LOad Calculations

Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
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icon_eek.gif Nick told me he thought this would be a beneficial post for those who wanted the information so here you all go…I hope it is legible…


Load Calculations





General Lighting

Take the square footage of the house times 3va (volt-amperes)= __________ then add that number to 4500, which would be 2 small appliances and 1 laundry load.

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Take this subtotal and determine the *total general lighting load & small appliance as follows:

Take the first 3000 at 100% 3000

Take the remainder at 35% _____
(Total general lighting load
and small appliance minus 3000)

Then add those two together to
obtain the *total general
lighting load & small appliance _____
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Now determine the following and add them to the *general lighting load & small appliance:

Dishwasher 1200 va

Disposal 1200 va

Dryer 5500 va

Oven 8000-12000
(On the oven check the breaker size. If it is a 40 amp breaker it is 8000. If it is a 50 amp breaker it is 12000.)

Air Conditioner 5500-12000
(On the air conditioner, 700 sq ft requires 1 ton of air conditioning. A house of 2800 sq ft would require 12000 va whereas a house of 700 sq ft would only require 5500 va.)

Swimming pool 1500
Hot Tub 9000
(On the hot tub if the breaker is a 50 amp it would require 9000. If it is a 30 amp, it would require 6000.)

Electric Heaters, well pumps, and compressors would be figured out by taking the breaker size times the voltage required to use the breaker, and then times 35%. ( A single pole 20 amp breaker would result in 840 va [120 x 20 x .35=840]. A 20 amp two pole would be 1680 va [240 x 20 x .35=1680].)

******************************************************

Take the total of the above and divide it by 240 volts. The result will be the total amount of amperes needed by the house.

A house at 80 amperes or less is good for a 100 amp panel and service.

A house at 81 amperes to 90 amperes is marginal for 100 amp panel and service.

Anything over 90 amperes should be upgraded to at least a 150 amp panel and service.

A house at 160 amperes or less is good for a 200 amp panel and service.

A house at 161 amperes to 180 amperes is marginal for a 200 amp panel and service.

Anything over 180 amperes should be upgraded to a higher than 200 amp service and panel.



Here is an example of a load calculation:

The house is 2000 sq ft, therefore 2000 x 3va =6000

6000 + 4500= 10500

The 1st 3000 is at 100% 3000
The remainder of 7500 is at 35% 2625

The sum of these two is: 5625

This number is the general lighting load and small appliance.

The house has a disposal 1200
A dishwasher 1200
A electric dryer 5500
A electric oven at 50 amps 12000
A air conditioner 10000

The sum of all these appliances plus the general lighting load and small appliance is: 35525

Take 35525 and divide it by 240 volts = 148 amps

This house would require a panel and service upgrade to at least 200 amps.


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This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.

Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Nice theoretical calculation, but many electricians and electrical engineers would laugh at us.


Heres a true example:

2900 sq ft home
Electric oven (gas cooktop)
Dishwasher
Air conditioning (5 ton system)

Actual average current draw was less than 45 amperes with AC, lights, DW, and oven on.

House lights on, without oven activated, plus active air conditioner and electrical load was 18 amperes

120-240 volt system
100 amp service was adequate

So, it depends on the situation. I use an amp probe and an infared thermometer. I look at the draw, and measure the temp of the main breaker and entry cable where it connects to the main panel. If the draw is close to the main's rating, an upgrade is recommended. If the cable or breaker is really warm, then an upgrade is recommended. Of course, I always recommend evaluation by a licensed electrical contractor.

In reality, sometimes a load calculation doesn't tell the whole story.


Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
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Well the formula is derived from the NEC. As far as your computations go, I am an electrician and I am not laughing at you. I see no laundry or small appliance load in your calculations though. This would be the washer, the microwave, the toaster oven or coffee pot. Don’t forget the hair dryer and even the televison too. Any appliance that heats will increase the current significantly.


When you take your example and do my formula, the actual load comes out to 107 amps. So basically if you use the formula, you would be using the same formula that a licensed electrical contractor would use.

Using a amp probe is ok to a point. You have to figure the worse case scenario though, whereas the ac is running, a cake in the oven, someone is washing clothes, while the girl of the house is drying her hair, and mom is making coffee and has pop tarts in the microwave...and oh yea she is washing dishes in the dishwasher too...lol. I know it sounds funny but....possible. Therefore when a electrical contractor figures it out, he looks at the worse possible scenario.

House should have a minimum of 125 amps...if not a 200 for that added protection when the new home buyer puts in his hot tub and base board heater.



