Electrician said "No big deal"

I did this inspection about 4 days ago. I was to meet with the customer today (Friday) and some tradespeople about issue’s in the dwelling the customer wanted quotes on prior to purchase.

The electrician and I were the only two to show up on time. David (the electrician) was an older gentleman and friendly towards me (don’t let your minds wonder, not touchy feely friendly).

David told me he was there to “check out” his list provided from the customer. I proceeded to tell him the list was created from the defects I had found on Monday. David probably already assumed that since I was wearing my branded clothing.

In a short version, below is the list of defects I noted in the report.

  1. knockouts missing in the panel
  2. no data plate found
  3. rust and deterioration to the panel
  4. breakers have rusted screws holding the branch wiring*(pic below)*

In red (as a safety/major defect)
1A) one or more breakers continued to trip.

Recommend: Consulting with a qualified electrician to evaluate and repair the issue’s.

David said nothing about #1, & #2 .
#3 He said the “surface rust” was not that big-a-deal.
#4 David said, “I would be more concerned with the non-uniformed breakers and that some are broke” (he pulled a breaker and the copper tab was split).
#1A David flipped and tripped breaker #7 several times, which was labeled dinning room. We went upstairs to the dinning room and he said “Looks like customer will have to hire us to find out what the problem is and fix it.” [The customer and I know for a fact the Breaker #7 was for some of the basement receptacles including the sump pump.]

Also an older fused subpanel(pic below) I wrote up for not being fully enclosed (the panel had no top) and the wires hanging in the air. David also said “That’s no big deal it’s not connected to anything.” Me - “except the main panel.”

David left before the customer arrived and I really didn’t say much to the customer accept call and talk with your electrician.

David made me feel like I was calling things out for no real reason. He made an interesting comment to me at one point saying that he works with a lot of real estate transactions.

Is David writing a soft report?

To better help me with my electrical inspections, critique what I did wrong so I’m not writing stupid stuff up?

You did fine, did David leave a letter with his company name stating every thing was ok lolol

I bet the answer is no!

Sounds like everything that you noted was legitimate.

David gave me his business card and a smile (no wink).

I just spoke with the customer on the phone tonight. From what David told the customer was about what he said to me. David was called by the customer. David did not charge for his assessment, and provided an estimate of repair. I don’t know the specifics of the estimate of repairs.

I was starting to feel like a tug-a-war (then of course 2nd guessing myself). Is the customer going to believe me or the contractor?

I did explain to my customer that I was confident on my findings and report, and that now the liability has shifted to the electrical contractor.

And now after you fine gentlemen commenting, I feel much better.

A self assessment after this ordeal indicates I need to study more which will boost my confidence. Then not worry about it becoming a confrontation until it happens.

A confrontation is the last thing you want or need. Do not approach training as a weapon to use in a fight with a contractor. Inspect and report. If the client wants to heed the advice of an electrical contractor, fine. Take the high road. Tell your client these are indeed defects and you recommend repair.

As for the defects above, all seem true legitimate concerns. The circuit issue may indeed feed the loads you mention, but could also feed loads in other parts of the home, including the dining room.

In the first photo, the surface rust on the breaker lugs is not as concerning to me as what appears to be corrosion at the connection to the 3rd breaker down. Obviously, rectifying the cause of the rust is important, but the corroded connection is the most serious issue and one you should always pay close attention to. The danger is that the corrosion creates significant resistance in the circuit. This will create heat at the corroded point, it will reduce circuit voltage, and it can possibly effect the proper operation of the OCPD during a fault event.

The electrical panel was right beside the clothes dryer in the basement, plus I pointed out the daylight coming through the band board just above the panel.

Not sure if the condensation from the dryer or a moisture intrusion from above. I felt like I did a good job explaining this to the customer.

Is that aluminum wire on the 2nd breaker down?

Sure does look like aluminum wire

Good morning David & Thomas, this is not aluminum wiring, but just the flash from the camera. I did zoom in closer on the pic to verify. Then I discovered two more issues, maybe three.

  1. is the green discoloring a defect? it’s called something when copper turns green right?

  2. there was a 30amp breaker with a #12 gauge wire which should have been a #10 gauge wire instead.

  3. there was a breaker that was double tapped and I can’t tell if the breaker allows this.

David (the electrician) didn’t mention these to me. I don’t know if he caught them and included them on his estimate.

Should I notify my customer of this?

I would not you have done great
( Recommend: Consulting with a qualified electrician to evaluate and repair the issue’s. )
Do not get them excited just move on.