Inspecting Electrical Panels

(Michael PARKS) #1

How do you read Ohio’s new law? NACHI, NFPA 70E, OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.331-399 recognizes removing the cover as dangerous so is a Home Inspector allowed to remove the cover?

The NEC says that the inside is not readily accessible because it takes a tool to remove the cover.

What are you doing until the Home Inspector Board gets seated and adopts rules for Home Inspectors?

The only part that is NOT in effect is 4764.02. (Nov. 1st) All other parts apply.

How will this affect your business?

4764.01
© “Home inspection” means the process by which a home inspector conducts a visual examination of the readily accessible components of a residential building for a client.

(G)“Readily accessible” means available for visual inspection without requiring a person to move or dismantle personal property,take destructive measures, or take any other action that will involve risk to a person or to the property.

(Stephen H. Payson) #2

How would it? It doesn’t say you’re not allowed to remove panel covers.

1 Like
(Michael PARKS) #3

Yes it does say that!

(Stephen H. Payson) #4

So why did you need to ask that question?

(Michael PARKS) #5

I was hoping for interaction from those who do not understand Ohio law. I wanted to share with them some tips to keep them out of hot water.

No one explains to real estate agents or home inspectors the little known nuances of R.C. 3783.
Or, I could just let them get sued. No skin off my nose. I have no competition and don’t want to put anyone out of business. Just sharing knowledge.

(Jeffrey R. Jonas) #6

I don’t see where it says you cannot open a panel.

2 Likes
(William Forrest, CMI) #7

The State of Ohio has already clarified that home Inspector may remove the panel cover and inspect as long as “code” is not referenced.

Secondly, if the board of home Inspector adopts anything close to the ASHI Standards of Practice (which you should become familiar with) 7.1A5, states "The inspector shall inspect: interior components of service panels and sub panels. It will be a moot point.

So don’t rush to any preconceived notions. The Board of Home Inspectors will publish the sops to follow.

Just a question for the original poster. Are you an electrical inspector looking for more work?

1 Like
(Christopher Currins, CMI) #8

Where? I believe you’re misreading the definition of “Readily Accessible.”.

(Michael PARKS) #9

Ohio has never said that it was ok to remove a panel cover! Ever!

I’m just giving you the headsup

Mike Parks - ESI #2116

The Parks Consulting Group, LLC

A Residential Building Department

www.ohiocodeinspections.com

614-214-1487

(Michael PARKS) #10

You can’t mandate that a person violate state and federal law.
Not looking for more electrical inspections.

Building my new construction inspection business. New Construction Inspections aren’t part of the new home inspectors law.

Just existing structures.

(Stephen H. Payson) #11

Then show us the Ohio and federal law that prohibits inspectors from removing service panel covers.

(William Forrest, CMI) #12

Can you please point out the Section and Paragraph that states new construction is exempt?

(Michael PARKS) #13

©"Home inspection" means the process by which a home inspector conducts a visual examination of the readily accessible components of a residential building for a client. “Home inspection” does not include pest inspections; environmental testing; inspection of any property or structure conducted by an employee or representative of an insurer licensed to transact business in this state under Title XXXIX of the Revised Code for purposes related to the business of insurance; or determination of compliance with applicable statutes, rules, resolutions, or ordinances, including, without limitation, building, zoning, or historic codes.

3783.06 Certificate required.

No person shall engage in the practice of electrical inspection in this state unless he is the holder of a certificate of competency as an electrical safety inspector issued under Chapter 3783. of the Revised Code. Any person practicing or offering to practice electrical inspection shall show proof of his certification upon request as provided by rules of the board of building standards.

Effective Date:03-22-1973.

3783.01 Building standards - electrical safety standards definitions.

As used in sections 3783.01 to 3783.08, inclusive, of the Revised Code:

(A)“Electrical safety inspector” means a person who is certified as provided in Chapter 3783. of the Revised Code.

(B)The “practice of electrical inspection” includes any ascertainment of compliance with the Ohio building code, or the electrical code of a political subdivision of this state by a person, who, for compensation, inspects the construction and installation of electrical conductors, fittings, devices, and fixtures for light, heat or power services equipment, or the installation, alteration, replacement, maintenance, or repair of any electrical wiring and equipment that is subject to any of the aforementioned codes.

