Electrical Wall of Defects episode released. FREE!


Congratulations on a job well done! I really enjoyed the video and I think you guys did a great job!

Keep up the good work:p

Nice video…I would like to add a few comments for the HI’s to use as well.

1.) A statement was made that only electrical tape within the panel can be used to re-identify the white conductors that are now being used for ungrounded conductors. Remember their are other methods allowed and not just tape.

2.) Anti-Oxident paste is not required on the aluminum terminals of a main service panel unless the panel listing calls for it. If you wish to install it the NEC says it is fine as long as it is the proper kind depending on the conductor being used.

3.) I believe it may be easier to understand the difference in the statement " first disconnect location " with proper terminology of the Service Disconnection Location and it may assist in HI’s knowing where a service panel starts and where a “sub-panel” or remote distribution panel begins.

4.) There was a discussion on how AL wire and CU wire on a double tap would be a problem because of the reaction…however the largest issue in the immediate situation is that AL and CU are of different physical sizes and their is no way to properly torque onto a 14 AWG CU and have a 12 AWG AL also under the same screw…but I think he got the point across fine.

5.) You need to be aware that a statement was made that no other breaker can go into a panel unless it is the manufacturer of that panel. This is incorrect in regards to replacement breakers and some of you will find some breakers that are listed as “Classified” breakers and are UL listed to be installed in many of those older panels. You can get a UL Guide on those classified breakers from ME or I am sure others have them already…it does not void any warranty dispite what a manufacturer places on the panel in a replacment situation.

6.) The breaker ties on the pop up portion of the video said the handle ties have to be approved…since 2005 NEC they need to be identified for the application as approved does not cut it anymore unless of course you are on an older installation before 2005 NEC…but then again if they added something new for the sale of the home it would need to comply to todays standards.

7.) A statement was said that all panels set back 1/8" are incorrect…that only applies to panels with a combustible surface…if it is set back in plaster or sheetrock for example it can be recessed back no more than 1/8" and still be compliant and safe…just wanted to make that clear for everyone.

8.) A statement was made that the distance that SE Conductors can come into the building was a maximum of 6’. Be aware that 230.70(A)(1) of the NEC does not give us an actual distance…Purists believe a back to back installation is the only proper method to meet this requirement. However, many localities set up their own allowable distance an unprotected SE Conductor can travel within the building before it lands on overcurrent protection so be aware of your local areas guidelines. A simple call to the local building official will answer that question but if it looks too long and looks dangersous by all means call it out and let the electrician explain the situation.

9.) A statement was made that the 2005 NEC was the start date of the AFCI requirements and in fact it appeared first in the 1999 NEC to go in effect on Jan 1, 2002 and applied to receptacles only at first. It was in 2005 NEC that it expanded to all 15 and 20A 120V outlets within a bedroom…so it has evolved in to what we have now in the 2008 NEC…just wanted to be aware of that so none jams someone with a house built in 2002 lets say.

10.) It was discussed how to determine a size of the panel, remember it has to take in effect the size of the main overcurrent protection device as well as the labels on the panel enclosure and also the conductors within the service enclosure…you have to use them all in order to make an informed choice on the size and their are other items can can assist you like possibly conduit sizes and meter socket enclosures that you have to use as a whole…possibly throwing one out and so on to make the choice right…never guess…if you dont know state you are not able to determine on your report.

11.) It may have been missed but also it may be important to note that when looking into a panel you may see a 12 AWG wire on a 30A breaker…check the legend and it may be a HVAC unit outside…check the nameplate on the unit and it may say minimum circuit ampacity of 18 AMPS which allows a 12 AWG and a maximum circuit breaker or fuse of 30A…this is perfectly allowed…so remember look at the circuit close and if you can’t determine it…someone else cant either and call it out if at all their is reason to doubt what you see.

12.) This goes without saying…get used to the wire sizes bu visual inspection. I would not recommend an HI remove any wires from a breaker to aid in determining the size of the conductors…just some advice.

13.) While the instructor did not agree with an GFCI protecting a circuit that has aluminum wiring…I would strongly recommend it because the chances are the people will either not replace the wiring or do nothing…atleast with this option they have possibly some added protection. Why…because chances are the older AL wiring did not have a equipment grounding conductor anyway and this is an enhancement and also consider protecting the circuit if possible with an AFCI…again its all about giving them choices…if they choose to do nothing then you can atleast sleep knowing you made the suggestions.

14.) I noticed something that said HI’s are not required to remove the panel cover. I would find it hard to examine that panel if I did not remove the cover. I believe that in todays HI world you guys are more than skilled enough to handle this important task…I have talked with many of you and I feel perfectly safe in you removeing covers…( except obviously in a hazardous condition mind you…ie: standing water and so on )

15.) A statement was made that the neutral is dead…lets not get fooled here as you can get just as good a shock from that neutral " grounded conductor " as you can an Hot " ungrounded conductor " …be careful as it is not really “DEAD”

16.) If you indeed are going to try and use a multi-meter…be careful that you have the proper meter for the job at hand. I see way to many people use a cheap meter with a low CAT rating on a job that needs a meter with a higher ratings…this is very important…know your equipment and know the job you are dealing with before you step outside of the SOP…in a commercial inspection be very careful and know what you are dealing with when dealing with multi-meters…at the very least get a CAT III or CAT IV for things you do…

17.) Just a reminder…in new construction the AFCI’s need to be " Combination Rated " and it will say that on the breaker itself.

