Outlets not working

The other day I did an inspection and found (3) outlets in the kitchen that had no power. I checked them with testers and then my dig meter and got nothing. I wrote it up and recommended eval by lic electrician. Electrician goes out and finds nothing wrong with outlets. Now my client is asking me to pay for the electricians fee because the outlets seem to work now. I tried explaining to her that electricity is a funny thing and that a connection could have been loose or there could be some other explanation beyond my comprehension that could account for it. At the time of inspection, I showed my client that they did not work. Any suggestions out there on how I should handle this?


May have been a tripped / defective GFCI or a loose wire connection.
What was the Electrician’s finding?
(Maybe a difference between what he found and actually reported).

Crazy talk.
Might have been a breaker needed to be reset but we do not reset them (well not supposed to anyway).

So to get this straight if the water is off and I report water not functioning then they call a plumber I should pay his bill?
Am I supposed to turn the shutoff to get it working or make repairs?

If it happened as you say, you did your job well.

He didnt repair anything, he still got paid???

yeah, I feel like Idid my job, it seems that inour busineess, we cannot win. If I would not have called out the outlets and something ended up being wrong with them, my client would have blamed me for missing them. Should I give her any money towards the electricians bill or am I being a sucker?

Did the sparky reset the gfci perhaps??

Repair people are famous for failing to communicate exactly what they did.

A good electrician would have checked the connections in the panel and on the outlets.
The problem may be at one of the outlets that had power, bad connection on one of the outgoing wires.

Are you saying the electrician should not be paid for their time to make a service call?

Electrician should be paid for their time.

Deficiency found by Inspector is commonplace with new construction.

Inspector should not be paying additional for deficiencies found and repaired by Electrician…
Just as Home Buyer should not be paying for Deficiencies found and repaired due to Home Owners / Builders / Builders Electrician, etc…
that is a separate negotiated issue…

see what electrician has to say

Ask for the info of the eletrician. Talk to him/her directly and let them know what you had found. It’s possible that the owner may have reset a GFI or a breaker not knowing that it was tied into the kitchen outage. If it isn’t going to break your bank, offer to pay for half.


I had one where half the home didn’t work. when the buyer showed up lights started to work. Hmmm went to the panel everything seemed fine. no overheated wires. Guess what service connection loose . you called it out, was not working when you tested, not our job to figure it out . Hi is what is happening at the time of the inspection.

Did you call for an electrician to evaluate?

If you just wrote the outlets where not working, then why should you have to pay?

Pay nothing. You did your job. You made an observation at the date and time of your inspection. Period! Does not matter what happened after that point.

The electrician may have actually found and repaired the issue, and the seller is attempting to get you to pay for it. Talk to the electrician directly.

If this is the best you can do, I think you should pay the bill…

When you find something Wong, (beyond popular belief) it is not the end of your job…

If someone called on me to evaluate your report, I’d have to say that there is a very good reason for there not to be power at that area. Did you check this out?

You have not stated that you did, or what you did.

If you trip a GFCI during testing, you will pay for the food in the freezer if you don’t get it re-set. If you call it out and “someone else” re-set it and now it works…

you should have found the tripped device and re-set it yourself. If you elect to have someone else re-set it, you get to pay for it.

Do you want another job?
I guess you may need to chalk it up to “advertising” and pay the bill.

Learn today for a minor electrical service call and prevent a $600 food spoilage bill in the future.

David Andersen,

I have to disagree with you.

The inspector stated he found (3) kitchen outlets not working. Recommended Electrician evaluate.

Where did Inspector state anything about GFCI?

I looked at a house last week, there are many in my area, that have no GFCI’s in kitchen.

I can tell you that re-setting tripped GFCI’s is not recommended. A month ago a worker found a tripped GFCI that he plugged a fan into. He reset GFCI and left the house. The fire damage was $250,000 dollars.

Inspector’s need to start reviewing the InterNachi SOP and or your State SOP if you are licensed. Some guy’s do too much.

It appears the inspector acted according to at least InterNachi SOP.

If someone didn’t fix it, and it was working when the electrician got there I assume (just as you are) that someone missed something.

The GFCI does not protect the house against arc fault does it? It protects the occupant against shock.

The re-set button is owner operational, meant for re-set.
You write it up as tripped and someone will go re-set it and burn the place down anyway.

SOP says you will test :

(9) Electrical Systems.
(a) The home inspector shall inspect:

  1. Service entrance conductors;
  2. Service equipment, grounding equipment, main overcurrent device, and main and distribution panels;
  3. Amperage and voltage ratings of the service;
  4. Branch circuit conductors, their overcurrent devices, and the compatibility of their ampacities and voltages;
  5. The operation of a representative number of installed ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, switches and receptacles located inside the house, garage, and on the dwelling’s exterior walls;
  6. The polarity and grounding of all receptacles within six feet of interior plumbing fixtures, and all receptacles in the garage or carport, and on the exterior of inspected structures;
    7.** The operation of ground fault circuit interrupters; and **
  7. Smoke detectors.

Quit making crap up!

David Andersen,

Obviously your response is directed at me. No reason to be upset. Sorry if you are upset and disagree.

I read the 1st post again, by Inspector Dogoda. There is still no reference to GFCI. It’s clear that 3 outlets had no power.

I stand with my response to his question. Pay nothing. He found and reported. He recommended an electrician. All within the SOP. He is not required to do anything else. And suggesting that he should because he will not get another job is completely wrong and bad advise.

I’ll make up a little more crap for you. I have seen hundred’s if not thousands of structural fires. Majority of those structure fires were caused by electrical distribution or lighting equipment(aka-outlet or receptacle, branch circuit wiring, extension cords, fuse or circuit breaker). I made that up, but you can verify that info with NFPA.

Here is some more made up crap on electrical.
Electrical Fires rank 4th for overall cause of home fires.
Fire Deaths, in Home Structures Electrical Fires, is 12% and ranks 4th cause of death.

OSHA definition of a “Qualified Person”. One who has received training in and has demonstrated skills and knowledge in the construction and operation of electrical equipment and installations and the hazards involved.

As far as evaluating other inspector reports. Maybe you should quit inspecting and join the Mike Holmes show, you can do all the Monday morning quarterbacking you like.

Dogoda did the right thing.

David Andersen,

Found some more crap!

Just a follow-up from this post #18 that you wrote. SOP’s. Tennessee.

0780-05-12 Home Inspector
0780-5-12-10 SOP
0780-5-12-10 (2) Definition of “operate”
0780-5-12-10 (2) (u) Representative number of electrical outlets–one component per room
0780-5-12-10 (3) (b) Home Inspector Shall:
3.Submit a written report to the client that shall at a minimum report to the client:
(iii) State any system or components so inspected that do not function as intended, allowing for normal wear and tear, or adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling.
(iv) State weather the condition reported requires repair or subsequent observation or warrants further investigation by a specialist;
(6) General Exclusions:
(a) Home Inspector’s are not required to report on;
2. The cause(s) of the need for a repair;
3. The methods, materials, and costs of corrections
(6) (b) Home Inspector’s are not required to;
4. Operate any system or component that is shut down or otherwise inoperable;
5. Operate any system or component that does not respond to normal operating controls.
(6) )c) Home Inspector’s Shall Not:
2. Offer or perform engineering, architectural, plumbing, electrical or any other job function requiring a license in this State for the client unless the client is advised thereof and consents thereto

David, your State has license requirements for contractor’s and electrician’s.

Again, Dogoda did the right thing, even according to your State SOP for Home Inspector