Not up to code

Did an inspection about a month ago, I noted in report open grounds, cracked cover plates, cover plates missing, no double taps ect… it had GFCI wherever needed. Anyhow the client moved in and the next day they lost power. Well they called sparky and he said the house is not up to code and should have been caught during inspection. I have yet to talk to client, the realtor called to let me know client was freaking out. I am waiting to hear from client and electrician as to what is wrong. I am not really asking advice, just had to vent.

You have the right idea. Wait and talk to Your client First.

Just talked to client. Sparky told him none of the 3 prong receptacles are grounded and that is not up to code. The breaker box is Wadsworth and is old and needs changed out. Gave him an estimate of $1000.00 to fix.
And also the telephone system and cable system are not grounded properly.

Are Wadsworth problematic?

Not that I’m aware of, except that they’re old, no longer manufactured, including breakers.

Did they say what the exact cause of power failure was?

$1,000 to replace the service panel and run a ground to All ungrounded 3-prongs? That is Awfully Cheap.

There is not a requirement for the electrical system to be updated to present day code for a sale.The system may have been perfect for the date it was installed and is not required to change( depending on repairs) When was the home built?
New panel and ground installation to outlets for only a grand, great price for my area.

They said they plugged a window unit into one of the outlets and the breaker didn’t kick off properly and then a bunch of the other breakers lost power. I asked if they lost one leg of power and he said no.
They had power company out and everything checked out. they have full power now, not sure what exactly how it all came back on.

House built in 1940

Also advise them that they may want to get a second opinion as this is priced way low for repairing a service :shock:

Wadsworth equipment is not any more problematic than any other aged system.

You reported the ungrounded receptacles according to your initial post. The fact that three-pronged (grounding type) receptacles were installed on an ungrounded system is the only reason for the electrician to say it’s “not up to code.”

Perhaps the $1000 price tag is to simply install GFCI protection to the circuits and label the receptacles. That would bring it “up to code.”

In any event, it is not the job of the home inspector to determine if a means of grounding exists, but rather, to make the client aware that the receptacles are not grounded - which you did.

Your correct. However I at a minimum I verbally tell all clients that outdated panels should be updated to meet modern technology. I also inform them it’s a great safety and resale investment. People see’s a new panel and a new water heater place sell’s quicker and sometimes for more money. Every flip I ever did if the panel or water heater was outdated or even looked it I had it replaced. Never had a house sit longer than a month and many went within the first few days to two weeks.

Sounds like you don’t have complete information about what exactly has happened. I don’t believe it is relevant though as it is not the inspector’s job to predict what affect the client’s equipment/appliances will have on the electrical system.

I especially question (if it is accurate) the electrician’s claim that the panel “needs changed out”. Age is rarely a litmus test for a panel replacement and I would like to know the reasons he gave for that statement.

So they plug a 3-prong “grounded” appliance into one of the 3-prong receptacles that you stated in the report had “open ground” (non-grounded)?

@ Cameron, you are exactly right, I don’t have complete info on what all was said, I am sure sparky was bashing “the inspector”.
I guess if there was galvanized pipe for the plumbing, then the plumber would say it is not up to code and should be changed. My client was actually very level headed and nice about it all, he wasn’t blaming me for anything I think the fact that it happened the day after they moved in, made them think “what have we gotten into” . There were a couple of unrelated issues that the seller might have tried to cover up before the sale.
@ Chris - yes

It’s so nice to get thrown under the bus every once in a while ain’t it? :wink:

Why is the Realtor[size=2]® [/size]telling you about it? OK, so it is not up to code. The first question is - which code? You are not required to inspect for any code compliance in Illinois. Tell the Realtor[size=2]® that i[/size]f you were to inspect for any code, which you are not required to do anyway, it would be the IPMC because it is an existing dwelling.


Section 1410.200 Standards of Practice

k) When, pursuant to the written agreement with a client, the electrical system is inspected, the home inspector shall:

  1. Inspect the service drop; service entrance conductors, cables and raceways; service equipment and main disconnects; service grounding;
    interior components of service panels and subpanels; conductors; overcurrent protection devices; a representative number of installed lighting
    fixtures, switches and receptacles; and ground fault circuit interrupters;

  2. Describe the amperage and voltage rating of the service, the location of main disconnects and subpanels and the wiring methods; and

  3. Report on the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring and on the absence of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

I like Georges response…dont create a point of liability for yourself. You found a problem and passed it on to the client. They can have that conversation with the electrician and work out the details of cost.

But I will comment on the $1000.00 bucks…That is cheap if there they intend to replace the panel and upgrade the EGC issue. I would not touch it for that but then again I don’t do that anymore. Remember however that times are tight out there…I like Mikes response also in that they should always get multiple quotes but as for getting involved in it…I would say…not my concern Mr or Mrs Realtor…Me report only…:wink:

Charley would suggest… :slight_smile:

but seriously…
if you noted the deficiencies and recommended review / repair prior to closing of the defects listed…
no worries…

Wadsworth are not problematic unless you consider the inability to buy breakers for them in the Orange Box Store.

Telephone and Cable Systems?

They are not, have not and never will be included in a Basic Home Inspection.

I find the Cat 5 “Hard Wired” panels today (that the prior homeowner paid $5 / foot of linear cable) ironic as all is now wireless WIFI Modem…