PLEASE HELP! Need to change the SOPs, per NEMA

This is covered under II.a. – what inspectors are not required to test, as someone pointed out earlier.

Umm, Kate…

I hate to disagree with you but there was and is a Standards of Practice Committee at NACHI. It was morphed into the Ethics and Standards of Practice Committee some time ago, as a majority of our compleints have to do with defective inspections, which inter-relate with the SOP.

ANY changes to the SOP need to be run through ESOP in advance of publication. First of all, there needs to be a JUSTIFICATION for the change, then it needs to be wordsmithed in a manner which makes sense and is consistent with industry practice.

Frankly, the biggest problem with the change in question is when it was inserted, who wroteit, and when it as ratified? I advertise that I follow the NACHI SOP. It is written as such in my Inspection Agreement.

Who in the hell are you to change it? Failing to follow it could be the difference between prevailing in a lawsuit or not. This is just wrong.

I want to know what each and every change to the residential standards of practice have been for the past 12 months.

Please provide it.

The SOP is nothing to be toyed with. It affects inspector’s busness practices an potentially their lives, especially if they get wiped out in a lawsuit.

As a person who runs an arbitration service, this is wreckless. I always tell inspectors to ensure they 1) name which SOP they follow, and 2) follow it.

As Chairman of ESOP, how ironic that I am also unaware of these changes, which affects MY business.

To clarify, ESOP doesnt “chime in”. We make the decision whether a change is justified, and if so, how it is written.

I am under direct orders of Nick Gromicko to rectify this mistake (which was brought to our attention by NEMA) by tonight. That’s precisely why I’m asking all interested members of InterNACHI, ESOP and non-ESOP, for their input.

There is nothing reckless about it; on the contrary, it is the responsible thing to do.

Joe, I’d love to hear your suggested language re AFCI testing. And be nice this time! -X

This does not address the change that put AFCI testing there in the first place.

Who and when?

It’s easy. AFCI’s are not required in all states as opposed to GFCI. There is no true testing device out there which is approved by any AFCI manufacturer. Take the language and reference out completely until such time as we decide it is needed.

This will not be done in a vacuum.

And Kate… I was beig nice;-)

No, it doesn’t – as I said earlier, I do not know who created the original language, or when it was created.

I have been charged with rectifying what NEMA discovered is a mistake in language. It will be actually more clear and accurate compared to the original, so this change will PROTECT inspectors, which is ultimately our goal at InterNACHI.

BTW, Nick, Mark Cohen (InterNACHI’s attorney), and a couple of our electrical consultants are looking at the change right now, which has been made to the InterNACHI Residential SOP here: (change in bold):

If anyone has any strong objections to the language and/or other suggestions, please let me know!

Thanks, everybody!

Yes… remove all references to testing procedures of AFCI.

Agreed. Take it back out!

Unless and until this nonsense of changing the SOP ceases, I encourage all inspectors to immediately change your websites, contracts, and reports to reflect the ASHI or NAHI SOPs.

The misconception that the SOP is a living document is one of the most wreckless things out of NACHI HQ in some time. A living document is something it is not. The SOP is the only true benchmark an insector has when establishing whether he/she is guilty of performing a negligent inspection.

The fact that, depending on what was changed and when it was changed, we could literally have inspectors using an old revision of the SOP, but know knowing how old it was and without warning of what was changed, puts them at increased risk.

This cannot stand.

Do not make changes to the SOP without first coordinating it with the ESOP Committee, announcing the change in advance to allow members the opportunity to revise their contracts and websites, and to ensure that each change is properly dated and recorded.

The document is absolutely NOT a “living document”. It is a cut and dried understanding of what an inspection will or will not entail. An inspection conducted on 8 May 2008 may not be an issue for lawsuit until 10 July 2001…and how will the inspector or anyone else know what the understanding of what would be performed on 8/5/08 was?

I plan to use the ASHI SOP until such time that it is assured that no one will be arbitrarily changing the NACHI SOP without advance notice…and that the prior SOP has been properly archived. I recommend that others do the same.

Your contracts of two years ago say the inspection complies with the “NACHI SOP”. How will you know if it does or not if Nick’s “designees” have carte blanche approval to add or subtract with nothing more than a few obscure message board posts? Do you read every post? Do all 6000 member frequent the message board on a daily basis?

There is a reason that we have an ESOP Committee for handling these matters.

