INACHIOHIO chapter, had a meeting this last Saturday in Dublin Ohio to discuss what we can do, and can not do, or write in our reports when it concerns the electrical system. It was a pleasure to have Jan Sokonicki from the Division of Industrial Compliance and Labor to answer our questions. What we did find out was this. We are allowed to open up the electrical panels and have a look and call out safety concerns IF you are wanting to take that liability to do so. With concerns to the electrical system, we can test the system, and call out electrical safety issues. BUT YOU CAN NOT QUOTE CODE NUMBERS OR REFERENCE IN YOUR WRITTEN REPORT, And if you do find problems, you write it up, and refer it for further evaluation by a licensed Electrical Inspector. We as Home Inspectors must become uniformed in our contracts and Standards of Practice with the written understanding that we are NOT code inspectors. Please everyone that are reading this, it is up to you where you are wanting to take your liabilities. I hope that this help clear up the electrical issue here in Ohio for our Ohio Home Inspectors. may you all have a great day, and many happy inspections.
It sounds like you had a very informative meeting. I wish I could have attended. Unfortunately, there is no good way to get from the Toledo area to the Columbus area (especially in weather like we have been getting during the past few weeks).
I’ve been asked to help inspectors on a few occasions when they have gotten into trouble for citing electrical codes in inspection reports. Before they know it, they are in the middle of heated debates over codes that they cannot win. My advice is simple. Don’t cite codes in your inspection reports. Yet, even after having gotten into trouble some inspectors go right on citing codes.
I usually will not refer to codes even on jobs where I am called in specifically to investigate an electrical system failure. There are too many variables to be able to determine whether or not an installation conformed to the codes that existed and were being enforced at the time.
Most electrical system failures are caused by workmanship related problems. The majority of failures I have investigated and where I was able to determine whether or not the system had been installed according to codes in effect at the time have, in fact, been in general compliance with codes.
I did not read the entire post but I will comment on “quote’s” of code. Why do many HI’s think learning codes means you have to quote them? learning them is part of being more informative in how you write your narrative…otherwise i would never ask an HI to quote any codes…just understand WHY their are codes written which helps educate the inspector in order to transfer those “Minimum Safety Standards” in HI terms to a report. Nothing More…nothing less.