Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Safe replacement breaker fo Federal Pacific panel?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    #46
    I'm a licensed Home Inspector in North Carolina. Per state regulations, I had to pass an extensive course approved by the state before I could sit for their rigorous exam. Annual Continuing Education is a requirement for license renewal. My license is issued by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. I was fortunate in that I was a GC in Virginia for many years, so I was a step ahead of some of the inspectors that I have met since in the field or at CE courses. I also happen to be the kind of person who is interested in being informed beyond the requirements of my license or my trade, which is why I am a member of this forum. I learn a lot from Mike Holt and follow the threads in the forum religiously.

    When I perform a home inspection, I have about 3 hours to review every item and the workmanship of every trade. I need knowledge about product specifications, recalls, installation requirements, etc.

    Regarding FPE and a few other problematic brands/models/products, I am required to use a comment that I did not write, it was written by the state board. I simply insert it as required. In a few cases, I find myself disagreeing with some of the verbiage, but it's my job - and my license. Here is the comment on FPE:

    The electrical system of this home contains a Federal Pacific Electric “Stab-Lok” service panelboard. The reliability and safety of this panelboard is in question due to documented circuit breaker and busbar failures.

    Due to possible hazardous conditions, the panelboard enclosure's dead front cover was not removed and the electrical inspection was not completed. Proper identification of latent defects or evidence of hazardous conditions related to this system requires the removal of the circuit breakers and is beyond the scope of the home inspection. A licensed electrical contractor should be consulted for a complete invasive inspection of the electrical panelboard to determine if repair, modification, or replacement is needed to ensure safe and reliable service.


    Please note that I'm not saying to replace it, I'm saying they should hire one of you guys - your knowledge and experience in your field is deeper than mine. I'm concerned about electric. plumbing, HVAC, roofs, siding, appliances, stairs, tile work, door & window function and on and on. Your spend every day immersed in one trade.

    Imagine my liability if I ignored possible safety concerns. Imagine my agony if a family lost their home to fire. Or their lives.

    One advantage I have is the fact that a real estate sale is part of the reason for my being called in. Whether I'm working for the seller who wants to get ahead of the prospective buyers' inspector by doing repairs ahead of time or whether I'm representing the buyers, it's my job to do my utmost to protect my client. Whether before or after a sales contract, all parties have a financial interest in moving the sale forward. This usually leads to some level of repair prior to settlement or some form of monetary compensation at the settlement.

    It sounds like the folks in the beginning of this thread are in a tough financial position and they at least believe that they can't "afford" what the licensed electrician is advising. Tough call, but refer back to who controls my license - the Department of Insurance.

    Comment


      #47
      Originally posted by TangentJimT View Post
      I'm a licensed Home Inspector in North Carolina. Per state regulations, I had to pass an extensive course approved by the state before I could sit for their rigorous exam. Annual Continuing Education is a requirement for license renewal. My license is issued by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. I was fortunate in that I was a GC in Virginia for many years, so I was a step ahead of some of the inspectors that I have met since in the field or at CE courses. I also happen to be the kind of person who is interested in being informed beyond the requirements of my license or my trade, which is why I am a member of this forum. I learn a lot from Mike Holt and follow the threads in the forum religiously.

      When I perform a home inspection, I have about 3 hours to review every item and the workmanship of every trade. I need knowledge about product specifications, recalls, installation requirements, etc.

      Regarding FPE and a few other problematic brands/models/products, I am required to use a comment that I did not write, it was written by the state board. I simply insert it as required. In a few cases, I find myself disagreeing with some of the verbiage, but it's my job - and my license. Here is the comment on FPE:

      The electrical system of this home contains a Federal Pacific Electric “Stab-Lok” service panelboard. The reliability and safety of this panelboard is in question due to documented circuit breaker and busbar failures.

      Due to possible hazardous conditions, the panelboard enclosure's dead front cover was not removed and the electrical inspection was not completed. Proper identification of latent defects or evidence of hazardous conditions related to this system requires the removal of the circuit breakers and is beyond the scope of the home inspection. A licensed electrical contractor should be consulted for a complete invasive inspection of the electrical panelboard to determine if repair, modification, or replacement is needed to ensure safe and reliable service.


      Please note that I'm not saying to replace it, I'm saying they should hire one of you guys - your knowledge and experience in your field is deeper than mine. I'm concerned about electric. plumbing, HVAC, roofs, siding, appliances, stairs, tile work, door & window function and on and on. Your spend every day immersed in one trade.

      Imagine my liability if I ignored possible safety concerns. Imagine my agony if a family lost their home to fire. Or their lives.

      One advantage I have is the fact that a real estate sale is part of the reason for my being called in. Whether I'm working for the seller who wants to get ahead of the prospective buyers' inspector by doing repairs ahead of time or whether I'm representing the buyers, it's my job to do my utmost to protect my client. Whether before or after a sales contract, all parties have a financial interest in moving the sale forward. This usually leads to some level of repair prior to settlement or some form of monetary compensation at the settlement.

      It sounds like the folks in the beginning of this thread are in a tough financial position and they at least believe that they can't "afford" what the licensed electrician is advising. Tough call, but refer back to who controls my license - the Department of Insurance.
      You are just passing on assessment of the panel, which I as an EC will kind of also do. That client calls me to address what you brought up about it, and the most I will do is report whether there is any external signs of problems, and then state something about there be documented cases of this series of panelboard having catastrophic failures and that I will not make any statement about how safe this particular one is because it will likely cost more to fully investigate the situation than a replacement with newer modern equipment would cost.

      I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

      Comment

      Working...
      X