Challenger Panel Opinion

Here’s a good blog from one of the best minds in the biz IMO: Challenger panels are fine - Structure Tech Home Inspections

I agree with his opinion and as of now do not write them up. Sure, you can CYA as you see fit but at some point I don’t think our industry should not be jumping at such a small amount of data.

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Same. However, in some states I suspect it is a good idea to give your client a heads up if insurance companies are being jack-asses.

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I’ve never had any particular problem with them, or write them up just because of their name. But luckily I don’t live in Florida, they have an issue with them, along with a dozen other brands.

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Correct. If it is Fed Pac, Zinsco or Challenger, expect to have them replaced. And sometimes sylvania, (newer zinsco)

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Why is Florida such an exception? It appears the insurance companies are bulldozing home owners while the insurance commission stands down.

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Who knows, not I.
Another reason to not take on any exposure?
My report would say
circuit breaker panel is a Challenger brand which some insurance carriers consider to be obsolete.
Check with your insurance company for further verification.

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There is a known issue with the Challenger breakers that the article does not mention. The solution is Eaton BR replacement breakers.

I replaced Challenger panels that were less than 10 years old with burned bus bars.

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Not saying this will happen to all challenger panels but this is one my brother in law had to replace a while back.

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Holy Moly!! Good thing it was on the outside…maybe.

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Here’s a Stab-Lok fire 4 miles from me

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From a Challerger panel on one of my inspections. I always call them out as a possible fire hazard.

How does that issue relate to being caused by the panel?

Breaker didn’t trip

The problem is that if you don’t mention them in the report, the inspector following behind you probably will, just like in Reuben’s case. With all of the negativity on the internet about the panels, it will be very hard to convince an angry client that there is no problem. Here are the first results I found on Google and will also be what the client sees first…

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The problem with that article, and many others, is that I do not believe either of those panels were ever “recalled”.

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I agree. As far as I can tell, some Challenger breakers were recalled early on and some panels were recalled in 2014 after Eaton/Cutler took over the name. But those panels were recalled due to some “easily accessed components being a shock risk.”

But that doesn’t change the fact that a client is going to be pissed when they Google the name and see all these stories about danger and recalls and you left it out of the report. Like it or not, the internet has doomed the Challenger brand, as Reuben from Structure Tech found out.

Correct. I believe a few Challenger circuit breakers were recalled. And you’re right when people Google it no matter if it’s true or not, once they read all this stuff, they’re going to ask you why

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I think it was the GFCI breaker recall

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Crappy way to make to a professional decision in my opinion. The last person I am worried about is the next inspector. People are going to come at you from all sides. If you know what your doing and why, you’re about as bullet proof as possible. I say bring on the “next guy” and I will fill your inbox with reasons why I made my call.

Not at all. The professional decision I make is to let the client know there are some historical concerns with this electrical equipment/manufacturer and to have a qualified electrical contractor review it for any recalls or safety hazards. Job done, ball no longer in my court.

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