05 11:12 PM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey

We do a large amount of inspection repairs, and when you find a problem, and they say they had an inspection 5 years ago, ask for their inspection report, most of the time, they either had no inspection done, or they had the inspection, and decided to let the problem wait, they act supprised, and say the home inspector never found that.

#59473 - 12/07/05 11:20 PM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
LoneGunman  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 141
I think youd be better served using your own electrician or if you dont have one call one that advertises service. I don't know what the rate is in Seattle but down here $75 an hour is about average in my area, two hours should give him enough of time to cover just about everything.

#59474 - 12/07/05 11:33 PM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
Speedy Petey  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 173
Upstate, NY
Sparky, that was becuase the H-I was more interested in noting that an older home had no GFIs in the bathroom and kitchen, even though GFIs didn't exist when the home was built. Or that the two prong original receptacles MUST be replaced before the poential buyer should sign.

Lamplighter, what do you mean "make sure it meets the code standards."I hope you mean the codes when the house was built or any renovation work was done. It is not logical to compell a seller to bring an older home up to current codes.

As you can probably tell I have a real problem with "home inspectors" who have very little clue. Sparky's example is textbook. I have seen it a thousand times. They pick at very easy to spot items such as I mentioned above, but fail to see open splices in crawl spaces and attics for example.
Many give the impression that it is mandatory to have upgrades done which were never code originally. If I am selling a 1940's home in original condition, this is what the buyer is getting. No home inspector is forcing me to install GFIs just to sell the house. And my price is not going down by $5k because of it.

IMO home inspectors have evolved into having one purpose in today's world. To find anything they possibly can to strong arm the seller into lowering their price.

Speedy Petey

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein

#59475 - 12/08/05 12:05 AM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,140
The job of a home inspector is to point out issues that may be important to the buyer. Whether they were legal or not when the house was built isn't important. The seller always has the option of saying the house is sold as is and let the buyer decide if they want to buy another one.
A great example would be a house that only has a 60a service. it is very possible that this is the way houses were built in the 40s or 50s but that is not reasonable today.

Greg Fretwell

#59476 - 12/08/05 12:08 PM Re: Home Safety Inspection  
lamplighter  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 101
I get the impression that you think I'm a home inspector. I'm not. I'm an E.C.
If I meant bring the house up to todays code, I would have said that but, "code standards" in this case means "make the home is legal". (make sure there are no three prong recepts where a two prong would be required, etc.)
As far as my advice to have an inspection done and use any violations as a bargaining chip.., Jason is trying to buy a house and he is the one who asked for advice. My advice was intended to help him, not the seller.
If the seller asked about inspections, I would have told him to hire his own electrician to make sure there were no violations before putting the house up for sale if that was the route he wanted to take.
I agree that some inspectors are out to bring the seller down in price but, they are usually hired buy the purchaser and finding whatever violations they can is in the best interest of their customer.
I do very few home inspections but on the occasion that I do, I work in the interest of who ever hired me and that's usually the buyer or the buyers agent.
I'm thorough when I do inspect for the simple reason that I would hate to have the buyer come back at me later over an electrical problem that I didn't catch.

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