Greetings All. Just found this site and I really enjoy reading your veiws. Since this is my first post, I thought I would vent about something that really gets me steaming!
Is it just me, or are all of those guys complete idiots when it comes to judging our work? I have almost come to blows with some of these guys. I mean, I'm just a liscensed master electrician with 20 years experience - those guys take a 3 day course at the local community college and all of a sudden they can make a homeowner think their house is about to burn. I am refering to new homes here. And to all of you legit inspectors, you will know I am not talking to you. What do guys think?
I have to relate a story to stress my dislike here. On a new home, one of the last things I do is install the cirucit breakers. I had turned off the main and began making my connections in the panel. While I was doing this, the inspector was noticing that nothing in the house was working. Without investigating the panel where I was working, the guy started telling the homeowner that the electrician had incorrectly installed the outside main disconnect! The fight was on! Anyone else have anything like this?
Hi teeland ! welcome to the forum, with a bang at that! you've picked one of my favorite issues to crab about!
The average Joe & Jane homeowner has no conception of the possible definition(s) of [INSPECTOR], and most do not ask for credentials.
My state does not require any certification to carry this title,and i see these sorts called in by realtors to validate sales quite often.
Since my state requires no licensed work for single family dwellings, there are usually a multitude of no-no's that are obvious to even non-tradesem. But these hired guns will usually walk right by the big no-no's and focus on some small item to validate their existence. That's were i get called in.
Adding to this, is the fact that my state requires no certification to wear the GC hat, so the building boom has created quite a few yahoo's with a (un)skilled saw. The end result being homes wired, plumbed ,and built to sub-standards without so much as inspector gadget stopping by.
Futhering the tangeled web, the banks are being sued, or mortgages are involved in litigation due to homeowners realizing they are living in substandard construction.
Licensed trades are being solicited to view substandard work and testify, or statement their findings, banks are sending their own hired inspectors ( god knows what) to view construction stages.
It's quite the circus here!
Due to my outspoken nature , i have recently been solicited to be interviewed via ph by a consumer advocates group's writer. Man, did i blow chunks at her! , i do believe she'll be editing some of it....
The issue becomes political in that the powers that be cannot tout safety in any shape or form while having no unbiased and certified entity available to hold the trades to a standard.
There is also the 'dumming down' of the trades, evident without proper AHJ.
Moral of the story;
make noise, write your rep's....
#1486 - 05/13/0110:28 AMRe: Home Inspectors=Electrical Inspectors?
Rumor has it that the WV legislature has passed a licensing law for electrical inspectors. The problem here is that they have assigned responsibility to the State Fire Marshall's office, the same folks who have pretty well botched the electricians licensing and have failed to have any discernble impact on the quality of electrical work in WV.
I'm not sure what the answer to home inspectors is, but testing & licensing probably isn't enough. The same holds true in our trade. Maybe a continuing education requirement would be helpful.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
#1487 - 05/13/0111:03 AMRe: Home Inspectors=Electrical Inspectors?
Here in Nebraska the state electrical board takes care of licensing and inspection for all areas not covered by city inspectors.
Actually working with the state inspectors is preferred over the local guys. The SI's tend to be more consistent. You never know what to expect from the local's until you've dealt with them a few times.
Sparky66wv.....actually a good licensing program, including the CEU requirement can be a advantage to your business. It provides a barrier to competition that prevents every handyman with a pickup truck and a toolpouch from calling himself an electrician.
IMO this is one of the factors that makes the electrical trade one of the best. Most of the other trades have more problems with lowball contractor wannabees who come in, wreck a job and leave a bad taste for tradesmen with the public.
#1489 - 05/13/0104:34 PMRe: Home Inspectors=Electrical Inspectors?
The worst outfit I ever worked for was a contractor in West Bend, WI which is a state that has a CEU program. Masters test once per year. This guy was just blatant with violations, loved to play "fool the inspector": no boxes behind bath and outdoor fixtures, using NM connectors for split bugs (didn't use varnish cambric or 130C either, not even Scotch33... just the cheap stuff). Young guy too, and very intelligent. I can go on and on... What gets me is that this guy really did know better. He was known as "The Butcher" by the other local contractors and electricians. I think I lasted a little over three weeks when I discovered that I had received a pay cut without notice. He got four hours of me changing around all the lines and loads in the switch boxes (not harmful, just annoying...) before I walked off. Bet it took them all day to fix that one... (why does this switch operate all those lights and the hall light only come on when...etc...)
However; I'm in full agreement of getting any plan here though to improve things. Sticker shock for NEC compliant wiring is a big factor here, especially when the competition is joe carpenter who's willing to "do it for half that" sans code.
[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 05-13-2001).]
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI
#1490 - 05/13/0105:14 PMRe: Home Inspectors=Electrical Inspectors?
I'd say the overall point is, the trade must have SOME standards. What they should be, how they should be administered i dunno.....Granted, there will be bad apples, licensed or not, but if the public is to consider our trade as a whole to be of a level of competance, ya gotta start somewhere.
I find it rather ironic, being in the litigate land of over-abundant safety organizations who would simply have no say as to the matter.
#1491 - 05/13/0107:44 PMRe: Home Inspectors=Electrical Inspectors?
I belong to the IAEI, which stands for The international Association of electrical inspectors. Any one can join, and for I believe 60.00 dollars a year you get the monthly magazine which is great. There are monthly meetings in all diffrent areas around the U.S.A. At these meetings there are inspectors, electricians, supply people, power company people and more. I'm sure there is a division near where you are to attend. I've been a member since 1987, and the info. you get is well worth the yearly dues. There are certification tests that you can take. It's similar to a Masters Exam. There are a total of 3 exams. I've passed one already and I hope to take another by the end of the year. I have no plans to be an inspector right now, but I may check it out later in life. The weight the exams pull I'm not sure but the tests are very difficult, and I guess you could say that could qualify you along with x amount of years in the trade. Steve T.
#1492 - 05/13/0108:21 PMRe: Home Inspectors=Electrical Inspectors?
The IAEI is one bright light in the overall situation. I've been a member since 94', (Green Mountain Chapter)took and passed the 'electrical inspector general' test in 96' because i had noticed all the AHJ's that had it together already had these(3) credentials. If you're going to join any trade orginization, this is the one, because without an AHJ why even have the NEC?
You can even buy a study book for the exam through them, and i beleive anyone can apply to test, so there is really no 8000 or 12000 hours to use as an excuse here.
In time, this may be more publicly recognized, as ASE is for the mechanic's. Personally, i would love to see those make-beleive inspectors subjected to this level, put up or shut up i say!