What is a "hazardous" panel?

I was reading the electrical section on the new Citizens 4 PT…I’m wondering what they mean by a hazardous panel? Are we now to assume the liability or responsibility for calling a Zinsco or Federal Pacific panel “hazardous?” (up to now it was up to the underwriter to give the bad news!)

Yer thoughts my bruthas…

Maybe we should ask Citizens to clarify their “well thought out and executed form”! Then again, that would probably mean each report will become 60 pages long…

Every panel has the potential to be a hazard just some more hazardous than others. A panel can be as dangerous as the person messing with it.:mrgreen:

Power = hazardous

Electrical distribution panel hazardous due to electricity. Recommend removal of electricity.

One of the items on the electrical section of our 4-Point lists panel box manufacturer - I let the underwriter determine what they want to do with that information.

Not on the new citizens form.

I guess that is if you choose to use the new Citizens form.
The Citizens 4-Point Inspection form includes the minimum data needed for Underwriting to properly
evaluate a property application. While this specific form is not required, any other inspection submitted for
consideration must include at least this level of detail to be acceptable to Citizens

All of this still does not answer my main point…since we all know the hazards of a Zinsco or Federal Pacific panel and did not have to state our opinion on previous or other current forms, it appears to me that Citizens is putting the onus on us to denounce said panels instead of their people doing so.

Or, they could just use the picture required to make their own decisions.

Yes - I will not list the existence of an FPE or Zinsco panel in the “Hazards present” section. I will note its existence in the report and in the photos and let them decide what they will.

2011 Commission Closes Investigation Of FPE Circuit Breakers And Provides Safety Information For Consumers, Revised 18 Feb 2011. The original document was revised to include the following warning:

Note: CPSC staff advises electricians, homeowners, home inspectors and real estate agents to read and interpret the following press release carefully. The press release announces that the Commission closed the matter without making a determination as to the safety of FPE circuit breakers or the accuracy of the manufacturer’s position on the matter. The Commission advises consumers to take the safety precautions noted in this notice with all circuit breakers and fuses.

If the CPSC won’t declare them unsafe - I am in no position to say they are wrong.

I would agree with you. the question is, will citizens? The statement below is very vague and can be interpreted in many ways.

Guess my interpretation of that would be anything that puts the homeowner or anyone else in danger by just opening the panel and flipping a breaker.
Missing dead front,random wires not connected. They ask what brand and amps and get an upclose pic. If the panel is one of those that need replacing I make sure I take a picture of the nameplate or decal if present.

The CPSC didn’t say they were safe, they said they didn’t complete the investigation. The reason for this was lack of money.

There’s plenty of evidence available to anyone to make a determination about these panels. I hope you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit by taking this stand. . . .

Show me one of these lawsuits.

I am not saying they are safe either - I do point out the existence of these panels - I am just not going to make the determination that a homeowner should be denied coverage for it. And you know that anything listed as a hazardous condition will have just that effect.

Now, in a home inspection - I do call out the existence of the panel and indicate to the buyer that he should consult a licensed electrical professional for further evaluation.

Why would you recommend further evaluation if you found nothing wrong?

Because of the history of the panel I will not state that the panel is either safe or unsafe - I not only recommend an electrician to review (If there are failing breakers or breakers coming loose from the spine), but I also advise that many underwriters have an issue with writing policies where such a panel is present.

I treat the panels like I treat the “PEX” Stick to the form. Pictures and documentation of what you see. I make verbal only notes with homeowner that some insurance companies have a thing about this panel or that plumbing or that there have been cases of you know blah blah blah but if no issues at the time of inspection I don’t recommend anything.

Good question, I came across a Federal Pacific panel last week, I deemed it hazardous for many reasons other than the brand alone like the multiple double lugging, but yeah I think so. http://www.stockshomeinspection.com

It is always the possiblility that an insurance company may not insure the home because of FPE, Zinsco or Poly. That makes an easy out.

“Because of … obtaining insurance may be problematic. I recommend you discuss with your insurance agent.”