reseting breakers - who & when

Originally Posted By: Michael Weber
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I discovered a breaker in the “off” position during an inspection and informed my client that I could not reset it without knowing why it was turned off. The refrigerator and several kitchen wall outlets could not be inspected as a result. The realtor had left the home, leaving the buyer and I alone, with no seller present. Should I have called the realtor and asked permission to turn the breaker on, or should I (or my client) NEVER personally reset a breaker?


PS: I didn't call the realtor because I didn't think a verbal "go-ahead" over the phone would relieve my liability.

thanks,
MW


Originally Posted By: Brian A. Goodman
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I never turn them on, but I’ve had two clients do it in spite of my warnings. Nothing bad happened, but I’m not sticking my head that bear trap.


Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
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I agree, you don’t know why it is off, don’t turn it on.


These folks do not have “lock out/tag out” procedures in place and you don’t know there isn’t a wire laying in a puddle somewhere.


Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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Brian A. Goodman wrote:
I never turn them on, but I've had two clients do it in spite of my warnings.


If something blewup and you had to go to court for damages, I wonder if it might not come down to just how forcefull your warnings were. With the sellers absent, you as the inspector would be seen as the most knowlegeable person on site regarding that system.

"The breaker should absolutly [b]not[\b] be turned on until a full investigation can be done to determine its funtion and potentionally leathal results."

vs.

"If you want to turn it on go ahead but I'm not going to"


When inspecting a panel I am standing directly infront of the panel with the client behind an to the side of me. I am very aware if I see a hand coming over my shoulder. I do not move from my position until all the covers (including the outer panel door) have been replaced as they were. If
we leave the panel area and the client sneaks back later to fiddle with a breaker I have less cntrol over that.


--
.


Paul Hinsperger
Hinsperger Inspection Services
Chairman - NACHI Awards Committee
Place your Award Nominations
here !

Originally Posted By: jmcginnis
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Mike…


Just out of curiosity, was the breaker handle truely in the “off” position or somewhat “centered” in the “trip” position?


Originally Posted By: Brian A. Goodman
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If something blewup and you had to go to court for damages, I wonder if it might not come down to just how forcefull your warnings were. With the sellers absent, you as the inspector would be seen as the most knowlegeable person on site regarding that system.


"The breaker should absolutly [b]not[\b] be turned on until a full investigation can be done to determine its funtion and potentionally leathal results."

vs.

"If you want to turn it on go ahead but I'm not going to"


That's not a bad point, we need to be very clear.


Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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How does re-setting or turning a breaker on, fall within the scope of a ‘visual’ inspection?


Mike P.


Originally Posted By: dvalley
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NACHI SOP 2.7 ELECTRICAL


II. The inspector is not required to:

B. Operate electrical systems that are shut down.
D. Operate over current protection devices.
I. Activate any electrical systems or branch circuits which are not energized.
J. Operate overload devices.


--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: tallen
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If a breaker is off or tripped I will not turn it on. I have had a few realtors ask why( no clients) ,and after the explanation one turned it on anyway. This action resulted in a small smoke cloud coming from the furnace closet. This agent has referred me several times since this happened.



I have put the past behind me,


where , however, it now sits, making rude remarks.


www.whiteglovehomeinspections.net

30 Oct 2003-- 29 Nov2005

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Todd


"one turned it on anyway"

That is why they are Realtors. ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif) ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif) ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: tallen
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She has never done it again. She did call a Sparky one time to refute my findings,but I won that argument . Sparky said he was impressed most HI’s bow down to the trade specialist. I kind of doubt that’s true.


I have also recieved 2 refuralls from the same Sparky . ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)


--
I have put the past behind me,
where , however, it now sits, making rude remarks.

www.whiteglovehomeinspections.net

30 Oct 2003-- 29 Nov2005

Originally Posted By: dbowers
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.


I urge all new guys to turn anything on they can - it will please the realtor and once you're sued, it will leave more business for the old guys.

Good Luck,

Dan BOwers, CRI


Originally Posted By: jtedesco
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Quote:
I urge all new guys to turn anything on they can - it will please the realtor and once you're sued, it will leave more business for the old guys.


Dan: I am sure that the "new inspectors" know that you are only kidding!

Most of the equipment you describe includes a warning that advises the user and installer to avoid energizing the circuit.

Perhaps we can generate some interest asking members to take a picture or copy that instruction for us to discuss. ![icon_smile.gif](upload://b6iczyK1ETUUqRUc4PAkX83GF2O.gif)


--
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

www.nachi.org/tedescobook.htm

Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Just curious about this.


Do any of you live in areas where people only live in their houses 6 months per year and when they leave turn off the water, water heater breaker and oven/range breaker? If so what do you do, especially when no agent will be present because it is FSBO and both buyer and seller live several hundred miles away?


Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Blaine


The breaker is off. Off. Off.

Not to insult you but do you turn the gas on if it is off?

"The utilities are off". Why make more trouble for yourself?!

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Thanks for your reply mike. we don’t have gas in this area so it isn’t an issue.


![nachi_sarcasm.gif](upload://6HQh6KbNiD73gqTNQInjrR2zeJw.gif)

There are 11 of us licensed in this county. The other 10 turn on the water and the water heater breaker in these instances. Mike just said he would lose the business. What would the rest of you do?


Originally Posted By: jmcginnis
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Blaine,


As an inspector I would call the homeowner and have them contact a local electrician to come out and determine if there are any problems. I would tell the homeowner to have the electrician call me and if possible coordinate my return trip to the property with him being there. But at the very least I would want to speak with the electrician before I returned to do the re-inspect. And one final point, even though I am a certified master electrician, I don’t reset or turn on any breakers when I am in the role of a home inspector and I don’t offer my services as an electrician either, when I am in that role.


Originally Posted By: Rob Thomas
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I used to turn on breakers to water heaters, until one day a blue flash jumped out of the panel at me. When I gathered my wits, I opened the j box on the water heater, and found the electrician had capped the the two incomimg hot wires together.


I don't know why he did it, but it taught me a cheap lesson.

Rob