Proposed Changes in Massachusets HI Rules

Proposed Massachusetts Home Inspector Rule changes by Joe Tedesco

6.05** System: Electrical:**
(1) The Inspector shall observe:
(a) The exterior of the exposed service entrance conductors and Type SE or SER cable assemblies.
(b) Readily accessible service equipment, grounding and bonding equipment, main overcurrent protective device, service main disconnecting means, and distribution panels.
© Amperage and voltage ratings of the service.
(d) The exterior of the readily accessible exposed branch circuit conductors, their overcurrent protective devices, and the compatibility of their ampacities and voltages.
(e) The operation of a representative number of permanently installed luminaries (lighting fixtures), switches and receptacles located inside of the dwelling unit, garage, and on its exterior walls.
(f) The polarity and grounding of all grounding type receptacles within six feet of interior plumbing fixtures, and all readily accessible non-dedicated receptacles in the garage and on the exterior of inspected structures.
(g) The operation of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters.
(2) The Inspector shall report on the following:
(a) The size and the voltage of the main service disconnecting means (30, 60, 100, 125, 150 and or 200 amp, other service, 120, 120/240, 120/208-volt system).
(b) Service entrance conductor materials (copper and or aluminum, and if aluminum, if the terminations are properly coated with **a wire termination compound, and if the overcurrent device(s) are identified **for the use with aluminum wire).
© Service type - overhead or underground.
(d) The number of branch circuits in the panels.
(e) The type of branch circuit conductor materials (copper and or aluminum, if aluminum, are the terminations coated with a wire termination compound and is the overcurrent device rated for the use of aluminum wire).
(f) The compatibility of the overcurrent protective devices and the size of the protected conductor.
(g) The type of branch circuit wiring (AC cable, conduit, tubing, NM cable, knob and tube, or surface raceway, including any others).
(h) If there is ground fault and short circuit protection provided.
(i) If the system is properly grounded and bonded

(3) The Inspector is not required to:
(a) Collect engineering data on the compatibility of the disconnects and individual circuit breakers with the panel and or determine the short circuit interrupting current capacity. (Engineering services).
(b) Determine and or report on the adequacy of the in place systems to provide sufficient power to the dwelling, or reflect on the sufficiency of the electric distribution system in the dwelling (Engineering services).
© Insert any tool, probe, or testing device inside the panels.
(d) Test or operate any overcurrent protective device, except Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, or Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters.
(e) Dismantle any electrical device or control, other than to remove the covers of readily accessible panelboards that are not painted in place when wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
(f) Observe and or report on:

  1. The quality of the service drop conductor insulation. (Electrical Services).
  2. Test for Electro-Magnetic fields. (Electrical Services).
  3. Low voltage systems, door bells.
  4. Smoke detectors (Seller’s responsibility).
  5. Telephone, security alarms, cable TV, intercoms, or other ancillary wiring that is not a part of the primary electrical distribution system.

March 8, 2005 Meeting to review only, no one from NACHI will be there!

Yes…YOU will be their and you are part of NACHI…and to protect the interest of NACHI while you are their…:slight_smile: It says in the top title bar you are a NACHI member…:slight_smile:

However one note I do think the Smoke Detectors should be required to be tested…and reported on…:)…Also I do like (e) above not which you have laxed on your stance…now allowing panels to be observed…I am sure HI’s nationwide thank you for that…:slight_smile:


As a rule, I do check those smoke detectors that are required as part of NY State law. I do not check any smoke detectors, however, that are connected to central station monitoring. In those instances, I recommend that the Client gets a letter of certification from the alarm company. I tested once, and wound up with the police and fire departments arriving on the scene. Even in condo complexes, sometimes the detectors are connected to a control panel.

Hi to all,

The testing of smoke detectors is not required in Massachusetts due to testing being required on resale of the property by the State fire Marchals office (Normally city fire inspector) simply no sale can close in MA without a fire certificate, so to inspect the system is pointless.



I am not a Home Inspector and have an interest in the electrical portion of their SOP. They are revising the entire SOP so a Home Inspector from NACHI should have an interest. I never said that the HI should not be allowed to remove the cover, I mentioned that the electrical licensing board secretary said that he would try to change the rule so only a licensed electrician takes covers off, and boy did that get distorted.


It is really a shame that no one from NACHI thinks that it is important enough to represent the HI industry! Why, even the Massachusetts Chapter is not holding any meetings or seminars?


Many years ago, I was on the Board of Directors of a HOA with over 300 Homes.

8 years in, a home in my block had a Fire.

Not a single detector sounded.

Each Detector sounded when the Fireman at the site depressed the button after extinguishment of the Fire.

Manufacturer defense after testing the Units after the Fire was that the Test button will verify the circuitry.

It in no way determines the reliability factor in the event of a Fire.

The Fire Department contacted the HOA to hold Public Meetings to inform the Public of the need to replace all detectors with alternative suppliers at that time.

Based on that experience, I do not test smoke detectors.

I recommend replacement with New Detectors per NFPA 72 guidelines ( ) referencing installation recommendations.


What portion of NFPA 72 do you use as boilerplate in your report.

Here is what I sometimes use, BTW I do not inspect them either.