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This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.

Originally Posted By: rray
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And all of this fits into a “visual inspection” how?


http://www.nachi.org/sop.htm


--
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.

Originally Posted By: dvalley
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Joe,


When you perform an Amp draw with the probe, shouldn't the existing appliances in the house be in the "ON" position? Most of the time (during a home inspection) the interior electrical appliances are not operating, because the family is not home.
![icon_question.gif](upload://t2zemjDOQRADd4xSC3xOot86t0m.gif) Would this test draw be somewhat accurate if none of the appliances were operating at the time of inspection? ![icon_question.gif](upload://t2zemjDOQRADd4xSC3xOot86t0m.gif)


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David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



LAws of probability weightd into his final recommendations.


So, you see, I stand by my assertion that theoretical load calcs dont tell the whole story. I also assert that it is not our jobs to get into engineering calculations. Most of us are not qualified. Not all (Dennis), but many electrical contractors, architects, and engineers would disagree with us on a lot of this...

It gets back to the basic question: How many of us perform these calcs on the basic home inspection. I'm not talking about a 4000 sq ft home with a 100 amp feed, where we can use theoretical load calcs to justify the obvious. I'm speaking of the average home with central (or non-central) AC, microwave, etc.
And lets not forget that many of the electrical codes have changed through the years. Requirements of today were not necessarily the codes in place 20, 30, or 40 years ago, from an electrical standpoint...


Joe


Originally Posted By: dvalley
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Joe,


I apologize for the misunderstanding.
My post was a question...not a statement.
I am not fully knowledgeable in the electrical field and was curious if an amp draw can be performed with very few appliances running. Should most of the appliances be running to get the appropriate reading? I plan on purchasing a probe to do amp draws myself. I just want to know if this can be done accordingly.
Also, Thanks for the info on the (Dennis-Lectricalman) load calculations.


--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: jmyers
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Joe F.


Time for da zoloft, you are getting a bit fussy again. ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)

Joe Myers


Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



My apologies, David. I do get a bit pissy from time to time, as my compadre, Mr. Myers, has just reminded me. It’s not you. Believe me. Its this whole business of where an inspection stops, and an engineering excersise begins. Like the guy who claims he examines 1800 items during an inspection, and takes less than 2 hours to do so (and document it all). Like he’s wearing a friggin’ rocket belt…


I truly believe that there is a lot of useful information at our fingertips that we could and should be using to describe material defects in the home. These load calcs are a prime example of information we could use to help justify an observation or recommendation. However, sometimes you dont need a nail gun, when a thumbtack will do. In fact, in the wrong hands, a nail gun is more harmful then beneficial. Many guys have shot themselves with that very nail gun. Believe me, one hole in my... well, I'll stop the analogy there...

What I'm sayimng is that we need to balance the technicalities with practicalities, and must also never forget the variables in the process.

I get pissed when I read some posts, on other boards, where the inspector recites such miniscule bull$hit that, in reality, doesn't amount to a hill of beans. So, find your way, be dilligent, but above all remember: there is black and white, but there is also gray, and shades of gray. We need to recognize all. This is what expert witnesses do for a living. They have the ability to recognize all shades, communicate facts, and make sense of it all.

I also neglected to extablish who started the thread. It wasn't you. You were the bystander caught in the crossfire. Again, my apologies...

I'm moving on to stronver medicine, I think... Zoloft are like Chicklets these days... Well, just be thankful you weren't talking about starting a mold business... Oh Boy!!!


Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



SHEESH…I posted this stuff here on the advice of Nick…who has been somewhat coaching me for I am quite tired of doing electrical work and planning on becoming a house inspector…although I am not to sure about that now! Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?


I mean...granted the calculations I posted are theoritical, but most things are based on theory. If it is at all possible for a house to be up and running with 80% of it's appliances on at the same time, then it is very possible to exceed the maximum rating of a main breaker and it's associated wiring, thus causing an overload and/or fire, if in fact the load had not been calculated to insure the electrical needs of the house are met. If I choose to become a house inspector now, I will surely do the simple engineering calculations (addition, multiplication, division and subtraction), to determine the load on a house based on the appliances, square footage and lighting loads. To me, to do such would gaurantee the new owner that a thorough electrical inspection of the house had been done. As a electrician, I often run into the problem of the new house owner experiencing electrical problems such as lights dimming, brown out, etc., due to the fact that his recent home inspector did not recommend a electrical upgrade on the house. There statements to me when I tell them they need to increase the ampacity coming into the house is, "I just had this house inspected! Why wasn't this noticed? Why wasn't I informed of this"?

