Severity of electrical defect?

Hey guys, so I have a few questions regarding how others may report electrical defects. Long story short, I’m starting to get some push back from realtors on how I keep calling out some of my electrical defects I find. And them saying these defects haven’t normally been called out in our area.

For example, today I inspected a 1948 home that had a recent addition added on. The main disconnect and 1 of the 3 sub panels were wired correctly. The other two electrical panels were much older without a grounding system. This is something I run into a lot in my area.

Other things I commonly run into here are grounds and neutrals together on the same bus bar in a sub panel, double tapped grounds and neutrals, ungrounded 3 prong receptacles and two prong receptacles. Normally when I find any of the defects mentioned above, I mark them up in red, which for my reporting style is similar to a major defect or safety concern. Pretty much the stuff you really need to have looked at.

So does anyone else mark these up with such severity? And if not, why not?

I appreciate any help I can get on this!

Just mark them up. Who cares what the realtor thinks. The red marks may be a little much, just tone it down a bit. A defect is a defect though and you should include what you see. It’s not your fault the agent can’t negotiate a sale.

The nicest thing an agent ever said to me, “I can’t use you, you find too many things wrong!” I knew I was doing good then.


Why? What’s wrong with them?


I mark them up for not being grounded. Is that something that is okay on a home that originally had them?


@bloftin trust your narrative. You do not need horns and sirens.


You have done it now JJ


I don’t put anything in red or bold or things like that. It’s a technical report and people should read it and draw their own conclusions.

I don’t write up two-slot outlets.
I do write up ungrounded three-slot outlets
I don’t write up double tapped grounds (that’s still allowed and done today)
I somewhat begrudgingly write up double tapped neutrals. It was so common for so long but it seems the “Standard of Care” within our industry is now to write them up. I’ve had a couple cranky old electricians tell me I’m too picky by writing those up.
Grounds and neutrals on the same bar in a sub panel in the same building has always been wrong and I always write it up. Make sure you know rules about outbuildings - it gets complicated.
I do write up lack of a ground system on a main panel
I’ve started writing up the lack of ground system on sub panels in outbuildings. That was not always required until somewhat recently (5-10 years?).


Yeah, I seem to be doin’ that alot lately. :wink:

Guess I’ll be back later (it’s dinner time) if nobody else sets him right before then! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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I choose not to use colors in my report or classify defects as to how severe they are…That is really up to the client to decide. If You know something is wrong, report it as wrong and refer it to the proper contractor for repair. Remember a realtor is a salesman/woman…it is kinda their job to downplay Your findings and save the deal…it is how the game is played…


Interesting in that my reports I have only two classifications. “Deficiency” and “Information”. There is no classifications for “defects”. Deficiencies will noted and included in the summary and “Information” won’t be. I use red markings for both. To me, it just points out my concerns on both. Never had anyone question the color of my markings. :thinking: :wink:

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I just realized I do as well. Though pretty subdued. However, I have seen some reports where big red bold letters are screaming at me. I guess that should be avoided.

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I don’t write this up.


I can’t think of the Brand(s) right now, but there are a couple that DO NOT allow multiple grounds under a single lug.
I’m sure someone smarter than me will chime in with the answer for us… sooner or later. :wink:

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Here ya go. One thread of many on this subject. (Use the Search feature for more).

Do yourself a favor and read the entire thread BEFORE arriving at a conclusion, as there are a couple posts early in that I disagree with. Maybe it’s just me, but, oh well, I’m entitled to my opinions as are you!


What do you mean when you say that the panels had no grounding system?

I mean that all of the conductors coming into the panel box lacked a ground wire. So they were all two wire romex style wiring that was connected to the breakers without a third ground wire connecting to a bus bar. I was under the impression that since technically everything coming off the breakers/conductors is ungrounded (since they lack the grounding wire) that it should be marked up as such. Please correct me if I’m not understanding that correctly.

Below is the sub panel I’m talking about. Its all two wire romex without a ground wire within the panel. Something you mark up or not?

I took “no grounding system” to mean no ground rods, water pipe bond, etc. Ungrounded two-slot outlets well may have a grounding system at the panel… just not one that extends to each outlet and light fixture.

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Looks like a couple of grounds to me…


I could of sworn there weren’t any but that sure does look like a ground wire. Either way it’s something I run into a lot and am curious how you guys mark it up if you do at all. Here’s another sub panel I ran into the other day with only two wire romex coming into the sub panel. Do you mark it up for the lack of ground wires?

Dear Bottle Gennie:
Many of my clients are not technical enough to prioritize, classify or weigh the items. They’re not plumbers, electricians or handypersons.

I wish to help them understand what needs to be done to put the home into a state of good repair. I don’t play the Realtor Game.