Too bad ALL inspectors don't pull the panel covers

Here is ANOTHER defect that would not have been noticed if the panel cover was not pulled. So what happens to buyers who have inspectors who do not pull the covers off? Just curious.

Imagine this not getting noticed. It was 312 degrees MAJOR FIRE HAZARD…

I pull every panel, unfortunately there is the occasional panel that I once pulled I wish I had left alone.

Maybe you could explain a “312 degrees major fire hazard”.

Remember we are all here to learn.

Who doesn’t pull off the cover?? I pull every cover (except one about 4 months ago that had water dripping from it! It had a leaking bathtub above it.)

What I am saying is that the phase A wire had a 312 degree temperature while phase B had a 81 degree temperature and the power was balanced with about the same number on each side and the same amount operating. When a phase is this significantly different from the other with a balanced load this is a fire hazard. Unless the outer sheathing on the wire is intended to melt under normal conditions…

You would be amazed at the number who dio not pull the covers…Sad but true.

Probably the same amount that don’t get on the roof.

Thank you.

Just about missed one like that a few years back…I wish I would have had your inspection team that day…the house took 7.5 straight hrs not including driving and report writing!!

The house had a main and 2 remote subpanels. At the end of the inspection, I still hadn’t done the 2nd remote subpanel as it was in a location with poor access (that was remarked on also) due to furniture! I actually considered not removing the panel since the other elctrical in the house was very good…but I persevered, moved the furniture and opened it to find…a red feeder wire charred black for about 2.5" from the terminal!! …a lesson learned!!

AHHHH nice find bro. As an electrical contractor since 1986 I have seen all kinds of electrical safety issues. This one is right there with the best of them as this is a serious fire just waiting to happen. In reality the rest of the home could be 100% perfect with Zero deficiencies, you send your report, the new buyer is at closing, they finish closing, get their new keys, drive over to see there new house, pull up the street, and BAMM>>>> fire department just packing up with a smoldering pile of rubble and ash behind them…:wink:


Inspectors should not open two types of Panels. They don’t open them because of the danger. Even a seasoned electrician will not open the panels unless they can shut the power off. If we are not allowed to shut the power off the best thing is to refer to a certified electrician. No client of mine that has seen me do an inspection would appreciate the breakers falling out of the clip in design. I have even seen them pushing out the dead front. Are you saying you would open this kind of panel?
Not wise.:roll:
Take some pictures of the panel and call the ESA.If you are to pull a Panel that is defective you may be doing a replacement of the whole panel.

How did you determine the wire was 300 deg.?

I always open panels here it is rare not to find some type of problem.

I pull every cover that is possible, unless a known seen hazard exist. I do hear about other inspectors that don’t pull them and one case found out the panel caught fire after two months from inspection with the new homeowner. I know that was not a pretty situation.


I pull every panel, including fpe, zinsco,etc., unless I can’t get to it. Then, I recommend that when the other electrical repairs or being done, prior to purchase, the panel be properly inspected.

Eric do you shut the power off to the FPE and Zinsco first!
When I see the older panels they need to be evaluated by a “Licensed Electrician” anyways. If I can’t shut off the power they do not get opened.

Why is that Kevin? If you test the panel before you touch it and take the Normal safety procedures shouldn’t be a problem

Very true it is during the inspection after removing the cover that scares the crap out of me especially the Zinsco and** FPE**. I have had some close calls and that is all that needs to be said before opening this can of worms again.
Yes I do take all precautions in consideration and weigh whether I will open a panel. Insurance Adjuster says he does not require me to even open the panel here in SSM On but I do this anyways according to what I see during the Home Inspection.

I know the thread is nearly 2 years old, but misinformation is still misinformation.

Shutting off the power is not effective and only gives you a false sense of security. Look again at this thread if you doubt me. Shutting off the main would not have protected the inspector from the hazard of this built-in condition.

Additionally, it does not matter what brand the panel is. Look AGAIN at this thread if you doubt me. This is a Square D panel.

FPE and Zinsco are no more dangerous than any other panel and all panels should be approached with the same caution.

Make your decision based on the observations and present conditions, not brand names and urban myths.