I have no answer for them. I'm just an electrician on a service call that has theoritically produced the amount of load on that given home and has recommeded that the panel and service be upgraded. Now they are looking at anywhere from $900 to $2500 to upgrade thier electrical panel and service. Are they pissed??? Damn right they are. Why? Because their house inspector failed to do what they paid them to do.

This is why I felt that posting these simple calculations was important. When I mentioned to Nick that I had these formulas, he suggested I post them. I certainly did not feel that it would cause such a controversy. So my bottom line is, if you are afraid to do these calculations, or if you feel they are not necessary....then do what you feel is best. After the inspection is over and the new owner moves in, let us hope they do not need to upgrade. In this sue happy soceity we live in, I would personally hate to be the inspector that is being sued by Mr. Home Owner who just shelled out $800 for what he now considers to be a incomplete inspection. Furthermore, if he feels the inspection was inadequate, he might start to question everything. None of us are perfect so in this case, I hope we all do everything we should for if we didn't or if we miss something accidentally, Mr. Home Owner may surely find this out. But then, I guess this is why house inspectors carry E & O insurance!!!



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This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.

Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



In regards to FPE panels…the internet will show you that FPE panels are a hazard as well as showing you they are not. Much controversy over this subject. I have personally seen melted breakers, melted wires, and have seen the results of fires based on the fact that a FPE panel was in a house and guess what…it failed to do what it was meant to do!


As a electrical contractor, my company will not even consider putting in a new circuit utilizing a FPE panel. The liability to do such is to great. We have turned down work due to the fact that a FPE panel is in place and the owner does not want to remove it. To me that says....there must be some serious issues when it comes to FPE panels.

When I enter a house on a service call, if there is a FPE panel in the home, I automatically recommend that it be replaced. I also refer people to: http://www.inspect-ny.com/fpe/fpepanel.htm

I then let them make the decision to remove and replace the FPE panel or not. Typically, if a consumer is safety concious, they call me back to determine how much it would be to replace their FPE panel.

Again though....it is a liability issue. Are we as house inspectors just out to make a quick buck or are we supposed to insure that the inspection we perform, be one that is as comprehensive as possible while insuring that all possible safety issues within a house are examined???

Maybe it isn't our place or in our scope to do such. If this the case, then who is responsible to do such. Thankfully, I have enough knowledge about electrical that I would not have to pay someone to inspect my home for electrical problems. But what about the guy who doesn't? He hires a home inspector to do this for him and lo and behold....his house burns down because of a serious hazard....a FPE panel that was not recommended to be replaced!!! How can you guys sleep at night as you ignore what has been documented over and over and over again. If a FPE 2 pole breaker trips......it will FAIL 65% of the time thereafter!! That does not hold true for other types of panels/breakers. Only the FPE can claim this.

I regretfully have to say that since participating in these message boards, I have lost faith in the house inspection business. I haven't gone to some of the other subjects as of yet, but I just bet my last dollar that the same stuff goes on in those subjects as they do in electrical. If it gets out that a house inspector will ignore most safety issues in the electrical area of an inspection such as load calculations, FPE panels, etc., I feel such will harm this industry tremendously. Even today with insurance companies refusing to insure a house based on the fact that it has knob and tube wiring in it and unless it is inspected and certified to be safe, they will not insure, I feel it is vital for house inspectors to NOT ignore what is documented and at their very hands to do.

Nothing would stop a consumer from seeking alternative methods to inspect their homes if they are informed that house inspectors will typically ignore certain safety issues or will find ways to avoid them or reason with them that they need not be performed and/or inspected.

I'm apologize guys....but this has been hard to swallow. Most seem interested and seemingly want to be the best inspector they can, while others just seem to not care! If I or anyone close to me ever has to use a house inspector, I hope that they get the one that cares enough to cover all aspects of the house and to recommend changes due to documented safety issues within the house.

I have to wonder why E & O insurance is so high priced. After reading most of the posts, I think I know why. ![icon_sad.gif](upload://nMBtKsE7kuDHGvTX96IWpBt1rTb.gif)


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This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.

Originally Posted By: rray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Dennis Bozek wrote:
Isn't it better to be safe than sorry?


Well, sure it is. But to me it looks like you are trying to become an electrical home inspector instead of a home inspector.

