Common, agreed upon, NACHI interpretations?
Joe, you are a hopeless dreamer. :mrgreen:
Here is the link to the Illinois law Administrative Rules. Electrical is in section k).
Having talked to two state legislators who helped write the law and the one NACHI guy who was on the committee, the aim was to write a law that would allow a group of people (state licensed home inspectors) to bridge a gap.
Illinois is a very political state. Politics, it is said, is ‘The art of the possible’.
One one side, we have the consumer, the homeowner / buyer / seller. They have complaints about problems with their homes and the condition of their homes and about the problems that crop up during and after a Real Estate transaction. They, like most Americans, look to the government to protect them (usually, while they don’t lift a finger to protect themselves!).
On the other side (at least around here) we have developers, builders, Union tradesmen, non-Union tradesmen, politicians and code inspectors. These groups work together but do not always have the best intrests of the consumer in mind. To be fair, the consumer also wants a Rolls Royce job, but only wants to pay for a Yugo.
So, the state creates state licensing for home inspectors. HIs in Illinois can only recommend, we cannot require. We are ‘guard dogs with no teeth’. The consumer has the option to hire us, but they can know that there is, as with code, a minimum level of service, defined by the law, that they can expect of us. They also have the choice as to whether to listen to our advice or not. In doing so, the consumer must weight:
- Whether to trust the home inspector or their Realtor.
- Whether the called out defects are of significant importance.
- Whether the seller will pay to have the defects fixed or whether they will
- If the seller chooses not to fix the defects, do they still want to buy the house.
- Who should fix the defects? Reputable, licensed and insured contractors or some handyman or a friend’s brother-in-law.
- With respect to electricans, there is no state licensing for them in this state. There are some laws, in Chicago, about having to be union, but this is not always enforced. Given the choice between hiring a really qualified (qualifications documented and backed up the various laws, ordinances and rules) and paying for the privledge, or hiring some less expensive guy, they often opt for the less expensive guy. Sometimes the job is good, sometimes not.
- The state and local municipalities can pass laws, but the public often chooses not to follow them is following them means to much expense.
- Code inspectors, around here, can be good, qualified people or they can be mere patronage jerks. Besides, even if they are good and qualified and honest, they are so overworked as to be, de facto, not very effective. Besides, they only inspect if a permit is pulled and, in my experience, only about 40 to 50% of the work that requires permits actually have permits pulled. Besides that, it is not the job of the contractor to pull the permits, it is the job of the home owner. It should be noted that some 80% of condo conversions, even in Chicago, are never code inspected.
- With all these forces in play, each having their own agendas and different opinions on what should be done and how and by whom, is it any wonder that it gets somewhat confusing.
So, the state did the best they could. They set up minimum requirements and testing for licensing. As you can clearly see from the state SOP, what is required by the state for the electrical portion of a home inspection is not very much. We are not even required to check recepticles for polarity and grounding and such, at least not specifically.
Needless to say, most HIs do check these things. But the state is, purposely, vauge. They leave it up to us (and lawyers!!!) to figure out the details.
NACHI’s SOP is much more demanding than the state’s.
Read the state’s SOP. What do you think it requires?
I only hope that NACHI’s course will, at minimum, help the inspector understand this question and give him / her the necessary tools to meet whatever standards they determine from their own understanding.
Many of the couse survey comments said that the course went way beyond the scope of what home inspectors have to do. Many also said that the course was full of ‘meat and potatos’, very filling and satisfying.
To each their own.