Temporary Electric

Conducting my first HUD foreclosure so no electricity or LP gas. The place has been vacant for 6 months plus.
The real estate agent says “bring a generator”
I did schedule a heating contractor to provide the temporary LP gas so I can inspect the furnace, water heater and gas range.
I am going to hire an electrician to bring a generator to the inspection, but is it common to be asked to provide a generator?

No, and it’s not a good idea to provide it.

I think I will be looking at more of this type of inspection.
What do you suggest…
Business isn’t exactly falling out of the trees here in Michigan yet.

I am an electrician and no way would I get involved under any condition.

I do have two generators too.

There are inspection companies that will bring generators, natural gas, propane, pressurized water, or whatever else they think they need for homes that have been vacant for long periods of time, and/or winterized. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea and places too much liability on the inspector.

“Mobile utilities” (IMHO) may not give accurate results in the overall condition of the systems being provided. Additionally, many states would require that you have a contractors license to perform such services.


Thanks Fellas, there is enough liability in this business.
I don’t need to add to my exposure.

Is there an issue if the realtor handles the hiring of someone to provide the temporary power?

I would except that and do the inspection .

I would not do this.

But if you do make sure that you include all of the cost(s) incurred and mark them up. You will also be putting in more time on this inspection: setting up these sub contractors and the additional time onsite doing the coordination and waiting for them to get the house ready.

I would tell the realtor to set these things up themselves or just pass on the inspection.

Let us know what you end up doing.

If I’m doing the inspection on the residence, I will not provide temporary power. If the agents would like to do so, I’m ok with that, but I will report that the supply was from a portable generator, which may limit my ability to accurately assess the electrical system.

For instance, dimming or flickering lights may indicate poor connections within the electrical system, however, this is a relatively common occurrence with a portable generator that may not provide adequate current to operate the entire house. In addition, voltage-drop across circuits will almost always be higher when power is provided by a portable generator.

Similarly, if gas or water is provided from a portable source, the results of the inspection may not reflect the actual condition of the related systems.

This would not be a good idea unless the appliances are setup for LP, correct?

And, how do you back feed a generator to the panel that is not set up for this. Jumper cables to the main lugs?

If you need to ask I would recommend you leave it for the pro’s

I was asking for others to make a point. Get a grip Roy…

I would simply back feed a two pole CB in the panel from the generator.

And if you don’t have a good regulated generator you can toast things like refrigerator fan motors and more.
I know cause it happen to me.

I wonder why you ask for others same thing if the do not know they should not be doing it.
Sorry to up set you but I see frequently info given when it should not be .

I like all to be safe.

That is not allowed in Ontario as it can back feed to the outside lines and there could be a lines man fixing the outage.

True, but aren’t we discussing a building that already has no power? Besides this would only be a temporary connection for the testing.

All electricians would know how this works .
I try** to not teach** those with little knowledge dangerous things.

I agree, home inspectors should not attempt to energize the service panel with a generator, unless there are provisions already installed to plug one in. This service should be hired out to a qualified pro.

My other question was about using temporary LP gas to test natural gas appliances. Does anybody have an opinion on this? I say bad idea…