I run into this problem quite a lot out here when I do pre-listing inspections. I always tell my Clients that there is a possibility that the Buyer's home inspector will come along behind me and find lots of things wrong that I didn't find. As I explain it, I can't compete with the retired Navy guy who worked for 37 years in electricity. He's capable of finding many things that I wouldn't even think about. I'm a generalist. I know something about everything but everything about nothing (that gets a chuckle out of them). But I will defend my work (and I'm quite capable of defending my work) as a generalist home inspector when and if necessary.

Dennis, you obviously have a lot of electrical experience, but it sounds like you are not willing to give up that experience to become a generalist. I think you still like being a specialist.

Think about it like this. If you want to be "safe than sorry," you can apply that analogy to engineering, plumbing, fireplaces, gas, roofing, etc. Are you willing to become a specialist in all those areas and bring them up to the level of your electrical experience. I'd bet not. So rather than try to bring me, as a generalist home inspector, up to your level as an electrician, I think you should try to bring your electrical experience in line with that of a home inspector. I admit that it probably will be difficult to do.

Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to read the Standards of Practice of all the trade associations. They are quite similar.

Additionally, in my State, my E&O carrier and my attorneys have cautioned me not to intrude into the jurisdiction of licensed professionals in other industries, such as licensed electricians. I have to be very careful what I say, and everything that I say goes, or has gone, through my attorneys first. There is case law out there that is defining our jobs as generalist home inspectors.

Load calculations are reserved to licensed electricians, and I just don't want to be a licensed electrician. I'm a generalist home inspector.



Dennis Bozek wrote:
If I choose to become a house inspector now, I will surely do the simple engineering calculations (addition, multiplication, division and subtraction), to determine the load on a house based on the appliances, square footage and lighting loads.


It sounds to me like you don't have much confidence in other electricians in the industry. As a generalist, I go on the premise that other professionals know what they are doing. That provides me with the basic foundation to build on. Are there things wrong? Sure there are. That's why our profession exists. That and the fact that we're cheap.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
To me, to do such would gaurantee the new owner that a thorough electrical inspection of the house had been done. As a electrician, I often run into the problem of the new house owner experiencing electrical problems such as lights dimming, brown out, etc., due to the fact that his recent home inspector did not recommend a electrical upgrade on the house.


There are many visual clues about when a house needs an electrical upgrade, e.g., low service capacity, extension cords everywhere, outlet multipliers everywhere, old wiring, etc. And my home inspections are visual inspections. I think every trade organization's Standards of Practice state very clearly that a home inspection is a visual inspection. By doing engineering calculations, in my state you would be holding yourself out as an engineer of some type. There is case law out there in our industry that wants to know why you went above and beyond your home inspector SOP in one area (electricity) but not in another area (e.g., plumbing). So again it might be to your advantage to read the Standards of Practice and understand what a home inspector's job is. And certainly get a good attorney to help you define your company's home inspection standards in your state.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
There [sic] statements to me when I tell them they need to increase the ampacity coming into the house is, "I just had this house inspected! Why wasn't this noticed? Why wasn't I informed of this"?


Unfortunately, I run into the problem where I tell my Clients based on my visual clues that they need to have certain electrical things done. Then the electrician comes in and tells them they need to have lots of things done. I always caution my Clients about licensed professionals. Under state law, I must defer to licensed professionals. However, many licensed professionals are out to only sell their products. When a licensed professional trumps me, and my Client calls to complain, I tell my Client to ask the other guy to put his recommendations in writing, on his letterhead, dated, and signed. My reports have recommendations, and the reason or logic behind my recommendations. I tell my Clients to request the reason behind the recommendations by the other guy. Unfortunately, half the time the other guy has no clue about why he is recommending something or the logic behind his recommendation. He has simply been told by his employing company that if he finds 100A service capacity, recommend that it be upgraded to 200A. That, of course, here, is a few thousand dollars in parts and labor, as you stated ($900 to $2500). I tell my Client to go with my recommendations first and see if it works. If it doesn't, they obviously can continue to do upgrades. Of course, they can do all the upgrades now if they want. That is their choice. I do a lot of follow-up with my Clients, and every time I have this conversation, I've been proven correct. The electrician (plumber, etc.) was just out to sell his product. Load calculations have never been necessary for me because of the visual clues that have always been present.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
Because their house inspector failed to do what they paid them to do.


I definitely have to take issue with that statement. Unless you have seen the contract that the Client signed with their home inspector, you have no idea what they paid to have done. To me it sounds like you don't yet understand what a home inspection is. NACHI has a contract somewhere around here that you can read.

