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Thread: What Would You Do?

  1. #1
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    What Would You Do?

    I was contacted by a fellow who is looking to sell his house. The home inspector for the home buyers cited several discrepencies in the breaker panel that included the following :
    • #14 wires on a 40A breaker
    • #14 wires on a 30A breaker
    • #14 wires on a 20A breaker

    The home inspector also cited that this was a 200A service. After inspecting this situation myself it turns out that one of the previous HO's either replaced the breaker panel himself or had a hack do the work without a permit. Yes, the panel was a Sq D, 200A MB HL panel but the 100A SE cable and meter enclosure were never changed nor was any grounding updated. In addition, the #14 wires landed on 30 and 40A breakers were spliced extensions of #10 cables. The higher amperage circuits were for a 3 ton AC unit and a 30A dryer (which is currently run on gas). There is also a 50A breaker for an electric range/oven which is properly terminated.

    I advised the seller that the 100A wiring and meter enclosure was a severe Code violation and that I would write a letter advising him of the same. In the interim I will be correcting the cited violations listed by the HI.

    Just opinions - would you do anything different ?

  2. #2
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    Sounds like the HI missed the most important thing the 200 amp OCPD on the 100 amp service entrance conductors and lack of permit/inspection. He did seem to get the other stuff correct. Since they're paying for the corrections I would do as you did look at everything with a fine toothed comb, write up an estimate and fix it properly. Hopefully for the buyer the seller is paying (again) for the bargain hack work he got.
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  3. #3
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    I think you have it covered. Not much you can do other than nothing at all.

    Amazes me what HIs find, but miss so much.
    Tom
    TBLO

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    Sounds like the HI missed the most important thing the 200 amp OCPD on the 100 amp service entrance conductors and lack of permit/inspection. He did seem to get the other stuff correct. Since they're paying for the corrections I would do as you did look at everything with a fine toothed comb, write up an estimate and fix it properly. Hopefully for the buyer the seller is paying (again) for the bargain hack work he got.
    I don't think the current HO had the hack work done. Nonetheless, it's now his responsibility to have it corrected. I'm just looking to cover my butt in this case. I thought about being a hard nose and not doing any of the work unless he corrects the service entrance problem. But, then I wouldn't get any of the work in his new house which will require a new 200A service.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptonsparky View Post
    I think you have it covered. Not much you can do other than nothing at all.

    Amazes me what HIs find, but miss so much.
    The HI seems to have covered himself with this comment
    The following electrical deficiencies / recommendations are listed below, the customer is advised to have qualified licensed contractors / specialists further evaluate, obtain estimates, make all necessary repairs or replacements in that section, check the entire section for any other deficiencies, and correct them prior to settlement / before any contractual agreements have been finalized. Checking the entire system is important. Since only a sampling of components in the system is inspected, you now have an opportunity to have a qualified licensed contractor / specialist find other defects that may be of concern to you.
    Does that put me on the hook for finding the electric service hack work or will my letter suffice to cover me ?

    Here's more of the HI's comments
    LIMITATIONS OF ELECTRICAL SYSTEM INSPECTION
    Notice: This is a limited visual inspection of the visible exposed elements of major components of the home. Substantial Deficiencies and / or hidden defects may exist and not be detected due to the limited nature of this inspection. The following items listed below are not inspected nor included in this inspection. An inspector is not required to:
    1. Remote control devices unless the device is the only control device.
    2. Alarm systems and components
    3. Low voltage wiring, systems and components.
    4. Ancillary wiring, systems and components not a part of the primary electrical power distribution system.
    5. Measure amperage, voltage, or impedance.
    Last edited by goldstar; 02-20-17 at 08:04 AM.

  6. #6
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    The HI report is overly broad and intends to provide come CYA protection. Just state exactly what you've examined and what you found unless the seller is paying you to evaluate the entire electrical system in the house.
    Rob

    Moderator

    All responses based on the 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by infinity View Post
    The HI report is overly broad and intends to provide come CYA protection. Just state exactly what you've examined and what you found unless the seller is paying you to evaluate the entire electrical system in the house.
    Agreed. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldstar View Post

    I advised the seller that the 100A wiring and meter enclosure was a severe Code violation and that I would write a letter advising him of the same. In the interim I will be correcting the cited violations listed by the HI.

    Just opinions - would you do anything different ?
    Seems perfect.

    I you had stopped and came back with one larger estimate, the HO could have gone back out for bids and if he has four other quotes, you would have had a one in four chance of getting the work (after helping him prepare his bid specs). Would normally have been my first thought to see it as one job instead of two and potentially talk myself out of it.

    It would have been immediately obvious to me service cable has a limited lifetime and the old meter sockets take a beating out in the weather. They had cheated on the service change by doing only the inside panel. The deficiencies would have extended to everything they had touched.

    By proceeding with what the HO specified he wanted done and writing up the added work as a second proposal, the HO is much less likely to change horses mid race. Smart, I like it.
    Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by __dan View Post
    Seems perfect.

    I you had stopped and came back with one larger estimate, the HO could have gone back out for bids and if he has four other quotes, you would have had a one in four chance of getting the work (after helping him prepare his bid specs). Would normally have been my first thought to see it as one job instead of two and potentially talk myself out of it.

    It would have been immediately obvious to me service cable has a limited lifetime and the old meter sockets take a beating out in the weather. They had cheated on the service change by doing only the inside panel. The deficiencies would have extended to everything they had touched.

    By proceeding with what the HO specified he wanted done and writing up the added work as a second proposal, the HO is much less likely to change horses mid race. Smart, I like it.
    Thanks. That's why I posted this in the Business Management section. We all know what the right thing to do is but I was looking at it from a business decision point of view. I think by sending the seller a letter on my company letterhead puts the onus back on him to do the right thing. I'm sure there are several EI's that would disagree with me on this. I think this puts me in a position to do the work and get paid to correct the panel discrepancies, get the work to do the service upgrade on the house the seller is moving into and potentially getting the work to correct the service correction on the house he's looking to sell (if he makes that decision).

  10. #10
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    Does current owner even need to correct these deficiencies? It may be a bargaining tool for potential buyer and they end up buying it as is, with the option to correct those deficiencies if they wish after they purchase the home.

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