Washington State Standards of Practice per the Washington Administrative Code. Electrical Section quoted below, (1) (d). Underlined for you.
The inspection of the electrical system includes the service drop through the main panel; subpanels including feeders; branch circuits, connected devices, and lighting fixtures.
(1) **The inspector will:**
(a) Describe in the report the type of primary service, whether overhead or underground, voltage, amperage, over-current protection devices (fuses or breakers) and the type of branch wiring used.
(i) The existence of a connected service-grounding conductor and service-grounding electrode when same can be determined.
(ii) When no connection to a service grounding electrode can be confirmed.
(c) Inspect the main and branch circuit conductors for proper over-current protection and condition by visual observation after removal of the readily accessible main and subelectric panel cover(s).
(d) Report, if present, solid conductor aluminum branch circuits. Include a statement in the report that solid conductor aluminum wiring may be hazardous and a licensed electrician should inspect the system to ensure it's safe.
(i) The operation of a representative number of accessible switches, receptacles and light fixtures.
(ii) The grounding and polarity of a representative number of receptacles; particularly in close proximity to plumbing fixtures or at the exterior.
(iii) Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection and arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection where required.
(f) Report the location of any inoperative or missing GFCI and/or AFCI devices when they are recommended by industry standards.
(g) Advise clients that homes without ground fault protection should have GFCI devices installed where recommended by industry standards.
(h) Report on any circuit breaker panel or subpanel known within the home inspection profession to have safety concerns.
(i) Describe any deficiencies of these systems or components.
(2) **The inspector is not required to:**
(a) Insert any tool, probe or testing device into the main or subpanels.
(b) Activate electrical systems or branch circuits that are not energized.
(c) Operate circuit breakers, service disconnects or remove fuses.
(d) Inspect ancillary systems, including but not limited to:
(ii) Security systems.
(iii) Low voltage relays.
(iv) Smoke/heat detectors.
(vii) Electrical deicing tapes.
(viii) Lawn sprinkler wiring.
(ix) Swimming pool or spa wiring.
(x) Central vacuum systems.
(xi) Electrical equipment that's not readily accessible.
(e) Dismantle any electrical device or control, except for the removal of the deadfront covers from the main service panel and subpanels.
(f) Move any objects, furniture, or appliances to gain access to any electrical component.
(g) Test every switch, receptacle, and fixture.
(h) Remove switch and receptacle cover plates.
(i) Verify the continuity of connected service ground(s).
As I understand it, it’s not the wiring itself that is the problem.
Its the connections that are problematic, if the outlet, switch or panel is rated AL-CU then all should be fine. I’m not going to get into whether or not the paste/gel should be used or not I’ve heard various opinions on that one.
About the only place we see the aluminum wiring is in the panel. I doubt if anyone starts pulling switches or outlets in a home from that era until they have been in the panel, and even then, I would bet that 99.5% of inspectors won’t pull a plug or outlet. The outer sheathing that might have some visible identification of the type of AL wiring, is hidden within the walls or insulation.
The wire has been out there and used in construction projects beyond the normal era where AL was used. There are still crappy contractors that will use whatever they have to make a buck. See it, call it out, and let the recommended “licensed electrician” make the call and take the liability.
That is not true at all. AL/Cu or Al-cu was stamped on the receptacles with no actual testing from the manufacturers with aluminum wiring. CO/ALR receptacles are considered temporary repairs by the CPSC.
I agree that the condition in the original post is a non issue.
The reason I asked for it is that we had a member recommend further evaluation in one of his reports. The plaintiff’s attorney’s strategy is to argue that the inspector failed to do his job as evidenced by his recommendation that his client procure a second inspection from a specialist. But you’ve proven that it is not only reasonable to recommend further evaluation, but actually governmentally mandated in some situations.
Thanks again. This is very useful to me and Mark Cohen should we have to help defend a member against this legal strategy again.
I know this was an old thread but its a good one, I found it researching as I have inspected two houses in the past month with aluminum wiring in Indianapolis. I have only been inspecting for about 5 months so far, these are the only two houses I’ve found it in so far, and both were leads from the same agent! Somehow though, he still likes me…
I take pictures, report it, and recommend a licensed electrician trained in aluminum wiring repairs further evaluate and repair as needed, and include a copy of CPSC Publication 516 with the report along with a link to InterNACHI’s article on aluminum wiring for the client’s own education.
What do you guys think, is that too much, not enough, good bad or indifferent, what exactly do you all do?