My contract with my Client states that I am there "to identify major defects," defined as one that is capable of detection by "reasonable visual examination only." Load calculations definitely would not fall into the "reasonable visual examination only" category for my home inspections.

My contract also states, "Items not within the scope of the inspection: (3) adequacy or efficiency of any system or component." That definitely covers load calculations.

I have no problem with you posting formulas for load calculations. I do find them interesting. I am mathematically inclined. I just won't use them in the course of my inspections.


Dennis Bozek wrote:
In this sue happy soceity we live in, I would personally hate to be the inspector that is being sued by Mr. Home Owner who just shelled out $800 for what he now considers to be a incomplete inspection.


Most of it comes down to establishing rapport with your Client. Fortunately, my Clients come to me first before they shell out $800 for something. I really like that. That means that I am doing a good job working for my Client. I have their trust. It also means that the licensed professional is not doing a good job working for his Client. If he was, then the Client would not question his recommendations.

Also, my contract deals with monetary issues. I'm not only in a litigious state, but one where the price of real estate is very high. Therefore my contract has a dollar limitation in it that relates to the definition of a major defect. I'm not out looking for cosmetic damage or lots of little things that might add up to a significant amount. I'm looking for major defects. $800 in my contract does not qualify as a major defect.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
Furthermore, if he feels the inspection was inadequate, he might start to question everything. None of us are perfect so in this case, I hope we all do everything we should for if we didn't or if we miss something accidentally, Mr. Home Owner may surely find this out. But then, I guess this is why house inspectors carry E & O insurance!!!


Which brings me back to an earlier part of this post. Are you doing the engineering calculations for the load on the roof, the load on the joists and beams? Are you doing the flow calculations for all the plumbing fixtures and appliances? Better safe than sorry.


--
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.

Originally Posted By: rray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Dennis Bozek wrote:
Again though....it is a liability issue. Are we as house inspectors just out to make a quick buck or are we supposed to insure that the inspection we perform, be one that is as comprehensive as possible while insuring that all possible safety issues within a house are examined???


I don't think anyone in this industry makes a "quick buck." However, my home inspections are not comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination. A comprehensive inspection to me means a detailed inspection. My inspections are general, and that is stated in my contract. A comprehensive inspection would definitely require more time and, thus, become more expensive. The nature of the beast is that the general public is not interested in comprehensive inspections. If they were, we all would be doing one 8-hour inspection per day at a cost of $1,500. That's not happening. I'm quite capable of doing a comprehensive home inspection. But I can't do that in this industry. I can do three inspections in a day totalling $1,000. I could never charge $1,000 for one inspection. I'd be out of business and living back in South Texas instead of San Diego.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
Maybe it isn't our place or in our scope to do such. If this the case, then who is responsible to do such.


No one. The industry is not demanding it. If they were, our prices would be much higher.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
Thankfully, I have enough knowledge about electrical that I would not have to pay someone to inspect my home for electrical problems. But what about the guy who doesn't?


Do you have enough knowledge about plumbing, engineering, roof loads, second-story live and dead loads to take care of all those issues? Probably not. That's what home inspectors do. They are generalists working in all areas, specialists working in none.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
a FPE panel that was not recommended to be replaced!!!


Dennis Bozek wrote:
Even today with insurance companies refusing to insure a house based on the fact that it has knob and tube wiring in it and unless it is inspected and certified to be safe, they will not insure, I feel it is vital for house inspectors to NOT ignore what is documented and at their very hands to do.


Obviously there are poor workers in any industry. But I think the only home inspector who would not bring an FPE panel to their Client's attention, or bring knob & tube wiring to their Client's attention, is one who will be out of business very shortly. Every home inspector I've ever talked to; every home inspector with CREIA, ASHI, and others; every home inspector training school, knows the problems associated with the FPE panels and knob & tube wiring.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
How can you guys sleep at night as you ignore what has been documented over and over and over again.


That's a pretty broad, generalized question, Dennis, and I personally find it quite offensive.


