Originally Posted By: wdecker
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
I believe that the problem is one of different world views.
I have met Joe and find that the man is a genius with regards to electrical systems and the NEC code. He can be a valuable resource to NACHI, with regards to education and help.
But Joe's worldview is one that puts the NEC code on a pedastal, that sees it as the highest standard. If the code says something, that is as if handed down from on high. There can be no variation from code. This is the world of electricans. They do work based upon the code and the code protects them. That is well and good and perfectly proper for their worldview and profession.
Home inspectors, on the other hand, have a different worldview, properly so. Here I speak about the laws, requirements and situation in my area. Other areas of the country may be different, but the general principles still apply.
In Illinois, home inspectors are REQUIRED, by state law, to call out ALL safety hazards that we see. To not do so would be a violation of the law and a betrayal of our client's trust.
Homes built in the 1960s do not have GFCI protection (it wasn't available as a product at the time of construction and, therefore, not reauired by code). Under grandfathering rules, such houses are not REQUIRED to have GFCI protection in kitchens and bathrooms. Heck, they are not even required to have grounded outlets! But, as a matter of safety, they most definately should! But I run into a large number of electricians in my area who are hired to address the defects I call out who tell me that I am crazy. They always tell me, 'Hey, it's code and it's OK". I try to explain that it is not safe, but these words just fly past them. They really and truely have no idea what I am talking about. To them, code is king!
I recently inspected a house in the suburbs. New construction, selling for 1.2 Mil. There was no AFCI protection to the bedrooms and I called this out as unsafe (which it is). The seller (builder) responded that he obtained the permit before the requirement, and in any case, this local municipality did not require AFCI protection. He was looking at it from the worldvoew of code being the highest standard. After some conversation, I got him to see that safety and code are two totally different things. This realization shocked him when he finally understood.
The disconnect here is that an electrician works to the standard of code. That is their world and their job. Home inspectors work to the standard of the best interests of our clients. We are charged with completely (as completely as possible, given the 'visual inspection' SOP) and accurately describing the property and explaining the condition to our clients. That is our job.
The two jobs are completely different.
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076