18.) A statement was made that a switch within reach of the show MUST be on GFCI and that is not actually correct. While it is a GOOD practice it is not a NEC requirement. However, if a metal coverplate is used and no equipment grounding conductor is provided then look at 404.9(B) Exception.

19.) A statement was made that you cant use AFCI technology with GFCI technology and I just wanted to tell you thats incorrect actually. You can have lets say an AFCI breaker in the panel feeding the first receptacle “device” on the circuit and put that first “device” as a GFCI receptacle and get the benefits of both technologies…and yes Eaton ( and I am sure others now ) do make AFCI’s and GFCI combination breakers…but they again do make an AFCI and GFCI that has the benefits of BOTH…but yes you can use each technology together and GFCI receptacles do work on an AFCI breakered circuit.

20.) Again a statement was made that the AFCI requirement stated in 2005 NEC but just so no one gets in trouble on a house they inspect built in lets say 2003…AFCI was required all the way back in the 2002 NEC and was actually madated in the 1999 NEC starting Jan 1, 2002.

21.) FYI…they do make a shared grounded conductor AFCI…Eatons version is called “Fire Guard” and will allow a shared neutral…just in case anyone wanted to know.

22.) As regarding the false tripping of AFCI’s. I actually see more of this happening simply because a improper case to neutral connection someone in the circuit. I see it the most in smoke detectors and in ceiling fans. The AFCI is not perfect but neither is the smoke detector and you would not even think to not install one of those would you…?

23.) I disagree with the statement about GFCI’s…if added to a 2 wire circuit you must meet all the requirements and that includes the labels at the replaced receptacles…this is what warns them and is required. However, let say they dont mark them…the GFCI is still safer because whats the difference…but it does possibly save someone from cutting off the ground on a grounded plug or an extention cord so in my eyes if done properly the NEC is perfectly right and GFCI can make it safer.

Since you know in most cases they are not going to rip it all out…err on the side of caution and recommend GFCI’s when you can in older homes.

24.) I did not see an example of a bootleg ground on the walls of shame…remember the normal tester will read OK when they run the grounded conductor to the grounding screw then up to the grounded " neutral " screw…very dangerous but does fool the cheap testers…just wanted you to know is all.

25.) Again…you saw a ground fault take place on the video…should go without saying your job is to not remove devices…and never while hot. I would have liked to see that explained more…they safest environment is one where electricity has been removed from the circuit…then examined…just be safe guys…please…

26.) One final statement…remember Bonding is generally what we are talking about when we are dealing with the green screws on the receptacles or in the panels…bonding all parts together to create a low impedance path for fault current to allow an overcurrent device to work properly…dont get confused with grounding and the earth as ever aiding in that process…

GUys…please dont think I am bashing the video…IT WAS EXCELLENT…this is my job…and I enjoy what I do and I just wanted to add those things for your knowledge and protection…be careful out their fella…

Yeah, I think the video lacked the proper amount of peer review, but it is generally good. Just hard for an electrician to watch without jumping up and down about some of the errors and misstatements on the fine points. Better than any video I ever made, though, which is “none”. :smiley:

I would like to see more and more educational videos like this one. I really enjoyed it. Paul thanks for always sharing your knowledge with us as well.

The video was great and NACHI TV keeps getting better and better :slight_smile:


I have heard the ‘peer review’ suggestion at least one other time. Apparently, NACHI does not feel that is needed. That’s a shame, it would likely improve the final product I suspect.

Just wacthed the video and I must say it was great.

Thank you Dave and Kenton for a fine presentation.

Two hours of nothing but learning.

I have a feel for field knowledge and rest assurre it does not always apply to the book in black and white, Dave sure pointed that out in an instructional way.

Great job from both of you.

Marcel :):smiley:

A link to this video is starting to go around to other sites and the reviews are less than prefect.
Some of the electrical professionals are ripping it apart.
A few even call it a joke

Mike…I think the problem is they just dont understand Home Inspectors. While I did give some comments, they were to help make it even better with giving additional information but bashing it serves no purpose so I would assume the other electricians who would bash it probably could not make one of their own if they tried…and if they can I would suggest they try.

Making videos and getting everything you wish to convey in a short amount of time is hard and I am sure their will be mistakes made but in the end if one HI learns something new it is worth every penny…of course not all the information was technically correct BUT it is a great foundation and that is where people like YOU and ME and Marc and Joe T and others come in to assist them and clear up any questions…

So the video I believe is not a CURE ALL approach but it does help educators like us give a foundation to build on and answer those pressing questions they have…if other electricians can’t understand that it most certainly means they are a bit hung up on themselves to see this guy was working hard to help HI’s…I give him kudo’s for the effort and he seems like a very nice guy.

The “perfect” video will either never be made or, if it is made, will become incomprehensible to the intended audience. “This Old House” and similar home improvement shows are full of errors and sometimes plain old BS, but the show’s producers are still making a mint anyhow.