NEW VIDEO: Inspecting the Electrical Panel & Meter with Julie Erck, CPI

:zap:Follow along with InterNACHI® Certified Professional Inspector® Julie Erck as she inspects an electrical panel, meter, and service mast.

To download the free InterNACHI® electrical system inspection checklist, visit Home Inspection Checklists - InterNACHI®



Thanks Julie. A couple of considerations if this were to be a training video. Photos of the panel before opening, showing the breaker locations and their on/off status is helpful (may need it later). A photo of the open panel for those states that require dead front removal in order to document compliance. Point out the Personal Protective Equipment you’ll be using (safety glasses). Close the breaker access door when removing so the dead front is a solid shield between your face and the panel innards as you remove it.


That’s a great video, thanks Julie!

I also take a picture of the back of the dead front cover to show that there was no arc or scorch marks on the cover.

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Great Video. Thanks Julie

Very nice Inspectorsaurus Julie!

Great video Julie. I noticed there was not a tamper tag present on the electric meter. That is something I documenting on all of my reports.

@mwilles - I fully agree. If I find a missing tamper tag, I inform the perspective buyer to notify the utility when putting things in their name, so the do not get on the hook for any stolen power presumptions that may have taken place before they occupy the house. Just a CYA for them.
I also do the same if the lock out rings are broken on a gas meter, so they do not get charged for a replacement.


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Can someone explain why inspectors are still told to touch the panel cover with the back of their hand before removing it? Certainly if it’s energized the last thing you want to do is touch it.

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Ding-ding-ding, same here! I was told by a trainer it’s because if you get a jolt it will hurt your face less to be slapped with your palm. But if you touch it with your palm and it’s hot, your knuckles will hit your face and hurt a lot more. True story. I said, “Eh, I’ll use my voltage sniffer instead, thanks.”

I also noticed she did not check for proper wire sizes, which is basic to me but maybe not in her SOP.

I agree, in 2021 we have modern non-contact tools to test for energized circuits. When I started in the electrical business 35 years ago we tested fuses with our fingers, we’ve come a long way with technology since then.

And back the the running knuckle method, first you would need to be grounded for this back of the hand method to even work. If you’re insulated by your shoes and not touching anything grounded like in the video then running your hand across the cover will tell you nothing even if it’s energized with 120 volts.

I think in the NACHI training it says to use the back of your right hand. Using the back of the hand is safer than using your palm supposedly because of the way your hand muscles would tend to push the hand away from the panel if getting a shock, whereas if using the palm the muscles would react differently and tend to push your hand towards the panel. And if I remember right it says to use your right hand because it is further from your heart. :man_shrugging:

Thank you for the video.
Here in Quebec we are not supposed to open electric panels when not wearing protective equipment.