Dennis Bozek wrote:
I have to wonder why E & O insurance is so high priced. After reading most of the posts, I think I know why


My own personal take on why E&O insurance is so high is because professionals from other industries try to become home inspectors without leaving their other profession, thinking that it's easy and they can make a quick buck. Electricians refuse to leave their electrical industry to enter the home inspection industry. Then electricians try to use all that expertise at that higher expert level without raising the other parts of the home inspection industry to that expert level. If you are going to be an expert electrical home inspector, then you are going to be in court for not being an expert plumbing home inspector or an expert engineering home inspector. Your E&O carrier doesn't know how you will use your knowledge, which is why most of them give discounts if you belong to a trade association. They want to be assured that you are following a standard of practice. When you don't follow that standard of practice, they will back you up, but you'll probably lose, and they'll pay. In my humble opinion, and it may not seem so humble after these two lengthy posts, people entering the home inspection industry need to understand the home inspection industry. They need to make a commitment to leave their previous industry and become a home inspector. Too many times, unfortunately, that does not happy. It sounds like it won't happen in your case.


--
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.

Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



As a licensed electrical contractor, it is my responsibility to insure that the customer receives the benefit of my knowledge and expertise, whereas, if there are certain areas of the house in question that needs upgrades, repair and maintenance, then it is my responsibility to inform the customer of such. Granted, we all try to sell products, but the scope of my work is to inform the customer of what needs to be done per the NEC and if while I am recommending such I have an opportunity to sell a product…heck yea! We are in business to make money so why not sell a product if given the chance. Nevertheless, it is my responisibility to inform the customer of what needs to be repaired or upgraded or maintained. That is what I do and would do the same as a house inspector. I do not enter a house to strictly sell a product or to sell things that do not require repair. I’m an electrician or as some prefer to call me…sparky! I fix electrical things…that spark. If in my duties I can sell the customer something…I try to do that. I have many previous customers for they rely on my knowledge and they realize they have received professional and quality work from me in the past. Just as your clients refer to you, so do mine.


Would I go through all the calculations in regards to plumbing, roofing, etc.? In my case, yes I would and I would do that to not only understand on my own level about such things, but to also insure that I have properly inspected the house and that it meets the requirements to deem it safe and in good condition. If all house inspectors are supposed to do is a visual inspection for major defects, then i guess I am pursuing the wrong career. I will read these standards you speak about and make my own decisions from such. I was certainly under the impression that inspecting a house meant inspecting it......for all possible problems.....major or minor. If formulas and other things do not have to be performed to determine the safety of a house as a house inspector, then to me I have to ask myself...why would I need a house inspector. I can call a electrical contractor or a hvac contractor or a plumbing contractor and have them inspect my home. They will then do such and give me a practical safety inspection and tell me whether my home meets code requirements or not. With such inspections, I then would have the peace of mind that the house I am about to purchase is safe and up to code in all areas.

So I reckon....perhaps I am pursuing the wrong career for I am one who believes in crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's. But then it could be that a house inspector that is this thorough might also be a benefit to the industry. Don't really know....if that is the case or not. Perhaps someone else will reply to my messages and tell me differently than you.


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This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.

Originally Posted By: rray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Dennis Bozek wrote:
the scope of my work is to inform the customer of what needs to be done per the NEC


Dennis Bozek wrote:
They will then do such and give me a practical safety inspection and tell me whether my home meets code requirements or not.


If you want to know whether or not your home meets code requirements, you surely do not want a home inspector. That is not what home inspectors do. We do read the codes to give us a foundation for doing our job, but I don't think you'll find any home inspector citing codes.

A licensed profession that has to know its own codes is daunting enough. Now put all those licensed professions and codes together, and you have a home inspector. It's just not possible for home inspectors to know every code in every industry that we have to work in. I don't care who the home inspector it is. My copy of the NEC alone has 711 pages.

The other problem is that I have about 100 jurisdictions in my territory. Not only would I have to know all the codes for all the industries, but I would have to know which codes each individual AHJ is using. So before I ever went to an inspection, I would have to call the local AHJ to find out what plumbing code is being used, what electrical code is being used, what engineering code is being used, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum. That's virtually impossible. I would never get to the inspection.

Another problem is that every code I have read states that existing installations of whatever do not have to comply with the provisions of the new code. The NEC 2002 states in "80.9(B). Existing Installations. Existing electrical installations that do not comply with the provisions of this Code shall be permitted to be continued in use unless the authority having jurisdiction determines that the lack of conformity with this Code presents an imminent danger to occupants. Where changes are required for correction of hazards, a reasonable amount of time shall be given for compliance, depending on the degree of the hazard."

So I also would have to know when the house was built and what code was in use then. So I now have to know the codes throughout history.

My take is that if you want to bring the home you are buying up to current codes, then you need to be looking at a house that is currently under construction and not an existing structure.


