Would you write "Your electrical system is perfectly fine."

Would you ever write “You can’t have a new electrical system; your current electrical system is perfectly fine.” in your inspection report, as ASHI is suggesting here:


That has to be just about the worst Commercial I have seen.
This would chase me away from ASHI … Roy



They must use X RAY cameras.
I like how they say “some of the best trained” rather than “they are the best trained”.

At least they are advertising and trying to promote their inspectors to the public.


**Find an inspector results **

The ASHI Experience provides you with peace of mind when buying a home. The following ASHI inspectors, listed randomly, can be contacted to schedule an inspection in your selected area.
*** Indicates Inspector with Web Site Address**

NameCompanyInspector detailsPhone
**Roy D Cooke Sr.Roy’s Home Inspection, Ltd.****Contact details ***](http://www.ashi.org/find/details.asp?plfd=0165&m=17337DH)613-475-1144

Dear Forum Members,

Were an inspector to tell me that my electrical system was fine, without having performed an electrical test of the system, I would begin to question their competancy.

I have read other posts on this forum, where inspectors have said they only perform visual inspections due to time.

The most important test of all is a ground impedance fault loop test, this test will tell you wether your breakers will trip, and hence avoid an overheated circuit and resultant fire.

It can not be done by eye.

I have heard many electricians say its to code, but they dont test - so how do they know? I cant say the impedance is low enough by eye.

This sounds like a rant- it is not, I am an ex british electrician/electrical designer who also used to lecture part time at trade school. I have moved to Canada and working as an electrical designer, and am concerned about the lack of testing performed on electrical installations in North America.

A modern installation tester, will give fault levels, and prospective fault current at the touch of a button.

Such an instrument(rated for 120v 60hz) and certified to ansi/csa standards is a Fluke 1651B/1652B/1653B installation tester- although it is not publicised on the north american Fluke websites. No I dont work for Fluke.

This type of installation tester is mandatory for all electricians/electrical inpector in the UK, and widely available.

Other manufacturers include- Martindale, Megger, Kewtech(available next year for 120v 60hz), + many others.

The Ideal suretest(and similar) instruments are a good starting point but have problems I understand. Volt drop testing is good, but knowing the protection will operate is the most important thing.

Testing awareness is critical, as a faulty electrical installation will kill.

I suggest that the whole inspector industry in North America- raise its game. We complain about the quality control at car manufacturers- yet turn a blind eye to our own houses and workplaces.

For a while here In Canada we where not even allowed to open the panel .
WE have great Home Inspectors but most like me need to look inide the panel to see if we have any concerns .
As home Inspectors we can only do a visual inspection and even then I find lots of repairs that are required .
I Pass it on to a qualified person . Thanks for your post please hang around.

Welcome to Canada Mate

Thanks for the welcome Roy.

I appreaciate the fact that you may not be certified to open a panel, but people are still able to plug a tool into a receptacle and press a button.

The bigger problem is do inspectors know what the instrument’s result means and its implication, and unfortunately even some electrician’s don’t know the implications, as it has been bred out of them by the code(no testing).

If we mandate no testing by code- we will not improve as an industry.

Inspectors are quite capable of pressing that test button, getting paid for it, and then telling the client that there really is a problem that requires investigation by the specialist.

I bet alot of the inspectors out there have a $3000+ thermal imaging camera. Nice pretty pictures- but it cannot see the oxidization on the ground connection.

Let’s tell the test equipment manufacturers, we want quality information about the installation.

MORE INFO PLEASE!..Can you elaborate on your post to more clearly define what you think should be done? I am willing to raise the bar, I just need guidance. Is there a site or you tube video explain this and why its done and how its done. If I cannot explain it to the client in simple terms and with intelligence then I don’t understand what I am doing. Great post and thanks and I see its your first and hopefully one of many…

Information from here;


To perform a ground fault loop test on an installation, the test instruments apply a resistance of a known value between the phase and ground conductors at the desired point of test. The instrument measures the unloaded voltage and then measures the loaded voltage drop across the resistance. In effect, this directly simulates a fault.
The resistance is in series with the loop and the proportion of the supply voltage, which appears across the resistance, will be dependent on the impedance of this loop. Accordingly, an indication of loop impedance may be determined by measurement of the voltage across the resistance.

The main purpose of a good grounding connection is to provide a low impedance ground path in a wiring installation allowing a fault current to flow and operate circuit protective devices (CPDs). These devices can be fuses or circuit breakers designed for phase-phase, phase-neutral or phase-ground faults.

If the impedance of any part of the grounding loop is high, then the protective device may be rendered useless because the current, which would flow in the event of a fault, may be less than required to operate the protective device. The result of this is the circuit would remain connected and energized and the fault current would continue to flow. This could result in damage to equipment or the installation, and severe or fatal electric shock to personnel in contact with grounded equipment. Note that using the NEC, we would typically refer to the impedance of the circuit in terms of the voltage drop or voltage loss due to this impedance.
In addition to ensuring any fault current will be large enough to correctly operate the circuit protection, it is vitally important to ensure protective devices are also rated at a suitable level such that they can withstand the energy of the largest possible fault current. This is referred to as prospective short circuit current (PSCC). Failure to ensure the electrical distribution equipment and circuit protective devices are rated at the required fault current levels, could result in explosion, fire and or personal injury. In addition, an incorrect rating would not guarantee the supply is interrupted allowing current to continue to flow in improper paths compounding the problem.

You have got to be kidding that a typical home inspector would even get into this type of thing.

26 years ago on a Commercial Project I did on Loring Air Force Base, that was required per the specifications written by and enforced by the Army Corps of Engineers.
I watch them do it for the first time and was the last time I ever seen it again.

This is completely out of the SOP and any residential inspection I have ever seen.

Unless a government job, you will never see this happening.

We are not a testing agency, we inspect by observing to see that it was done per the standard of construction practices and that is not one of them that I know of.


He is well beond our sop and what most electricians do…
Electricty the more you get into it the more confused you will get .
Read enjoy and do your usuall Great home inspection.

Not to mention, a major safety concern. And if your insurance company found out you were going beyond the scope of your practices, watch your premiums jump!!!

I agree that this is far beyond what is necessary on a residential inspection. In fact there are testers that will simulate a load and measure voltage drop. The NEC does not even require voltage drop compensation for installations (there are one or two exceptions that wouldn’t apply here) so I don’t know how that information would even be useful.

what are you trying to say?

That has to be just about the worst Commercial I have seen.
This would chase me away from ASHI … Roy

Yet, Roy Cooke he is a member of ASHI…