Attention Kentucky Licensed Home Inspectors:


The Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors has issued the attached Advisory Bulletin on the inspection and reporting of Federal Pacific Electric Panels. Your attention to this matter is manditory.

07-001FPE PANELS07-101107-12031.pdf (77.4 KB)

That should create some converstation.

So…what percentage of the Board Members are Realtors ???

That seems to be a legitimate, reasonable directive to me.

My guess would be that the board is not made up of home inspectors or electricians…:-k


Does this include past reports?

The Board has 5 licensed home inspectors, 1 Realtor, 1 Builder, 1 Manufactured Housing Rep, and the Director of the Office of Housing Building and Construction.

This matter was also fully reviewed by the State Electrical Board.

It applies to all future inspections only.

What a crock of $hit. The KY board is also run by a guy name Ralph Wirth
who is BIG time NAHI supporter and would be for something like this. This directive is nothing more than a dumbing down of the home inspection process to help the Realtors sell homes.


You have no idea what you are talking about!!! Ralph Wirth does serve on the Board but he does not control it! I have many times locked horns with him. I have also known him for over 20 years and although I don’t always agree with him I know him to be an honest and very good man. This matter came up because of a number of compliants received from the State Electricians Board about home inspectors taking on look at FPE panels and calling for replacement without even taking the cover off and inspecting for problems. The Realtors had very little to do with it…next time get your facts straight!

Licensing solves nothing.

Sorry, I might have been a little rough on Ralph. I have known Ralph as well but only for about six or seven years, mostly through NAHI. If Ralph is such a stand-up guy for home inspectors why did he not fight this? If he and other board members had gotten their facts straight then they could have defeated this mandate.

As it is now all FPE panels will need to be inspected by an electrician and that cost will be passed on to the homeowner. NO home inspector in a right mind would say that an FPR panel is OK, and an electrician would be a fool to sign off saying an FPE panel is OK.

I for one see nothing wrong with this directive.

This appears to be like knob-and-tube, if it is working it’s ok.
Report what you see, nothing more.

It does not say anything about advising the client that there are know recalls and problems with some equipment.

It is talking about the flat across the board “If it is FPE, it must be replaced.”

In this case, it is protecting the seller and client from “assuming” Home Inspectors.

This should be a wake up call for those that are so hot to refer outside contractors when there is no evidence of significant defect.

It says nothing in the State Laws that recall information must be reported by HI’s. This is something HI’s are adding themselves.

No one is asking for a warranty or insurance. It’s OK when there are no adverse conditions visible.

Like the age of appliances (ie. hvac), you don’t know if or when it may fail. Our job is to determine if it is working today. Is there visible signs of deterioration or damage? If not, it’s OK.

There is nothing wrong with reporting the “condition” of the equipment. It gets wrong when you start talking about the need for replacement when it is still working.

This has evolved from HI’s “afraid” that the client is going to blame them when the equipment fails in the near future. Quit being afraid and just be sure that the client understands the scope of the inspection before you begin. We get blamed for stuff, that’s just part of the job. Just document everything. It does not have to be in the report, just handy if you get questioned. Keep your camera running in one hand non-stop. Take reference photos of all major components and equipment.

Increase your inspection prices so you can afford those complaints when they arrive.

Actually it just did. I believe this is a good directive, and that was the not the best place you could have written that statement. :roll:

Isn’t it kinda disturbing to see a Home Inspection board dictating to the point where the home inspector no longer renders “his opinion” but rathar the “legislative opinion” of a Home Inspection board.

Very disturbing…

Sounds like code enforcement to a certain extant to me.

Except that home inspectors in KY can’t cite codes in their reports! Go figure!

I think you are wrong.

Like Mr. Bowman partly expressed, I believe that the “dumbing down” effect of licensing where the thoughts and opinions of the home inspectors are replaced by canned verbage from “bulletins” published by some licensing board is a sad…but predictable…fallout.

Now home buyers in Kentucky will not be able to learn anything about the history of the FP service panels in order to make up ther own minds. This is censorship, for the benefit of some used house salesmen to close a deal during hard times.

Strike up another point for the real estate salesmen and the inspectors who depend upon them to eat.


Nothing in this Bulletin restricts your ability to provide information to your clients. It simply does two things:

  1. Requires inspectors to observe an actual problem with FPE panels before calling them out. Not just call it out because its FPE.

  2. No home inspector has the authority to call for replacement of FPE panels or any other panel. Only licensed electricians have the authority to call out for replacement.

Any inspector can still inform his/her client of alledged past problems and recommend that the client have it reviewed by a qualified electrician if they have further concerns. They just cannot say there is a problem unless there is visible evidence of a problem.

Uh, what am I missing here?

Why would I need a special bulletin to tell me that…and why is it limited to FP service boxes? Your statement of the obvious applies to every item on the checklist.

Are you sure you are not trying to play this down a little? Will a report that contains an extensive narrative about the dangers of FP service panels along with a statement that this panel, known to cause fires in the home, is present in the home the client is considering to buy, be allowed?

As a Licensed inspector, and Electrician I totally agree with the “bulletin”

I have worked in a local hospital that has about 50 fpe panels in them. They have never had a problem. When I did a 500,000 upgrade the electrical engineer has us running circuits back to the older fpe panels. Even on the ccu, life safety branches, etc…

A electrican replaced one a month ago that was in a house I inspected with fpe, I asked him for it afterwards and took every breaker out, there was absoultely no evidence of arcing, spraking, fire, defects, etc…

Even as an electrician I would tell them both sides of the story, and let the owner or buyer decide. I personally would live in a home with a fpe, but I live dangerously.