I would truly appreciate some eyes and opinions regarding my observations of an electrical service panel. I genuinely want to learn and improve upon my electrical knowledge. It’s the area that I have the least experience in, and I want to be sure that I am proficient in it. Thank you for any input you can add to it.
I’m new to the home inspection business. I’ve switched careers at 41 after 20 years in medical imaging. As a homeowner I’ve done countless renovations and improvements and have always thoroughly researched my projects before tackling them. I’ve learned a lot prior to my training, that being said… I well aware that I still have a lot to learn. Electrical components are the area in which I have the least experience, so I decided to take a look at my own system to get as much practice as possible. I bought this home last July and had it inspected last May. The only electrical problem cited was the lanai that surrounds my inground pool did not appear to have a bonding strap at the time.
I opened up my service panel today and to my rookie eyes, there are several issues that jumped out at me. I wanted to post the images here and ask if there’s something I’m missing or lacking in knowledge.
200 Amp service 120/240V AL service entrance conductors
These were my observations:
The service panel does not appear to be bonded, I do not see a bonding screw or bonding strap anywhere in the panel
There is an unlabeled white wire attached to a breaker on the hot bus
There’s a 45 AMP breaker (labeled for a pool heater) that is an AL branch.
There is an AFCI, but the legend lists it as GFI. There are GCCI outlets in the bathrooms and kitchens, but the outdoor outlets do not have them
The whole system itself does not appear to be adequately grounded. The service panel is fed by a service lateral. The only grounds that I’ve been able to locate is one in the ground outside under the water meter. (Pic included) The other “ground” is connected to CPVC piping on the water heater next to the service panel. (Pic included) I assume at one time this was copper piping that was replaced with CPVC rendering it useless for grounding.
Am I correct in my assessments or is my lack of experience showing? I realize much of this is very obvious and rudimentary to most inspectors in this forum, but I just want to be assured that I know what I’m doing and that I can deliver quality inspections. Any confirmations or corrections would be greatly appreciated.
I noticed the writing on the conductors…on Type NM we would (or most) would not mark the conductors…but It might be Type SE but then again if that is installed in insulation it would also be limited…unless it was before the ole’ 60 or 75 debate.
Plus I think I see XHHW on the insulation so it would not be Type NM-B…just really can’t tell…guess OP has to tell us
Looked up the E code on the XHHW-2 and interesting as it’s from:
PHELPS DODGE INTERNATIONAL (THAILAND) LTD E194343
159 Moo 10 Soi Watratburana
Teparak Rd Km 17.5
Samut Prakan, 10540 THAILAND
Types RHH, RHW, RHW-2, SIS, XHH, XHHW, XHHW2.
It’s marked 2011 on it. hmmm…must have been added later. Because if it was a 2011 install I would indeed expect to see a MBJ with a green finish. So any idea when the panel was installed Anthony or did I miss that info.
It would be my guess the pool was added in 2011 and the panel is before 1990.
This is why I’m glad that I posted this thread. I would not have recognized the screw in the upper left as the bonding screw. I’ve definitely gained some valuable insight.
BTW… The house was built in the mid 80s. The panel is most likely the original. 2011 is very accurate for the pool heater as I recall the previous owner saying it was added approximately 5 years ago. You guys are good!