Dennis Bozek wrote:
Would I go through all the calculations in regards to plumbing, roofing, etc.? In my case, yes I would and I would do that to not only understand on my own level about such things, but to also insure that I have properly inspected the house and that it meets the requirements to deem it safe and in good condition.


Get you a good attorney, Dennis. I don't think you have the expertise or authority to "deem" a house "safe." That typically is reserved by law to municipal authorities.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
If all house inspectors are supposed to do is a visual inspection for major defects, then i guess I am pursuing the wrong career.


I think you are.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
I was certainly under the impression that inspecting a house meant inspecting it......for all possible problems.....major or minor.


At some point you will need a good business advisor as well as a good attorney. If you try to document all the minor problems, you are really going to run into trouble.

Picture the average conditions of a home inspection: occupied and fully furnished, sometimes overfurnished. How do you document that which you cannot see or don't have access to because of storage and furnishings? That's probably the main reason why we do a visual examination. And what's a minor problem? Let's say a hole in the wall caused by a doorknob is a minor problem. Unfortunately for you, you have told your Clients that you document minor problems. At the inspection, you didn't have access to one room because it was locked. In one room you couldn't get to the wall behind the door because of storage. You missed those minor problems and now you are being sued because you told your Clients that you documented all the minor problems. This is a very litigious industry we are in, and if you don't want to be in small claims court all the time defending yourself, you'll need a good contract in place. That contract will limit the things that you do. There's just no two ways about it.


Dennis Bozek wrote:
why would I need a house inspector. I can call a electrical contractor or a hvac contractor or a plumbing contractor and have them inspect my home. With such inspections, I then would have the peace of mind that the house I am about to purchase is safe and up to code in all areas.


When someone asks me that question, I explain it like this.

I am a generalist, just like your family doctor. You are having chest pains so you go to your family practitioner. He finds clues that there is something else wrong and thinks you need heart surgery. He sends you to a heart surgeon. The heart surgeon agrees. I doubt seriously that your family practitioner is going to be doing the heart surgery. Cost? $100,000 for the heart surgeon and $20 co-pay for the family practitioner.

On the other hand, you are having chest pains so you think "heart problem." You go straight to the heart surgeon who says you have gas. Cost? $1,000 for the heart surgeon.

The family practitioner is a generalist, not a specialist. But he knows the clues and knows when to send you to a specialist.

I'm the same way. I'm a generalist, not a specialist. But I know the clues and know when to send you to a specialist.

Yes, you can hire all the licensed professionals and they will do their jobs. In my area, we have lots of licensed professionals. They all have minimum charges, whether or not they find anything wrong and whether or not I choose to have anything repaired.

Since I use these professionals in my property renovation business, I know their minimum charges:

HVAC, $65
Plumber, $85
Electrician, $85
Pest Control, $50
Engineer, $200
Roofing contractor, $65

Total cost just to have them come out to the house: $550.

Cost of my time for being there for each inspection, $600 (six inspections at 1 hour each, which includes all time lost from work that I could be doing).

Cost of my home inspection for the house I live in: $324.

Someone would have to set up all those appointments, be there to let them in, stay there while they are inspecting, etc. Good luck in finding a Client who can take that much time off from work or a Realtor who's going to go to the same house for six different inspections.

Resolution to problem: home inspectors. Cost is low and it's an all-in-one inspection. But it's not a specialized or comprehensive inspection. It's general.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
perhaps I am pursuing the wrong career for I am one who believes in crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's. But then it could be that a house inspector that is this thorough might also be a benefit to the industry.


I also believe in crossing all the t's an dotting all the i's. However, I am also one who does my research about the industry before I jump into it. I grew up in a large, poor family in South Texas. I've done electrical, plumbing, HVAC. I've built and removed septic tanks, swimming pools, irrigation systems, roofs, chimneys, drywall, masonry, and whole houses. That's what large, poor, South Texas families do.

I've got a lot of experience in a lot of areas. Some call me a Jack-of-all-trades. Others call me anal retentive. I don't mind either designation.

And although I have all that knowledge, I cannot use it to its full advantage as a home inspector in this state due to licensing, legal liability, and insurance limitations. I don't mind that. I know what limitations California places upon me as a home inspector, and I have still chosen to work within those limitations.


--
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.

Originally Posted By: Dennis Bozek
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



It seems you have some sort of problem with me therefore I will not any longer respond to a diode…which is a one way device. I will say that I have read your responses to other subjects and frankly…



This information has been edited and reviewed for errors by your favorite resident sparky.

