4 Point Upgrades: Yes or No

Client has recently replaced the water heater, a fixture or two, and some p-traps on a 40 year old house with copper plumbing.

Has the plumbing been upgraded?

I say yes, I would like to know your opinion.

I would state as you have done “yes” and in addition qualify that statement with an explanation, just as you have done. In other words, don’t simply state “yes” without detailing what exactly has been upgraded. That’s the way I do it. In the end, the underwriter will make the determination as to its validity or not. Remember the word upgrade or updated without specifics is too general. Just my opinion.


Jay, I’d also like to say that in your example with the plumbing, my reply is okay from my perspective. Now with a different system, say the electrical, I don’t consider replacing a a toggle type switch with a rocker type switch, an upgrade. So, it does seem to matter the system involved and the particular sections of the systems.


Bert - I agree 100%. A rocker switch would not be considered an upgrade because it can not be documented. Same is true of the fixtures and “P” traps. A water heater or an electrical panel can. If the house is 40 years old and the water heater is 5 years old, you can document it and cover your *ss. I’m not one to take the home owner’s word that he replaced something 5 years ago. I need to be able to prove it.

Yes state some fixtures etc… Digital meter? If so approximate date.

Mike you referring to the new “smart” electrical meters FPL has been rolling out? Not sure if that would qualify? Hmmmm good question. It just may.


The meter is not part of the home, it is owned by the electric company in most instances.

Saying the meter has been upgraded helps the homeowner in my experience. I have seen it make a difference. It sure as hell is part of the house and part of the electrical system and it is an upgrade.


Do as you wish. I think 4 points suck and the ins comps should be paying for them.

damn caps. I work for the one who pay me and try to look out for their best interest while being completely honest.

Those who do not are what they are, kept inspectors.

[size=2]The statement below was forwarded to me regarding plumbing and electrical updates on 4 Points. [/size]

"…Up dating a system is when all components that comprise the system are replaced…"

What do you guys think? Do we have to replace the entire system to have a recent upgrade?

a system is comprised of components. upgrading one component does not constitute upgrading the system. replacing two zurn fittings on a pex system is not an upgrade; it is a repair. completely removing the entire pex system and replacing with pvc is an upgrade. replacing an aging water heater is an upgrade to the water heater only. replacing the service meter is not an upgrade to electrical. replacing the entire panel, breakers, adding gfci/afci is an upgrade. replacing 1946 wiring with new romex is an upgrade.

main point you should remember: no system can be upgraded without a building permit - no building permit, no upgrade regardless of what was supposedly done.

quite frankly, some of my fellow inspectors do not get it. you are serving two purposes in a 4 point: leaks and fire hazard. carrier wants a pic of the panel and its info to assess potential of fire. carrier wants info on plumbing system and roof to determine leaks or potential of leaks, i.e., age of roof, how bad did johnny homeowner screw up the plumbing by adding a laundry or fixing the sink. you are not there to assess - you are there to document. carrier is not really interested in your opinion. if you say electrical is upgraded, fine, show them the building permit. if roof is replaced, fine, show them the building permit.

you are not inspecting - you are documenting.

That isn’t what the “highly touted” NACHI form asks.

It does not say “replaced”…at least not yet!

Anything that has been replaced with a newer item is an upgrade as supposedly, the newer items are better. The issue becomes, proving the year.

The answer to the question, as put is yes, if you go by the agents. I just had an agent call me and tell me that the electrical in this 1954 home had to have been updated, since a AC unit was installed in 1997. Without making that change, he could not bind coverage, even though the home had fuses, which Citizens was willing to give him 60 days to replace. Go figure

The exact questions on the NACHI 4 Point form is,

[FONT=Arial][size=2]-Recent plumbing upgrades? Year?
[FONT=Arial][size=2]-Recent (electrical) upgrades? Year?

Nowhere does it mention system replacement on the NACHI form. In addition the use of the term ‘upgrades’, with plural intention. This means more than one.

According to what was forwarded to me, there is only ONE upgrade possible. A complete removal and replacement.

If complete system replacement was the intent, then why does the form ask for upgrades? Why not ask for the permit date of the system removal and replacement? They ask for this on a Wind Mit.

Why do the still insure houses with fuses and upgrades, but will not insure a house with circuit breakers and No upgrades?

Lastly, why would we require complete removal of copper pipe and copper wiring from a 40 years old house. When the life expectancy of both items is in excess of 70 years?

A Citizens approved form BTW. Use it.

Any form Citizens has accepted is in my opinion is a Citizens accepted form :slight_smile:

You should just answer yes or No and describe the upgrade(s). The underwriter can figure the rest out.

Is a GFCI outlet an upgrade, yes
Is an added circuit an upgrade, yes
Replacing a switch or outlet is a repair.

A hot water tank replacement can be an upgrade, so can be replacing a faucet.

Is that what every insurance company is looking for, I have no idea you would have to ask the underwriter. Answer the question honestly an you will be fine.

I’ve been confronted with some “questionable questions” on some of these 4-points and I don’t like it. Don’t forget fellow Inspectors you’re always asked to “sign here” at the bottom of these forms.
I have answered these questions, these vague questions but, I will add in more detail; most assuredly more than they want to hear. You can get in the cage with that gorilla if you want. It’s reached a point that I’ll be discussing these issues with an attorney in a couple days, maybe you should too. If you trust insurance companies, then don’t worry about it.

I have never signed a 4 point. I make the form so I decide what I put on it.

I would simply put a statement such as:

The plumbing system has had the following upgrades:

  • kkkkkkk
  • lllllllll
  • oooooo

Define upgrade:


/n. ˈʌpˌgreɪd; adj., adv. ˈʌpˈgreɪd; v. ʌpˈgreɪd, ˈʌpˌgreɪd/ [Show Spelled [n. uhp-greyd; adj., adv. uhp-greyd; v. uhp-greyd, uhp-greyd] [(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/model), etc.: The company is offering an upgrade of its sports sedan.

  1. an increase or improvement in one’s service, accommodations, privileges, or the like: If the ship isn’t full we’ll receive an upgrade to a deluxe stateroom.

  2. something, as a piece of equipment, that serves to improve or enhance: a full range of upgrades available for your computer.

SEE #2

Quit the mental masturbation and answer the question.

** Less is more…**](“http://dictionary.reference.com/help/luna/Spell_pron_key.html”)