I am considering purchasing one of these analyzers for use in inspections, especially since the normal plug-in tester doesn’t test for bootleg grounds.
Yes, I understand that they are not AFCI testers, but really AFCI indicators and that the test/trip button on the AFCI breaker must also be tested to verify whether or not the AFCI breaker really works.
The thing is however, I have never in my decades of inspections, seen a home inspector use an Ideal circuit analyzer on an inspection. I have only read about it in a review written by a home inspector. But I have also read about an inspector calling out a voltage drop of more than 5% as a defect when the voltage drop NEC reference is only a footnote.
My questions are these:
- Does anyone use a circuit analyzer on inspections? If so for how long?
- Has it lead to additional liability or lack of insurance coverage for testing “beyond the Standards”?
- Has it lead to loss of business due to “mission creep” etc. and/or pissed off agents because the inspector went “too far” or on a “wild goose chase”?
Most of us are really big on electrical safety, and grounding and bonding is a big deal. But is using the Ideal 61-165 going overboard?
With the expanded coverage of AFCIs in the 2008 NEC, I feel testing AFCIs (and GFCIs) is extremely important.
How much time would it add to an inspection (on a 2,000 square foot house with a 200 amp service and 40 breakers) to test for AFCI performance (using both circuit analyzer and breaker buttons), bootleg grounds and voltage drop?
Is this really the domain of only a licensed and bonded electrical contractor?
Anyone care to comment?