I just sent Nick the following e-mail. Hopefully he will step in and straighten this out…


Please take a look at the following thread immediately…

There have been changes to the SOP, that Kate is currently modifying per your instructions. Most who have commented (Including ESOP) never knew of the original changes.

These changes need to be removed, because folks don’t know about them and they are changing under our feet, putting us all at a huge liability.

Please step in and take action. IMO no changes should ever be made without the consent and advise of ESOP, and then a prolonged announcement period to make the membership aware of them.


Bottom line:

A “living” and changing SOP is good for no one and potentially lethal to everyone.

As Joe Farsetta advises, the prudent home inspector will use the ASHI SOP since (in doing so) he is complying with NACHI’s COE requirement that he be in “substantial compliance” with the NACHI SOP, which the ASHI SOP is.

You do not want to commit tomorrow to inspect according to a standard that might change within the next three years and be forced to try to prove in a court of law what the standard “WAS” on the date of your inspection.

CYA and use the ASHI SOP for the next 12 months to ensure that no more changes have been made to NACHI’s.

This is not the dumbest thing we’ve ever seen…but it comes very close.

The liability “out” for members is still there.

Members who don’t find AFCIs, or don’t deem them to be AFCIs on the inspection, or don’t find it possible to test them… are still not required to.

In the rare instance where an inspector does find an AFCI, does deem it to be an AFCI on the inspection, and finds it possible to test it, the inspector is not required to use any special equipment.

The 1-word change protects members and reduces liability.

Who put it there in the first place?

Not objecting to removing the unauthorized addition, but I am objecting to the continuation of unauthorized changes.

Give this new version of the SOP a date. If it is still valid a year from now, I will return to using it. If not, it is nothing more than an informational document that serves no purpose to anyone.

Again Nick,
That isn’t the point. The point is:

  1. Why was the SOP changed without the advise and consent of ESOP?
  2. And why was the membership not informed?
  3. Why are additional changes being made without the advise and consent of ESOP?
  4. Why is the SOP being considered a “living document” when so much is dependent upon it being static?

I think every time any SOP is changed in this organization, the changed should be posted in a separate section of its own on this message board for everybody is made aware of it.

Nick just responded to me via e-mail and gave me permission to post his response.

I'm not really sure what happened but it certainly was an error on our part.  We were working with a bunch of people on the issue of what to do about AFCIs and the online version of our SOP got changed to a proposal that SureTest liked, which of course would require a meter.

One cannot “test” and AFCI without a meter that actually creates an arc. Anything else isn’t “testing”, it is “indicating.” When NEMA pointed out the online typo, I decided to act quickly by making sure the liability “out” still existed, but also that in the rare situation where a member tests an AFCI by choice, or because he/she sees a safety reason that compels him to test it (regardless of the fact that the SOP states he/she isn’t required), it would be clear that no special equipment was required of the inspector. Not sure how the hole came to be but it is plugged for now and we have breathing room to re-think.

Feel free to post or email my reply above.

We ducked a bullet with this one.

The larger question is why NACHI is working with a bunch of people and vendors to start with. Is out SOP being influenced by equipment manufacturers? If so, it shouldnt be.

For that matter, which version of the NACHI SOP is an inspector using? The SOPs for ancillary services can be a dangerous thing.

Here’s how… Say I follow the NACHI SOP, yet I do not follow a NACHI SOP on say, infra-red. Have I complied or not? What have I complied with? What have I not complied with?

Working with vendors to “help” change our SOP is disturbing to say the least.

Doing it without announcement of changes and input from the ESOP is committee is amateurish.

I find your statement very unhelpful and unprofessional.

I thought we were a professional association.

H. a representative number of switches, lighting fixtures, and receptacles, including receptacles observed and deemed to be AFCI-protected during the inspection using the AFCI test button, where possible;

The above statement will lead someone to think the actual receptacle outlets have the capability of showing visually that they are AFCI protected. This is incorrect. The AFCI devices are in the panel. The only way to see which outlets are on that circuit is to use test equipment or turn the breakers off and run around the house and see which outlets do not work.

The 2nd use of the word “receptacles” needs to be changed to AFCI circuit breaker.

Here is the correct version:
H. a representative number of switches, lighting fixtures, and receptacles, including AFCI type circuit breakers observed during the inspection using the AFCI test button, where possible and when disturbing the tenants electrical devices is not a concern;