Four Point Inspection Question (Electrical)

Had an agent pose a question to me and got me thinking. Wanted to know what everyone else thought about this as well. Under electrical there is a question “GFCI present where required?”

I put no, because there were no GFCI outlets near water sources (Kitchen or bathroom sink).

Well, the insurance agent calls me and says, since the house was built in 1958 and no GFCI was required at the time, I can answer yes to that question. I guess saying todays code does not apply to yesterdays homes. Carrier is citizens, and they are going to cancel the policy due to not having GFCI.

Interesting reply from the agent. I would amend the report to No at time of inspection with a note: N/A at time of construction. I would never put “Yes” if there are none. Asking for trouble on that. I would ask the agent some interesting and obligatory questions though. The owners can add GFCI devices at the first position on the WET curcuits with little difficulty.
Good Luck.

How about removing that question from the report?

Problem solved.

As a home inspector you should be creating your own 4 point inspection. You should not be doing a mini home inspection.

By the way for once the agent is correct. People do not “have to” update those things.

Just using the INACHI form, seemed pretty straightforward until now.

No one has to update anything, the question is, does the form’s question of “GFCI present where required?” refer to now(current electrical codes), or required when built(yesteryear’s electrical codes).

Hi Kevin, for those, I put no but comment that the house was built before codes required them and let the insurance carrier sort out what they want to do. That away, you’re covered on both ends so you won’t get that phone call or someone saying it is your fault.

I write N/A. If they call, I inform them that it wasn’t a requirement. If they say it “has” to be there, I ask them to cite the code and when they don’t I then inform them that they are attempting to enforce a code that doesn’t exist, which is against the law on several counts.

How about you all write you own one page form with the questions you want to be on it?

Sounds good guys, thanks for the advice.

GFCIs where required?

I try to indicate what is in the home when answering most of the questions on this form.
In this case not saying Yes, where required or No, not where required.

Answer - There is no GFCI protection installed.

Now the underwriter can do his job and decide where he wants them.
The insured will get a list from underwriting of what they need to inure.

So now, the insurance companies are writing code as well as enforcing it?:mrgreen:

It has nothing to do with code, like or or not they have a lot of choice on what they will insure and not insure.
It is a matter of risk (will they have to pay a claim on the home in the future )
As I see it This inspection is being conducted for the insurance company at the owners request. They make the decision to insure or not insure not the inspector.

Answer - There is no GFCI protection installed…it is a true statment and it makes no difference to me what they do with the info.

Or you could answer - There is no GFCI protection (not required at the time of construction) but you are probably telling them something they already know….or maybe not:mrgreen::mrgreen:

I’m with Ed on this one. It isn’t a code issue at all. It’s an issue of what requirements the insurance carrier wishes to impose on their policyholders. Very similar to Citizens policy on 50 year or older homes, they want to see an upgrade to the electrical system after 35 years period. Makes no difference to them if the electrical system is safe and/or operational. They want to see the homeowner upgrade the system. It’s happening to someone I know this month. They received a letter from citizens stating that if they are unable to show where the electrical system has been updated within the last 35 years, effective 12/31 they are canceled. No exceptions. Sad but true.

Sad indeed. I am waiting for them to try this with me as I have Citizens for my insurance. My home was built in 1971 and has no G.F.I. protection. All of the receptacles are original. It isn’t a requirement by code that I upgrade and in my opinion, they do not have the right to make me upgrade. By doing so, I feel that they are attempting to enforce a building code that doesn’t exist.
Since they are the only ones who will write insurance, I have no options.

Of course, their other option is to raise my rates.

Does anyone know what the Carrier’s consider to be an upgrade to the electrical system? Would this include basic improvements such as GFCI’s or is it strictly complete or partial re-wiring / panel change outs?

I would agree that it is not a code issue. The question on the Nachi 4pt(“where required”) is ambiguous. We together should decide the question and answer because nobody else will.

We usually answer with “Yes”, “No”, “some” or “most”, which is not much better. We have almost never answered “yes” because the question is not specific enough. It is rare that if we answer some or most to they come back looking for where.

This new year we will be converting our form to list where they ARE located. I do not care what the insurance companies requirements are, I just want to answer the proper question, properly.

We answer yes and list the upgrade. We report, they decide.

Guess what South Florida guys?

If clients have a new digital meter you can say the house has been upgraded. This has saved more than a few of my clients.

I have to admit I agree with Meeker on this issue - For the Electrical section our form merely addresses the questions as listed on the Citizens Electrical Inspection Form -

  1. Does it meet local codes?
  2. Is there proper ground?
  3. Is there any knob and tube wiring in use?
  4. Is there any exposed or unsafe wiring?

I try not to volunteer information that they are not asking about. If you want to know something - ask the question directly.

I think that the Nachi form goes in to too much detail that is not required by the underwriter, but will be used as a reason to deny coverage.

I agree and since the NACHI form has been approved by Citizens, why not change it and remove a bunch of stuff. I think it is time to make the form into just that, a form, not a mini home inspection.

And, I would be more than happy to design it and make an executable pdf for everyone, for free.

If we were to use the four questions above, the answers for my house would be:

So, I shouldn’t have to add G.F.I. protection, should I?

I agree I would help if anyone needed me to do anything.
Do not put meets local codes on it. Mine does not say that and I have never had one problem. I am not an electrical code inspector so there is no way I ever put that on my forms.

I would love to come up with a new form. Anyone have any ideas on how to collarborate work over the web somewhere? We could have the form there as we work on it and a place to put ideas and such.

It needs to be as simple as possible and we put our electrical certificate on it somewhere.

Here is a good start of the only questions we really need. I suggest we do not call it the nachi form. Just have it out there for those who want it.

  1. Air Conditioning and Heating
    Is the unit central or window unit?

Approximate Age

Current temp. of air unit puts out on high

Current condition of unit

  1. Roof
    Roof covering

Year roof was installed

Current condition

Expected life based on covering

  1. Plumbing
    Type of piping in house

Any updates to the system

Date hot water heater was installed

Any visible leaks

  1. Electrical
    is the system sufficient for the load Total amps_____________requirement ?

Is there visible knob and tube wiring

Visible wiring in house

Is there visible aluminum branch wiring? ________________________________________________
Is the wiring properly grounded?

Is there visible exposed or unsafe wiring?