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Thread: What Would You Do?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by __dan View Post
    The owner is trying to cheat the buyer out of a service change.
    I would put that as something entirely inappropriate for the electrian to concern themselves with

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    I would put that as something entirely inappropriate for the electrician to concern themselves with
    The concerns have already been stated clearly.

    The electrician has a duty to carry out the work the customer contracted for, and (an implied or assumed duty) to advise of electrical hazards and code violations discovered during the work. There is a duty to mitigate damages. That is all. The electrician's duty is to protect himself by disclosing deficiencies to the owner. If it is not work under contract, there is no obligation on anyone to fix it.

    The concern about cheating is, like potato chips, you never eat just one. The electrical contractor would have to be on guard, that trust has been broken. That is a legitimate and necessary concern, if he can trust his counterparty to do the right thing without watching his back. I would be concerned about if I could trust this customer, assuming he knew full well he only changed just the panel.

    Most of the rest of it may be legal, but if he casually ignores legal requirements, with something as dangerous as electricity, he could be dangerous to the electrician or his money (along with this casual disregard). You must have seen this.

    I would certainly view it differently if this occurred by accident or by intent. Every minimally competent person knows to not bury an extension cord. It takes someone acting with intent to cheat and possibly harm, to do so. It will show the general standard of work and not a single anomalous instance.

    If I was working there, I would certainly assume he may have wired something that could hurt me , one way or the other. That I certainly have seen.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by __dan View Post
    The concerns have already been stated clearly.

    The electrician has a duty to carry out the work the customer contracted for, and (an implied or assumed duty) to advise of electrical hazards and code violations discovered during the work. There is a duty to mitigate damages. That is all. The electrician's duty is to protect himself by disclosing deficiencies to the owner. If it is not work under contract, there is no obligation on anyone to fix it.

    The concern about cheating is, like potato chips, you never eat just one. The electrical contractor would have to be on guard, that trust has been broken. That is a legitimate and necessary concern, if he can trust his counterparty to do the right thing without watching his back. I would be concerned about if I could trust this customer, assuming he knew full well he only changed just the panel.

    Most of the rest of it may be legal, but if he casually ignores legal requirements, with something as dangerous as electricity, he could be dangerous to the electrician or his money (along with this casual disregard). You must have seen this.

    I would certainly view it differently if this occurred by accident or by intent. Every minimally competent person knows to not bury an extension cord. It takes someone acting with intent to cheat and possibly harm, to do so. It will show the general standard of work and not a single anomalous instance.

    If I was working there, I would certainly assume he may have wired something that could hurt me , one way or the other. That I certainly have seen.
    If I took that approach I might as well stay home.

    Virtually every building I work in has multiple violations.

    It is not my job nor my obligation to fix the world. When I see something that I believe an true hazard I will act but in most cases not.

    As far as determining if someone else is cheating someone else, not my business and a company would be on dangerous ground to jump into that.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
    .The only option I gave him was to upgrade the SE cable, meter enclosure and grounding. The Hi's report stated that the service was 200A. I felt that changing the breaker out would have squashed the deal..
    I think it would've been ok to offer both options though. Another way to look at is that the HI was wrong; it had a new panel with the wrong OC protection.

    The homeowner certainly has the right to refuse any repairs and sell as-is. Many times buyers are cautious to make too many demands on the seller in fears of having their offer rejected.


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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwire View Post
    It is not my job nor my obligation to fix the world. When I see something that I believe an true hazard I will act but in most cases not.....
    I agree. State the facts and move on.

    Many years ago when I was a young service tech, I went on a call for a tripping AFCI's, and found the EC had chiseled the bus bars to use an AFCI of a different brand in a loadcenter. All the AFI's & GFI's fell out when I took the cover off. Went in to telling the HO how dangerous it was; she asked what to do, and I said "oh I'd sue for malfeasance." The house was maybe 5 years old; I went so far as to get her the original permit to see who the EC was. Then I let her film me explaining all of the issues in front of the panel so she should "show her husband." Dumb, dumb, dumb. Tried to drag me to court as a witness saying they already had my deposition on tape. Don't be that guy. I was young and dumb though. Lesson learned, knowledge passed on.


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  6. #36
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    Sep 2009
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    It is clear to me the point is to not jump into that, and if you find it is happening, to not get caught up in it. Get in, carry out your obligations, and get out.

    Knowing the law, how it applies (imo), the steps necessary to stay on the right side of it, and not fall victim to "cheating".

    I don't have the personality for it, but I am aware successful contractors profit from the customer's mistakes. But that was not the point. The point was to not get hurt by the customer's mistakes.

    Seeing some cheating, it does not directly follow that you would have to call the customer a cheater. Simply advise as a professional, the correct and economical path forward, with the reasons or code citations necessary. It is not complex. It is the standard a minimally competent honest person would expect.

    Every day I am concerned this illegal and crap work is going to hurt me or someone else. I see a lot if it and I am not staying home. Show me more of it and you will hear more about it (in writing).
    Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate

  7. #37
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    Nov 2016
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    Dublin, GA
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    Interesting conversation - as a P.E. and HI, I can see the different points of view. Specifically, we have to understand that most home inspectors are thought to be 'generalists' and none that I know of are fully proficient in all aspect of the electrical, plumbing, building codes, etc. To a large extent their job is to identify potential issues that should be further investigated by licensed professionals - nothing more. That is often stated in the fine print along with a comment that says something like 'this report is provided for consideration by the buyer and seller, but does not obligate either' (short version). Inspectors are taught to describe the service capacity based on the limiting component but in this case the inspector just missed it, along with some of the other items mentioned if they were not in the report.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Northern IL
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    35
    The piece of this that makes me uncomfortable is when the HI says "recommend licensed professional investigate further". You go out with your "just repair what asked" blinders on. At the closing table the buyer sees that a licensed professional has been out and assumes you have now blessed the whole property.

    I hate the idea of the seller slapping lipstick on it to close the deal. As a buyer I would never let the seller repair. I would only negotiate it out of the selling price.

    It might not hurt to put on the invoice (that will invariably be displayed at closing)

    "At the request of the customer, performed the following tasks only:

    Did not inspect for any other discrepancies "

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