Back feeding a vacant home

To be performed only when contracted to do so and with proper insurance and training.

Generating a home- Guidelines and Procedures

1.) Verify that the power company has disconnected service to the home.
2.) Turn off the main breaker. If the home does not have a main breaker double check to make sure the power company has killed all power to the home.
3.) Turn off all appliances, switches and make sure the heating and air thermostats are in the OFF position.
4.) Plug power cord into the best accessible 220 outlet using the proper power cord.
5.) Turn on generator and let the generator warm up for a couple minutes.
6.) Plug power cord into generator.

You are now ready to perform your system checks.

Shutting down procedures

1.) Unplug power cord from generator.
2.) Wait a couple of minutes to allow generator to run without a load, then shut generator off.
3.) Unplug from homes 220 outlet.

I seriously hope that you are not advocating the use of a suicide cord to backfeed power into a receptacle.

Did I?

Using the below example would require a male to male extension cord which would be the suicide cord…

Seasoned inspectors should not be advocating this practice regardless of the method(s) used.

As an “employee” or independent-contractor working for a firm, you may be authorized to do this as part of your inspection, in which case you would probably be provided with appropriate insurance coverage.

As an independent home inspector (you may want to check with your carrier) it is very unlikely that your GL or E&O will cover you for problems associated with this practice.

How would you re-write this step?

I added a warning at the top, thank you.

There is no way, It is not worth it. Seller wants to sell the home turn the power on. or the buyer accepts the power not being on. This could get someone killed. Banks are trying to get away from any responsibility . If you want the liability’s go for it, I will wait to read all about it.

Interesting this would come up right now as I was contacted by a company looking for inspectors to do just this and more. Inspector would need a generator and air compressor (have to provide photos of both to them prior to hiring you). They said the dryer outlet would be the point of connection. Compressor is to check plumbing. Out of curiosity I went ahead and told them to send me the package for review. After reading through it I will amazed if they find anyone willing to do everything they want for the incredibly small fees offered. It included all kinds of other tasks, duties and responsibilities. I haven’t written back yet telling them not NO but hell NO. Does this have anything to inspecting HUD properties?

This procedure should not be used or is recommended during a regular (private sector) home inspection.

Nor should it be used when your power goes out.:wink:

Only to be performed when the local power company has killed the power and capped the lugs at the meter. Also when you have been contracted to perform this type of system check with proper training and insurance.

Yes that is very interesting and now you understand why I am trying to save someones azz the best I can in case they take the job without any knowledge of what they are getting into.:slight_smile:

Just maybe they will see this first.:wink:

Gotcha. I am not sure I would want to roll into some of our HUD housing areas with my new generator, compressor, laptop ,etc…oh yeah don’t forget the new AR15s needed with a couple of bubbas to watch everything while you “hook it up” for $45. While you are there, mow the grass and fix anything that needs fixing.

I know Frank . But i do think it is a bad idea really. I used to run the Gen sets for the company i worked for. I feel if these are Bank homes the can afford to turn on the utilities . As Doug said they probally not going to pay for the extra cost involved. and the liability’s are great. If you feel comfortable and trained well go for it. Also as Jeff mentioned i would check my insurance also. The problem i see is the New guy thinking this will add Business and wind up killing someone.

LOL Doug in some areas here that extra stuff could get you shot.

In some of our “hoods” you can get shot for a six pack, an egg salad sandwich and the change in your cupholder.

You were likely contacted by a sub-contractor who was hired by the contractor who actually won a contract from HUD. There is a huge difference.

The preservation companies cut the grass, perform major boarding/securing, correct safety concerns, and do all the cleaning. The inspectors will winterize, change locks, and do some minor boarding but only during the initial services.

Safety is always a concern no matter what you are doing.

Not sure Frank. They are offering two different fees for apparently two different “inspections” if you want to call it that. I still am not interested to do either for the money they are offering as it is a lot of work for little pay with far too many liabilities. I barely can stand to cut my own grass so I dang so ain’t interested in doing someone else’s. It almost sounds like the inspector would become basically a type of custodian. If I didn’t have anything else to do and was hungry, I might be forced into doing something like this but after gasoline, etc, I don’t see how anyone could make any profit. I would rather get me a cardboard sign, an old skinny dog on a rope and stake me out one of the interstate off ramps.

I was contacted about doing inspections like these…

I would connect a 12kw generator (they recommend back-feeding thru the dryer outlet) with an as mentioned male to male plug… :slight_smile: The AC unit is supposed to be tested as well, I mentioned that the AC units here are likely fed with a minimum of #8 wiring and your methods are “unsafe” at best. Most 220v outlets (if avail) are wired with 10 AWG. I think you can see the problem.

Then the funny part… the fee and the report. They want what equates to fairly detailed report with pictures and such for a bit over $100.

“No Thanks, I’ll burn my own house down.”

Sounds like an identical deal. Lots of information needed to be gathered for the reports, hooking up the generator, pressurizing the plumbing, with air no less, (that is another whole can of worms, there) but for a lot less than $100…plus cut the grass, trim bushes and shrubs, trees if necessary…all the while looking over your shoulder for gang bangers. I don’t think so Scooter.

I started out performing Special Property Inspections (SPI inspections)for a HUD contractor years ago. I worked hard about 8 days a month and grossed around $25,000 a year as I built my business. I never cut grass or did anything that you are referring too.

Today, I am very thankful that so many other inspectors have the same perception that you have about this type of work.:wink: