Turning Electrical On During an Inspection.

Hello Guys,

For all you Electricians out there, I received this email from a listing agent whose home I will be inspecting on Thursday, and it says…

“Thank you for the confirmation. Please check the breaker box when you arrive as some switches may be turned off, to include the hot water heater.”

Now, I get these messages every now and then, and it has been routinely brought to my attention that other home inspectors are performing these functions on a regular basis. If that is true, in my 19 year career, I’ve always been told to never turn an electrical device on when it is off at the breaker box, as fire and safety is a big concern.

What do you Electrician’s think of this situation? Thanks in advance! Ed

They usually are turned off for a reason .
So no if off I leave it off .
Example water heater drained turn it on and shortly the element has destroyed itself .

Thanks Roy, I totally agree with you! I think of things like you just mentioned, but I also think of things like, fire safety and the possibility of electrocution if something goes wrong. Great point, thank you! Ed

In my confirmation letters, I would recommend ALL breakers, etc. be on in order to inspect unit, whatever it is…same with valves and such. :slight_smile:

Thanks Larry!

Nope no way I would do that.
That’s the duty of seller and seller’s agent to make sure breakers are on.
Valves open etc. etc…

One caveat, sometimes the BA and client and I will arrive at an inspection with the main water valve off and we have permission from the LA to turn on for inspection. And then off at end of inspection.

I totally agree, Thomas! We try not to have to turn the water main on, but if necessary, we will do that with permission from the listing side. But electrical is a whole different baby, isn’t it!

Thanks Thomas! Ed

My job is to report on conditions… Not create them.


Couldn’t agree more, Mark!

You know it, Bob! Thanks for your help!!!

Most always, any breaker or valve being found off, is off for a reason.