Originally Posted By: rray
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Dennis Bozek wrote:
It seems you have some sort of problem with me therefore I will not any longer respond to a diode....which is a one way device.


You're calling me a one-way device when you are the one who is choosing not to continue any dialogue? Hmmmm. How one-way is that?

By the way, a diode is an electronic device that has two electrodes or terminals and is used especially as a rectifier, which is a device for converting alternating current into direct current.

A diode has two, similar to a dialogue.

I don't have any problem with you per s?. I do have a problem with people from other industries retiring from those industries, entering the home inspection profession, and then telling us full-time, professional home inspectors that we don't know what we're doing and asking us how we can sleep at night. I sleep quite well, thank you, when I choose to sleep.

I do understand that some people tend to run and hide when someone disagrees with them. ASHI/CREIA inspectors in California tend to be that way concerning licensing in this State. I, on the other hand, love a good challenge. You presented a good challenge. I've learned a lot about you and about electricians and about electricians (or at least one specific electrician) becoming home inspectors.

Dennis Bozek wrote:
I will say that I have read your responses to other subjects and frankly...


And vice versa. However, you might have noticed that I have not responded to your posts concerning electrical matters, either here or at inspectionnews.com, because I have deduced that you are well qualified in that area.

I do not think you are well qualified as a home inspector yet. I do think you are intelligent enough to become a very good home inspector. But I really do have problems with people condemning the home inspection industry and home inspectors in general when they know nothing about the industry. The fact that you had not read any standards of practice led me to that conclusion.


--
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.

Originally Posted By: mbailey
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Dennis,


First - let me say that I find your formula quite interesting. I strive to learn new things all the time, whether they apply to what I am currently doing or not?knowledge always has a use.

Second ? do not stop posting/contributing just because of disagreement on the board.

Home inspection is a generalist industry ? the issues you spoke of concerning safety are in everyones interests, but beyond the scope of a home inspection. That is why we refer to specialists when needed ? we use our training, knowledge, specialized skill sets (your electrical background for example), etc?. to determine why, decipher clues, etc? to make that call for a specialist. BTW ... this paragraph is a generalist paragraph ? it is not intended to be specific in any area or to engage any of the points in previous posts. ![icon_smile.gif](upload://b6iczyK1ETUUqRUc4PAkX83GF2O.gif)

I have read your posts on the other board and you appear very knowledgeable in your current profession - continue to learn about the home inspection industry?it apparently is somewhat different than you originally thought? and then make your decisions. There are a lot of personal, legal, business angles to consider before one engages in this industry.


--
Mark Bailey
Stonegate Property Inspections LLC
Ponca, NE

Originally Posted By: gbeaumont
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



but will I file it away as background knowledge HELL YES do I recomend that home inspectors be required to know these formulas also no ! I recognise that different areas have different standards and practices and one piece of knowledge may be unapplicable in some areas but all knowledge is worth having. Personally I found Dennis’s post interesting and informative, and made me think a little more about the concepts, for that I thank him.


Gerry


--
Gerry Beaumont
NACHI Education Committee
e-mail : education@nachi.org
NACHI phone 484-429-5466

Inspection Depot Education
gbeaumont@inspectiondepot.com

"Education is a journey, not a destination"

Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Gerry,


It not the point. First of all, I was the one who busted poor Dennis' balls first, and unjustly so, I may add. For that, I apologize. But to the crux of the matter, being if we are somehow negligent of we fail to perform these load calcs as a part of out home inspections, and more importantly, if they are absolutely valid. My experience in dealing with the commercial end of the industry is that a simple load calc doesn't always cut it. My local experience, with contractors who have come in or consulted with what I considered to be justification for an upgrade, have privately pulled me aside and asked me why the hell I made an issue over the panel. They rely on kilowatt hours of consumption, and actual everage current draw in making their determination beyond the obvious. This is the course they take when dealing with an existing structure.

My point as to the FPE issue was that things vary from region to region. Sure, I inform the client that problems with FPE and Stak-Lock have happened in the past, and referr them to the proper site or AHJ if interested. You see, the CPSC never actually recalled these panels. There's the problem.

Dennis' intentions and expertise ate valued. No doubt. No one doesn't appreciate his terriffic input. But he also can't expect everyone to abide by these calcs, as opinions and practices vary from place to place, AHJ to AHJ, and inspector to inspector.

Joe Farsetta

ps: Dennis... dont give up on this BB. You'll have plenty of opportunity to bash us around on other topics. In the end, we'll all have a beer... or in Russel's case, a Margherita