Massachusetts Home Inspector, Changes in SOP

And I think the MASS HI’s need to thank you for bringing it to the attention so now maybe a HI in MASS will step forward and with your support JOE…confront this issue head on…

Glad you bought it up…what is your stance on the issue Joe? are you in support of HI’s going into the panel?

Hi all,

here is the PPE slide that I include in my electrical presentations, I always spend about 10 mins discussing this issue in all electrical training.

BTW if anyone wants to use this image for any purpose it is copyright free for use.



PPEslide (Small).jpg

Joe T,

Gerry mentions weating natural fiber clothes, goggles, and gloves before opening a panel. Again, I point out the common sense approach, here

But, you and I discussed this once before, and I’d have to say that Gerry has included what most prudent inspectors would have already included in their inspection wardrobe. Thank’s Gerry. I happen to agree with your suggest list of protective equipment for inspectors to wear.

If course, arc flash can easily cause a cotton shirt to catch fire, so nothing is foolproof. Goggles may protect your eyes from sparks or flying debris, but does nothing for the ultraviolet rays of the actual arc flash causing retinal burn. In fact, the heat generated from sustained and intense arc flash can melt those goggles to your face.

My point in all this is that I thought you (Joe T) would be pushing for a longer list of PPE than this. Not that I think it’s necessary, by the way. I just dont know where you are headed every time you bring up the subject of flash and PPE for HIs…

Hi to all,

Thanks Joe, that is my point, as you say this is just common sense, not rocket science!

There is no great mystery to performing safe electrical evaluations on residential structures, yet there seems to be this big “secret” about the whole issue. NFPA70E is quite concise as to what makes a “qualified person” qualified, it doesn’t mention anything about a licensed person whatso ever.

I believe that certain factions within the electrical industries wish to ensure that home inspectors are prohibited from being seen as qualified persons, I am still unsure as to which camp Joe T falls?

Bottom line: HI’s are the best people to perform basic evaluations of ALL building systems, as Paul Abernathy stated for the most part electrical contractors are not even interested in performing $75-100 basic evaluations on behalf of home owners. Does the electrical industry really believe that no evaluation is preferable to one done by a home inspector trained in the area and it’s safety concerns?

Joe T, I am not looking for an arguement, but where do you stand?




I agree with you and the others here, and would support a properly trained person who will become, or is a Home Inspector who evaluates an energized electrical system, without being licensed as an electrician.

I never said that they should be, and again, this seems to be the position of the State Board of Electrical Examiners. Anyone who feels that this is a problem would accomplish more by becoming involved in the process at the local level instead of arguing here.

Since I am only a few blocks away from the location where the Board meets and when I am in town, I plan on attending their meetings and offer my expertise.

It should be noted that for the last year, and on three separate occasions that NACHI has attempted to gain some ground in Massachusetts by asking a NACHI member to stand in front of the Board on behalf of NACHI.

To date that person has not been successful because he has not appeared even though on the agenda.

If a Home Inspector has not been properly trained then this discussion is of no value. I would be interested in seeing the current practice of one of the top rated HI schools in my area, or in any other location.

Just a brief reminder:

Will someone from NACHI attend the next meeting on March 8, 2006?


You can mention my name. Don’t be shy!!! Nice try in making me look bad, though.

The only reason why I never attended this damn meeting was because you stood right in my way. I was assigned the special task of attending this meeting (as you know) until you started emailing me (pissing and moaning) that I was not an educational provider. I then decided to step down from this task as I didn’t want to deal with someone crying about a lousy NACHI assignment. So enjoy your new postion.


You asked me to help you because you said that you were not an educational provider and could not act in that position on behalf of NACHI, and I said that I would help you.

I mentioned that the board wants to see someone from NACHI as an Individual who would be a Provider.

You can teach the subject of HI because you are very good at what you do and have the respect of many who have made contact with you.

NACHI wants someone to be a Representative for them, and that is where you should be. You should plan on attending the March meeting, because no one else wants to help NACHI in Massachusetts.

David, I will still help you in any way that I can! :smiley:

I was not trying to make you look bad! :mrgreen:

The board was expecting you last week, and that was all that I meant. You should have called them so that they would be aware that you were not attending the meeting.

I did ask them about Massachusetts recognition for CEU’s, and they said that an Educational Provider could represent any organization as their provider, if the courses were passed through and approved by them, they attended, and would be responsible for the attendance and certificates.

I have the necessary paperwork only available to Providers at this time.

Seems to me that each NACHI person who is capable of becoming a Provider should apply to the BOARD IN PERSON as I did to gain the recognition that they want.

That person should be ready to present their program for review and answer many questions.