©"Ohio building code" means the rules and regulations adopted by the board of building standards under Chapter 3781. of the Revised Code.

(D)“Board of building standards” or “board” means the board established by section 3781.07 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date:09-04-1970.

Now if you want to perform a code inspection please go ahead. It is that the new license does not give you permission nor is it required for new construction inspections. AKA code inspections. AKA phase inspections.

If you aren’t using the code what exactly are you inspecting?

(Michael PARKS) #14

How can you be a Commercial Contractor for more than 34 years and not know about 29 CFR sub part s 1910?

(Michael S. Gleeson, 16000070526) #15

This is where your argument falls apart. A home inspection is not a code inspection. If I am inspecting a home built in 1990 I am expecting to see a lack of AFCI protection. I don’t mention that the current code would require AFCI because it is irrelevant. If I am inspecting a home built in 1890 without any grounding system in place I do mention that at the time this home was built it was standard but as time has passed it is no longer accepted in new construction and that it should be evaluated for upgrade by a licensed electrical contractor. I sure don’t recommend that the local code inspector follows me through. To be honest I have a great relationship with 4 different electrical inspectors in my area because I manage a large commercial electrical company as well. I know that my inspection license has nothing to do with code inspections nor should it. An electrical inspector is hired to inspect new construction and certain upgrades/modifications. Do you really believe that you have a leg to stand on stating that home inspectors are encroaching on your business? Do you really think that at a real estate transaction any governing body would ever require a code inspection?
“Oh sorry that you want to sell your home built in 1998, that will be $1,400 to upgrade the electrical system to current code” Oh wait, how about the plumbing system we should probably review that by a plumbing inspector too. Now that I think about it the ICC has issued some bulletins on roofing so we should probably force you to upgrade that too. IS this somehow how you are connecting the dots in your head? I mean, get real.

(Michael PARKS) #16

Blockquote A home inspection is not a code inspection.> Blockquote

Exactly. Home Inspections are for existing structures. Code Inspections can be for either new or existing structures.

I’m talking about Ohio. I really don’t care how your state handles things. If your state allows you to perform electrical inspections more power to you.

I’m in Ohio and we have a higher standard when it comes to electrical inspections. Is that a problem?

(William Forrest, CMI) #17

We will have to wait until the Ohio Board of Inspectors enacts the SOPs.

No person shall engage in the practice of electrical inspection in this state unless he is the holder of a certificate of competency as an electrical safety inspector issued under Chapter 3783. of the Revised Code. Any person practicing or offering to practice electrical inspection shall show proof of his certification upon request as provided by rules of the board of building standards.

The opinion on home inspectors from the Ohio Board of Building Standards:

“However, if a person holds them self out as a home inspector and offers to perform an inspection of the home and systems but indicates that they will issue a report indicating the state of function, operation or relative hazards, but not refer to code compliance, they would not be in violation of this law”

3 Likes
(Kevin M. Leonard, CMI) #18

You may want to double check that.

Bottom line is, anyone inspecting a home for a fee, any home, of any size, of any age, will be mandated by state law to hold a home inspector license.

1 Like
(Michael PARKS) #19

I am familiar with that and I agree with that. That statement never gave anyone permission to inspect electrical systems, inspect bonding or grounding or to remove electrical panel covers.

What function, or operation are you looking for inside of a panel? What standard are you using?
Relative hazards are ones that you can see without removing the cover. Openings in the panel. Damaged wires, broken devices.

Again, I don’t care if you look inside or not. I’m just telling you what I would say in court speaking as an expert. If you want to play electrical inspector go ahead. Every comment that you make about the inside of a panel IS referring to a code section.

I wish that they would let you qualify by taking the ICC E1 exam.

BTW the BBS does not recognize anyone but an ESI as “competent” to inspect the inside of a panel. Not even a Licensed Electrical Contractor.

(Michael PARKS) #20

No it means anyone performing a “Home Inspection” will need to have a license.

After the structure is complete then yes a license is required.

I don’t need to double check. I have been certified since 2002 and know what the limitations are.

If you don’t use the code what are you inspecting during the construction process? Do you use the state’s SOP?