Foundation cracks& electrical question

Hey Guys,
I just want to thank you guys for the great advice I received to a question I had about my first home inspection earlier this month.
I have a couple of questions about a 1965 Split Level home I inspected yesterday.

  1. The brick veneer has cracks above the window. My concern is the crack that has split the brick its self instead of through the mortar. This side of the house is on a slab and the other half is a crawl. How would you guys call this out in your report?

  2. My other question has to do with the electrical panel. This is a pic of the panel in the wash room and you can see where the conductors have been cut at the bottom. I’m not sure if these wires are live but this has to be a safety hazzard doesn’t it? This is suppose to be the main panel but there is no main shut-off. I say this because there is a panel outside that is mainly for the a/c and it says “subpanel” on it. This has a main shut-off switch with it. It also shows a 200 on the shut-off so would I be correct to say that this home has a 200 amp capacity?

  3. My last qustion again has to do with the panel (see picture). Someone used a piece of copper wire for a handleon the breaker. Is this a concern and should I write it up? I’m thinking of having a licensed and qualified electrician inspect. I really don’t like those exposed condutors.

Thank you guys so much for any advice you can provide.

Tim Brown







  1. The cracks to the bricks are clearly caused by lintel sag, and since the brick facade is likely not structural, are likely cosmetic only. However, more info may be required to determine if the brick is a part of the structure.

  2. The old SE conductors are not an issue, as they have clearly been replaced by the conductors connected to the lugs at the top of the breaker bank. However, you should definitely verify that they are not live. Either way, a main disconnect is required. Are you sure one doesn’t exist elsewhere?

  3. The breaker ties are an issue, because the breakers lack a proper interconnect to allow proper clearance of faults, and may not trip both phases. Definite defect.

Not to step on toes here, but did you receive formal training as an HI? I ask because these issues are pretty straight forward, and should have been covered in your training. Anyone on here will be glad to help, but due to the type of questions, i’d have to question the service your customers are receiving in the field (as far as coverage of other issues). Don’t be offended by this, but put yourself in your customers shoes and ask yourself if you would be happy with your service if it were your investment.

Good luck in your venture.

You have posted a picture of a remote distribution panel (sub panel) and not the service equipment (main panel). It’s essential that you learn to identify the difference. Sub panels do not require a single disconnect to be located within the panel (exceptions do apply).

I think David covered the balance of your questions.

Depending on how that exterior panel is wired you may have two main panels even though the interior one has a four wire feed. The most common setup on older houses is where the old main became an improperly wired subpanel (three wire feed) when they installed a new exterior main panel.

Do you have pictures of the exterior one? Its a good idea to take lots of pictures of panels and equipment for reference while writing the report and to CYA.

The exposed conductors need to be written up even if they are not hot since its just plain wrong and someone may find the other end and splice something to it one day. All abandoned wiring should be removed or properly capped off. If its outside a panel it has to be capped off inside a box with a cover.

He is correct.

I beleove that you stated that the electrical panel was in a wash room. If you mean bathroom, this is not allowed.

Tim, did you check to see if there was a lintel? I have seen cases where the masons used the brickmold to hold the brick until the mortar sets up. Those few bricks above that door do not have enough weight to cause a lintel to fail.