Maybe Paul will be that person, he does it all the time, in either case I will be there for support. David, tell Paul how to go about getting that interview, if he can take off a couple of days on behalf of NACHI to attend.

I am finished now, have a great day! Your Buddy Joe :slight_smile:


What is a “properly trained person”? What is the “proper training” you speak of?

Please provide specifics.

Not sure Joe how a Virginia Electrician can have a voice on a MASS Board of Directors and Educators…

Also Joe I have NO intent to do anything against you…I think in your PM to me you are taking this the wrong way…I found this as a change to allow YOU to support NACHI and the HI industry and figured you would like to assist in this…that is all…

Your voice in the meeting could be great for HI’s and NACHI…that is all I was saying…stop taking it personal…

Maybe Gerry should be the Provider for NACHI…Maybe NICK should send Gerry…

Anyway…Joe I am compelled to ask you…WHY would I want to do this…? I am not a provider for NACHI…and I am not saying YOU can’t provide this service…

But I do think the person who does NEEDS to have the best interest of NACHI doing the service…if someone does not believe that NACHI or HI members in general are qualifed and do not have the ability to see outside the box I am not sure they should be a provider of a service…kinda serves as its own conflict of interest…

What I was saying…and I will say it again…It has nothing to do with being a provider…I do not want to be a provider for any state issues…I am anti-state to be honest with you…Certainly I can speak on electrical issues and Home Inspector electrical training but thats on a personal level…not on a state accredited level…trust me it is not a issue of wanting to be noticed…I am perfectly happy being known as a Electrician and someone who will take their time to give advice and speak on my trade and try to convey it to other home inspectors ( and electricians if they choose ) without belittling them or talking down to them…and explaining what I am telling them in a way they understand without the jargon…

But I most certainly do not want to be a spokesman for anything…

Anyway…the heart of it is…when you posted it I saw a perfect chance for YOU to step up and support NACHI and the HI industry…someone with your years of experience dealing with the BS of government issues and boards of directors…and telling them…you have worked with NACHI and otehr HI members…You feel the board is wrong and should support the efforts of HI’s…considering you are here helping HI’s…If you feel you can’t do that I begin to question IF you should be helping HI’s…I am an Electrician…I used to feel a certain way about HI’s years ago…even while I did them…I found myself being a bad person judging them…so I looked down deep at what they provide and I knew then they provided something I could not…a doorway to specifics…Meaning they could call out things I as an Electrician would not look for…structural, plumbing and so on…and I think MOST know that electricity can KILL…so I find most of them to be VERY safe…

Anyway…Take it as you will…I just figured it was a perfect situation to have you, someone who knows NACHI members and can attest to their ability and HI’s in general to support them…if you are against the idea of HI’s in panels…just say that and move on regarding the issue but I most certainly do not think MY voice is one that the MASS BOARD will hear nearly as loud as yours…and thats a GOOD THING…

Is your inspector really qualified? Click here](

Someone from one of the HI schools around the country can help here as well, and tell us what they teach, such as the typical sizes, etc.,


You tell me what you would do to teach someone about just the electrical portion of the MA SOP.


We’re speaking of what qualifications one needs to have, inthe way of training, before being able to remove a dead front cover and peeking in the panel.

I submit that there is a lot of “grey” in this area, and nothing is truly black and white.

What do you believe is the training (officially) a person needs to look in a panel?


To have been trained to remove the cover from a cabinet enclosing a panelboard; assure that the correct work space is present; assure proper illumination; using the correct tools; wearing of simple PPE; verifying presence of voltages; system grounding and bonding; identifying the materials of the conductors; understand the termination rules; sizing for lugs; being able to identify the types of overcurrent protective devices; all KO’s and other closures properly closed; proper circuit identification and marking; and although not the last by any means, the proper replacement of the cover after the inspection is performed.

This is a good exercise, and I hope that we can see more items added here to help overcome the “gray” areas as far as inspection by a HI.

Most of this is common sense stuff. I was speaking to specific training in this area.

