Standards vs Testing

After reading the article “Doing Damage During an Inspection: It’s Your Job” it gave me a different perspective on the profession of Home Inspector. One issue that is confusing is operating the main water supply shutoff valve; it could be a grey area as far as testing. If there is no visible defects with the valve and you test it to insure the water can be shut off (in case of a major water leak) and it can’t be turned off or begins to leak, that is something the home owner should know. This action contradicts the “not required to operate valves” standard, also the warnings not to operate the Main Water Valve due to the damage it may cause in the “Residential Plumbing Overview” course.
In this case should a main water supply valve be exempt from the above standard? If you operate the main supply and it leaks or does not function, according to the article this is a good thing? Kind of a caught 22 or the chicken before the egg, please clarify this for me. I do realize that main supply valves are not operated daily and the NACHI standard in regards to the operation of Valves.

Ensure you know both internachi and your states standards and SOPs. If you go outside them you should have the knowledge and experience to do so and the few times thing bite back…nothing ventured noting gained.
In other words if you are that risk adverse get a job working for the GAO.

You’ll find numerous stories of people who operated valves and regretted it. The homeowner is highly unlikely to be understanding when this happens. This is why the InterNACHI (and some state) SOP place this outside the scope.

That being said, I have operated valves, but only after satisfying myself that they and the pipes they were in good condition. Other times I have demurred. Leaks can do a lot of damage in a very short time. If I do, I first locate the main shut-off.