Testing breakers

(Kevin McCurry) #1

I inspected a home where the breakers were loose. As I wiggled the breakers one tripped, I re-set the breaker but when I tested the outlets there was no power. I checked the breakers and there were test buttons on them. One tripped the breaker when pushed the other didn’t. I tripped and reset the breakers but still no power in the bedrooms. I noted the issue on my report and the Realtor and Homeowner said “it worked when we left it, so you must have caused it”. Without being there to defend myself it seems as though my reputation takes a hit among the Realtors. I know I’m not here for the Realtors but they provide 70% of my business. Any thoughts?

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(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #2

Write in your report Breaker failed in testing It needs to be repaired by an electrician Immediately .

You did nothing wrong and do not let them intimate you .
Just tell them this if the complain you talked to an Electrician ( ME )
You just might have saved them a fire also .

Roy Cooke

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(Marc A. Goldenberg, Inspector Lic # HI1365 Mold Assessor Lic #1) #3

I wouldn’t have “wiggled” it purposefully.
Otherwise, you tested it & it failed.
The breaker may be burnt out.
I had a client call me & say the water heater is not operative & they’re taking cold showers.
Turned out the water heater was OK & the breaker went bad, although all was OK @ inspection.
My report showed a pic of the water temp measured at the kitchen sink was 118*.

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(David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40) #4

It’s a bad breaker, period.

It failed during testing. Isn’t that what your there for?

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(Michael S. Gleeson, 16000070526) #5

Do note that occasionally when a breaker trips, the internal mechanism triggers but the handle does not shift. If you gently run your hand down the row of handles you will often knock the tripped handle into the middle position.

Could be a failed breaker but maybe not.

If you go back to the home in an effort to limit your exposure a quick pass of your tick tester down the load wires will help you to find the circuit without power.

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