Fun electrical

This is the fun electrical inspection I had yesterday. This is one of two areas of service panels. This is a 4000 sq ft residential home with a 200 amp main service. I am assuming some of the service box(s) may have fuses as opposed to breakers which may be an insurance concern.

There are actually more panels then the ones pictured?

Did you take all the covers off?

Why are there so many panels?

How long did it take you to inspect?


I pulled the covers off of the service panels not the main breaker boxes. This system has been modified and is on a utility energy saving program (e-plus) although it appears to have been modified and may be improperly consuming electricity for other use. I basically, referred the whole thing out to an electrician for further evaluation and repair as required.

I am confused. You didn’t know what you were doing so you just passed the buck? Mark I am NOT busting your balls, just asking a question. Why did you not look at the main breaker boxes? It may be improperly consuming electricity for other use? Explain that for me.

When I see stuff like this, I take a breath, stand back and just look at it and then follow it step by step. I go through the system, trace it, and make sure it meets the criteria…One sub panel is the same as the next and next and so on. So if there was ONE sub panel would you have referred it?..Take you time, follow your procedures and go step by step.

So now what happens next time you run into something like this? Just refer it out again? If we ONLY inspect the easy stuff then really what is our purpose? Once again, just some food for thought. There are SO many professionals on this board, you could have taken numerous pictures and great notes and then explained it to a person here (seems like many are smart and willing to help) and instead of just giving to Sparky you could have learned something and next time been a little more understanding of what was going on.

As always, in my humble opinion

The utility offers a service at a lower rate for heating purposes that can be interrupted at any time. In order to have this service you must have another heating source available in the house.

Basically, the panel that was offering the lower rate from the utility was serving more than just heat. It was modified to allow other circuits in the house to run off the power at a lower rate. In a sense it is stealing from the utility.

There was two meters and service panels in opposite ends of the house that were not clearly identified. I have no idea if the breakers in the main service panel were protecting the auxilliary panels. Maybe if I starting pulling breakers and testing other panels to see if they are live or not I could have figured it out.

There was issues that require an electrician including improper conductors sizes, open ports in the panel, exposed conductors directly above the panel and so on. I have no idea where the conductors coming from the crawlspace were being fed from and the labeling was incorrect in most of the listings.

I didnt want to make a mistake and be held responsible down the road therefore I referred out an electrician. It was beyond my scope. My call is one that lets me sleep at night. I highly respect your opinion and I would definately like to be constructively criticized if I should have gone further. The inspection took me 6.5 hours and it was becoming technically exhaustive.

Sorry, please reread you previous comments. I did not fully understand the magnitude of the defects. If you reread your previous comments, it sounds like you opened the panel…looked at it and just said, O hell call sparky in. You last thread explains alot more than the previous thread. I am sorry with all those defects I would have done the same thing. Have fun in the Great White North.

As always, in my humble opinion.


I highly appreciate all of your comments and opinions, I can never stop learning and that is why I am a proud member of InterNACHI.

By reading your first post Mark, I to came to the conclusion that you just passed the buck like Russell. When I read further it appeared to me you did all you could do in the situation. Keep up the good wrok.

Guys, Mark was right… he cannot clean this up. It needs an electrician.

You are correct in advising to get an electrician in. Whether or not you can trace the runs/supplies or brach wires makes no diference. They need an electrician to tidy up and amake sure everything is kosher. Either that or an obstetrician… a panel with that many babies needs some professional care.
Excellent call!