Let’s go through them…

assure that the correct work space is present

Would this be before removing the panel cover or as a general rule regarding panel accebility, because the two are different. If I do not have the workspace. I wont open the panel. However, if the area is simply blocked by stored items, it may not be a defect. So, are we speaking of safery or evaluation of the panel, itself?

assure proper illumination

Again, is this for the inspector? Where there is insufficient light, I review the area with a flashlight. Sometimes, there are no working bulbs to be had…

using the correct tools

Okay… a screwdriver and a tic tracer is just about all I use on a typical inspection. Are we speaking of other tools?

wearing of simple PPE

got it.

verifying presence of voltages

exact voltages? stray voltages/ or are we simply looking to see if the panel cover is energized, because that’s exactly what I do before trying to remove the cover.

system grounding and bonding

sometimes you cannot this well. one can look for wires and lugs.

identifying the materials of the conductors

this is a given most of the time.

understand the termination rules

sometimes, the AHJ has already blessed the work, and )for instance) okays more than one neutral conductor under a single bus-bar lug.

sizing for lugs

isnt this buried in the fine print inside the panel, and usially obscured by the conductor, neutrals, and grounds?

being able to identify the types of overcurrent protective devices

fused, breakers, AFCIs and GFCIs? Is this what we’re speaking of?

all KO’s and other closures properly closed.

okay… its a given.

proper circuit identification and marking

we can flag this.

So, it seems that the majority of what was posted pertains directly to the majority of what we examine, and what is expected to be reasonably reviewed in a home inspection. I still see nothing in this list pertaining so special"qualifications and training.


The Board of Registration of Home Inspectors is charged with evaluating the qualifications of applicants for licensure and granting licenses to those who qualify. It establishes rules and regulations to ensure the integrity and competence of licensees. The Board promotes public health and welfare through regulation of the professional in accordance with the state statutes and board regulations.

The Board is responsible for insuring that licensed home inspectors have proper training and experience through an associates program and meet minimum inspection requirements in each inspection performed. Applicants are required to pass a board approved examination prior to licensure and fulfill continuing education for license renewal.

Still doesnt answer the question as to what YOU believe the proper training should be to qualify an inspector to remove a panel cover.

Hello Everyone-

I have written a long detailed e-mail to the Mass Board and explained my position on the idea of " Qualifed Persons " and explained why I believe Home Inspectors are in a unique position to be both qualified and the first line of pretection against faults and problems the Electrician simply does not have time to review.

They have assured me it will be seen by everyone on the board and will be read at the meeting…I hope it does some good for you all in MASS and I believe I explained to them the value of the HI to the industry from the mouth of a Master Electrician who believes in what you do for a living…

IN closing …it is MY opinion…HI’s will continue to learn and strive to understand electrical issues, people like me and others will be here to answer the call…but most importantly those of you who understand the basic concepts of electrical theory and wiring to be recongnized for it.

Lets hope it will help…we will see if my voice means anything…Chances are atleast they will understand the concerns many HI’s have over the issue.


With some actual “hands on training” at an energized 100 Ampere, and or, 200 Ampere 120/240 Volt 3 wire system, an Instructor would explain each item involved to identify possible hazards associated with an electrical inspection.

Proper PPE will be worn and the discussion would continue and identify typical defects each of which can be found in an image and in a panel designed with them in place.

The student can bring in their images, and even a report to go over so that they can learn the different terms used and handle the pieces in a panel.

Absent of that, whould would suffice?


[size=3]Look this over and identify the items related to an inspection, I also would look at the UL Marking Guide for Panelboards available from




[size=3]This category covers lighting and power panelboards rated 600 V or less.

Panelboards are intended for mounting in cabinets or cutout boxes
which may be provided with the panel or provided separately. Only panelboards
which are marked to indicate that they are for use in a specific
box and panelboards labeled as ‘‘Enclosed Panelboards’’ have been investigated
to determine that box wiring space is adequate.


Enclosed panelboards identified with an enclosure type designation are
intended for use as indicated in Electrical Equipment for Use in Ordinary
Locations (AALZ).

Some enclosed panelboards have one or more openings for plug-in watt
hour or similar meters. Such panelboards which are marked for outdoor
use have, except for the joint between the plug-in meter and opening,
been investigated for rain tightness.

Some panelboards are suitable for use as service equipment and may be
so marked. Such marking is part of the Listing Mark as noted below or is
an integral part of other required markings. Panelboards which are
marked to indicate that they are suitable for use as service equipment and
which can be removed from the enclosure are marked to identify the specific
box or boxes in which they are intended to be installed. If the acceptability
of such a panelboard for use as service equipment depends upon
the condition of installation or use, the panelboard is marked to indicate
those conditions.

Some panelboards incorporate neutrals factory bonded to the frame or
enclosure. Such units are marked ‘‘Suitable Only For Use As Service

Panelboards marked for use at services may also be used to provide the
main control and means of cutoff for a separately derived system.
Panelboards are marked with their short-circuit current rating in RMS
symmetrical amps. The marking states that short-circuit ratings are limited
to the lowest interrupting rating of (1) any device installed or intended to
be installed therein and/or (2) any combination series-connected device.
However, for combination series-connected devices, the short-circuit current
rating marked on the panelboard may be higher than the short-circuit
current rating of a specific circuit breaker installed or to be installed in the
panelboard. This higher rating is valid only if the specific overcurrent
devices identified in the marking are used within or ahead of the panelboard
in accordance with the marked instructions.

