Originally Posted By: bking
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
I have compiled this list of common electrical issues that typically result in misunderstanding with agents and electricians.
Please review for content and not for any particular style of reporting and let me know if you think anything is technically wrong with the intended message. I left out the boilerplate comments about needing further evaluation etc. for clarity.
Please do not copy and paste code as your response, this is fine for other threads but lets keep this one in a format that clients and agents might understand.
Double tapped neutral wires:
It is not considered safe or correct practice to have more than one neutral wire present under one screw terminal. This is not grandfathered in any codes. It has always been required under the requirement to follow the manufacturers installation specifications and instructions.
New service equipment on older homes:
Since the exterior panel is present, this is the service equipment even though it only contains one main disconnect circuit breaker. This location is the only place that the neutrals and grounds should be connected together.
When a new service equipment panel has been added and the interior panels were not updated:
The interior panels are not wired correctly due to the addition of a new exterior panel.
Recommend updating and configure each panel for 4-wire feed in order to have the grounds and neutrals separate at each interior subpanel. Since the grounding conductor is present it will require a new insulated neutral conductor to be installed from the main panel to the subpanel(s). A separate busbar will be needed for each panel to separate the neutrals from the grounds.
Solid aluminum wiring:
When solid aluminum branch circuit wiring is present it is advised to further research the optional repair processes such as using COPALUM connectors that are recommended over pig-tail type repairs.
3-wire ungrounded outlets:
The inspection industry and most of the electrical industry agree that 3-wire outlets should only exist with the proper three conductors installed so that the safety level present matches the physical appearance present.
It is recommended to install GFCI protection for all outlets that do not have a ground. When GFCI type outlets are used without a ground they should be labeled as "no equipment ground present".
Connecting a wire from a ground screw on an outlet to the metal box in the wall is a correct procedure but totally useless if the outlet does not also have a grounding conductor wire or metal conduit running from a proper ground to that outlet. Also it is common to find the neutral jumpered to the outlet ground screw, this is called a false ground and is not correct.
The following only apply to inspectors that provide details in their reports.
Information pertaining to electrical repairs :
The electrical sections of the report should be given to the electrician when any electrical work is ordered. The report is written with enough clarity for a qualified licensed electrician to perform the needed repairs. If the information is given in a condensed or any different way, the repairs may not be performed correctly or fully as I have recommended. It is the electricians responsibility to perform all work as directed or respond in writing as to the reason for not doing so. It is the responsibility of the person who pays for the work to obtain the receipt and warranty information pertaining to the work performed and provide a copy to the home buyer.
For inclusion on all reports that need electrical work:
Note, electrical problems and unsafe installations that are present should be considered a priority item. It is recommended that a permit be obtained by the electrical contractor when necessary. Recommend having the torque checked on all homes electrical connections, including the neutrals and grounds.
This one is my new favorite since it is a common occurence:
It is also recommended to understand the different skill levels and knowledge levels that exist in the licensed electrical industry especially in the topics of neutral wires, grounding and bonding issues. Many times an electrician will say that something ?is to code? or was ?grandfathered in?. It is recommended that the client always ask for these comments in writing and that the exact code reference be included and then contact me for additional information. This inspection report will indicate the difference between improper electrical issues and recommended upgrades.
comments welcome, please keep this thread in laymans terms, no code pasting etc. Thanks!