$150.00 mistake

I did an inspection the other day when I tried to activate the hot tub it didnt power on. I checked it, it appeared to be installed correctly. So I noted in the report to have tub checked by a licensed plumber. Anyhow the buyers agent today informed me that I didn’t “flip the fuse” so I didn’t inspect it correctly. I am assuming she meant flip the breaker in the breaker box? Anyhow I paid the $150.00 for the service call for the plumber, Ill chalk it up as a lesson learned!

As an inspector you are not required to turn on any breaker switches that are turned off or tripped at the time of inspection. You have absolutely no idea why they are off most of the time. By turning something on that has been intensionally turned off, you open yourself up to liability and can cause damage to the property. Never turn on a breaker switch that you did not turn off yourself or trip as a result of your inspection process.

I always take a picture of the breaker panel and the location of the switches to include in my report to document if any were off while I was doing the inspection. If something doesn’t work because there is no electricity to the unit, disclaim it as not functioning at the time of inspection and there is no power supply. Recommend that it be further evaluated once electrical power has been reestablished and made ready for inspection.

You attempted to operate the Hydro Spa by it’s normal controls and it didn’t operate, you reported this condition… seems acceptable to me.

What was the reason the “fuse needed to be flipped?”. Was the breaker for the Hyrdo Spa tripped and there were no other breakers tripped? This is of concern, IMO. Did the “plumber” give a written :smiley: report indicating why the “fuse needed to be flipped”? I think you see where I’m going with this.

FYI (you probably already know this): Was there an access panel for the Hydro Spa, was there a visible source of Ground Fault protection?

While performing other checks, many times I may have noticed the GFCI tripped in the closet or access panel (it had one I assume) I would have noted that anyway. Think about this, if you had found a tripped GFCI, would you have simply reset this device and not mention anything to your customers? I doubt it. I, as an inspector am concerned for the safety of my clients, especially if they are buying a home with a hydro spa. Someone’s safety and life is worth more than a lousy $150.

If there was, in fact, a breaker tripped in the panel and you rightfully noted that in your report or simply attempted to operate the Hydro spa by its controls (our SOP) and it failed to operate, you noted it and it was easily “fixed”

Not sure I, as a Contractor would have led an agent to think that the 10 second fix was the Home Inspectors fault.

As an inspector, I’d certainly want a copy of the “fix”, if I paid for it.

And the female agent said, “I inspect alot of these she said I always flip the fuses” lol The house had breakers not fuses lol

I was on an Inspection Monday and the buyers boyfriend went right to the panel and started flipping breakers:shock:. I said what are you doing? He said he used to be an electrician:roll:… Personally I never flip a breaker they are off for a reason.

I don’t turn on breakers…they are off for a reason and unless you know that reason it is a dangerous practice imo…You did the right thing and i sure would not have been paying that Bill…jmho…jim

I wouldn’t pay it. But I would have likely checked the panel to see if any breakers were tripped.

As to having the boyfriend who “used” to be an electrician… I would say, but you aren’t now, and you are not contracted by the sellers to be messing with the breakers. If they are tripped, they are likely tripped for a reason. If you start a fire, who is going to be responsible for it? Not me…

Mark it turned out the guy did everything in the past and after I talked to the buyer and asked her why she hired me he will soon be able to say he used to date her. If I didnt know her I would not have completed the inspection.

What specific verbiage did you use in the report?

Think about how you might adjust your verbiage so that it makes it clear that the unit did not operate during the inspection using normal controls, but does not leave you holding the bag for recommending an unnecessary service call.

If he interfered with the inspection again, he would be describing how he used to attend my inspection.:twisted:

So now the agent is saying I damaged the jacuzzi tub by trying to operate the tub with the breaker in an off posistion? I don’t see how this is possible. Anyone have thoughts on this?

That’s impossible. I’d say the elctrictian/plumber damaged the tub when he “flipped the fuse” and then ran the tub. Becasue the “fuse” was flipped for a reason. I’d ask for my $150 dollars back.

If the tub had no power, how can you damage the tub? You need to ask for a copy of the report from the service guy. Basically that Realtor is nuts! Good luck getting your $150.00 back.
Keep us informed.

I called her earlier today to get more information…no callback from her…im going to email her tonight to see if that works better. What I love is she made me sound like I made the mistake to the clients.:mad:

The breaker was off for a reason. IT WAS BROKEN before you got there.

That’s just what I was talking about in my post…

No written invoice with a description of work… no $$$

Also, no release from client no $$

I guess I mentioned the release too late :slight_smile:

I love how the “plumber” says you’re a dingbat as you didn’t “flip the fuse” and NOW the tub is damaged???

You can’t have done BOTH. Plumber is on HOOK. Anyone will know it.

Unless, Eric, you used a framing hammer and pliers to operate the Hydro Spa using it’s normal controls (our SOP)… then I dunno

Yeah tim I failed to mention I used the sledge hammer. :oops:

I would let the agent know that you made a good faith attempt to resolve the situation (even though you probably didn’t get a release) by paying the demanded service fee. And as it can be clearly seen, this was above and beyond what was required, indicating that you are a professional and demonstrated excellent customer service.

This is your profession and like any professional knows, we live on our reputation, which you will not tolerate being tarnished.

If the tub or it’s installed components are now damaged, it is only due to a 3rd party after the fact, as you were not able to operate this device as per your report and the 3rd party did indicate that the unit worked upon “flipping the fuse”. But you have no knowledge of such as it did not work at the time of inspection.

I would put in a call to your clients as you may wish to meet with them about this, and maybe bounce this off your attorney.

Eric it sounds like you did your job, I’m just throwing it out there as I can see how this easily can get worse and hydro tubs aren’t cheap.

Sledge Hammer… hehe.

Would make a good graphic, no?

Lesson learned. Hope it turns out ok for you. I guess we need to slow down and not jump so fast when a call like this comes in. I think if you had waited a couple days or so you may have gotten the more needed information and not thrown away 150 bucks. Although it’s likely I would have done the same asyou did. I seem to enjoy giving money away lately.