Panelboards to which units (circuit breakers, switches, etc.) may be
added in the field are marked with the name or trademark of the manufacturer
and the catalog number or equivalent of those units that are
intended to be installed in the field. Individual Circuit Breakers and
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (DKUY) may also be classified and
marked as being suitable for use in certain panelboards in place of specific
units marked on the panelboard.

Where in normal operation the load will continue for 3 hours or more,
molded-case circuit breakers and fused switches other than fused power
circuit devices should not be loaded to exceed 80 percent of their current
rating, unless the device is otherwise marked. Low Voltage AC Power
Switching Devices (PAPU) and Fused Power Circuit Devices (IYSR) used
in panelboards are suitable for continuous use at 100 percent of their rating.
Some panelboards may be provided with ground-fault protection for
services or major feeders. The circuit(s) so protected will be identified by a
marking such as on a wiring diagram.

Panelboards as Listed herein are for use with copper conductors unless
marked to indicate which terminals are suitable for use with aluminum
conductors. Such marking shall be independent of any marking on terminal
connectors and shall be on a wiring diagram or other readily visible
location. If all terminals are suitable for use with aluminum conductors as
well as with copper conductors the panelboard will be marked ‘‘Use Copper
or Aluminum Wire.’’ A panelboard employing terminals or main or
branch circuits units, individually marked ‘‘CU-Al’’ will be marked as
noted above or ‘‘Use Copper Wire Only.’’ The latter statement indicates
that wiring space or other factors make the panelboard unsuitable for aluminum

Unless the panelboard is marked to indicate otherwise, the termination
provisions are based on the use of 60°C ampacities for wire sizes 14–1
AWG, and 75°C ampacities for wire sizes 1/0 AWG and larger. However,
3-wire, single phase service entrance or feeder conductors for dwelling
units may be as covered in Note 3 to Table 310-16 of ANSI/NFPA 70,
‘‘National Electrical Code’’ (NEC).

Some panelboards, constructed with interlocked main switching and
overcurrent protective devices, have been investigated for use in optional
standby systems in accordance with Article 702 of the NEC and are
marked ‘‘Suitable for use in accordance with Article 702 of the National
Electrical Code ANSI/NFPA 70,’’ or, if provided within kit form, ‘‘Suitable
for use in accordance with Article 702 of the National Electrical Code

ANSI/NFPA 70 when provided with interlock kit Cat No. ____.’’


Class CTL panelboards are identified by the words ‘‘Class CTL’’ on the
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Follow-Up Service Listing Mark.
Class CTL panelboards incorporate physical features which, in conjunction
with the physical size, configuration, or other means provided in
Class CTL circuit breakers, fuse holders, or fusible switches, are designed
to prevent the installation of more overcurrent protective poles than that

number for which the device is designed and rated.


Some Listed enclosed panelboards in this category have been investigated
for RV use only. These panelboards generally consist of a line
voltage/branch circuit section that complies with the requirements of UL
67, ‘‘Panelboards.’’ The low voltage compartment complies with UL 458,
‘‘Power Converters/Inverters and Power Converter/Inverter Systems for
Land Vehicles and Marine Crafts’’ and is intended to be installed in accordance
with Article 551 of the NEC. Such enclosed panelboards are identi-
fied by a Listing Mark for RVs. RV panelboards do not have inverter functions.
Devices having combination panelboard/inverter capability are
covered under Power Converters/Inverters and Power Converter/Inverter

Systems (QPPY).


For additional information, see Electrical Equipment for Use in Ordinary
Locations (AALZ).


The basic standard used to investigate products in this category is UL

67, ‘‘Panelboards.’’


The Listing Mark of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. on the product is the
only method provided by UL to identify products manufactured under its
Listing and Follow-Up Service. The Listing Mark for these products
includes the UL symbol (as illustrated in the Introduction of this Directory)
together with the word

²LISTED,² a control number, and one of the
following product names as appropriate: ‘‘Panelboard,’’ ‘‘Enclosed Panelboard,’’
‘‘Marine, Enclosed Panelboard for Use on Vessels Over 65 Feet,’’
‘‘Enclosed RV Panelboard.’’ The product name may include the wording
‘‘Class CTL’’ or ‘‘Suitable For Use As Service Equipment’’ where appropriate.

The product name ‘‘Enclosed Panelboard’’ covers both the panel and
enclosure provided with it.

[FONT=Times New Roman]