Author Topic: Sorry Joe, we are home inspectors not electricians
Member posted 09-23-2005 07:43 AM
I am speechless!
Recent question here: Found this in a 22 year old home. My question is doesn’t the wiring passing through the panel require a protective bushing?
Sorry Joe we are home inspectors not electricians!
What is the advantage of us spending all our time on learning the electrical code?
I am a retired sparky and can not see a big advantage for home inspectors requiring some of your questions.
I feel we need to recognize that there is a hot spot in the panel.
There are incorrect receptacles.
There are loose boxes.
We also have to see that the AC split is incorrect.
We must recognize concerns with the hot water system .
We are generalists not specialists.
We need to know a very large amount of the working of a home, but do not need to know what kind of pressures are in side a AC unit.
It is not needed for us to know all the codes of all the trades.
My opinion others might agree or disagree.
Roy Cooke Sr.
Moderator posted 09-23-2005 09:42 AM
One of the many reasons that, generally speaking, I think home inspectors are a joke.
Member posted 09-23-2005 10:57 AM
I can’t stop laughing too what a crying joke, see the poll so far, and some of the comments as well.
Member posted 09-23-2005 01:06 PM
Home inspecting is to the trades as marketing is to engineering.
I’m an electrical engineer and I wish I went into marketing so I could have it so easy and no accountablity. Home inspectors lack the specific knowledge to comment on subtle problems. Anyone can spot flames or leaky pipes. I recall paying a fellow the required $200 fee to tell me a bunch of things I already knew about the house I was buying. I giggled when he pulled the cover off the main panel. I’m not sure he knew what he was looking for. In the end I got a boiler plate document discussion of GFCI use per NEC, lead paint, and appropriate spacing for the stiles on a deck railing.
However, there are some folks that lack common sense and that’s where marketing and home inspectors seem to make their money. There are people out there that haven’t mastered “lefty loosey…righty tighty.” That should be the test of whether you need to have a professional home inspection.
I have often thought about going into the home inspection or consulting field. I’m seriously jealous of these folks. I enojoy the challenge of finding problems. And I think most technical people have the necessary background to quickly drop into this field.
If the bank was serious they’d require an electrical, mechanical, and civil engineer to inspect all houses. It’s the lawyers and finance companies that made the home inspector what they are today. I doubt anyone would call a home inspector if it wasn’t part of the financial process.
I guess in the end it’s like going to the doctor for a physical… You wouldn’t go to ten different guys for each special body part. You go to the family doctor…the home inspector. If he sees a problem then you call in the specialist…but no one ever does so you have missing cable clamps in panels…
It’s a ‘no win’ argument.
Member posted 09-23-2005 07:34 PM
One of the reasons I stopped doing real-estate work was that an inspector stated that “amateur wiring was evident throughout” the attic of a home on the market.
They missed the fact that there was 56 circuits in a 40 circuit panel.
Moderator posted 09-23-2005 08:00 PM
I’m tempted to say inspections are like zoning…they work fine where they’re not needed, and fail where they are!
“Home inspector” seem to be a fine opportunity to give yourself a fancy title, work a “business” from home (and without the worry of licensing, bonding, training, regulation, or any burdens whatsoever), and become an instant expert on everything. You don’t even have to put up with the pesky restraints government inspectors face!
That said…the whole ‘inspection’ biz got started as more and more folks began earning their livelihoods in fields that protected them from learning anything practical about houses. And, we started moving about more often, rather than living in the same place for decades.
Many folks, after the sale, began to wonder if their ignorance had been taken advantage of. I know, from personal experience, that seemingly respectable sellers can turn out to be little sharks- deliberately concealing, or even mis-representing, the true state of the building.
So enter the “home inspector.” These folks, even with the best intentions, are still no substitute for the buyer to learn enough, himself, to make an informed decision.
Consider the “home inspector” to be someone who should know enough to see when a specialist should be called for an opinion. Consider that the inspector depends upon repeat business from his regular customers…so he’s not likely to ever say “run from this dump!”- no matter how bad it is.
The motto of the HI field should be “Veni, Vedi, Visa;” …that is, “I came, I saw, I cashed the check!”
Member posted 09-24-2005 08:45 AM
At first, the idea of Home Inspections seemed to be an opportunity for increased business from realtors. The problem with the statement “amateur wiring was evident throughout the attic” was that this attic wiring looked similar to many attics that are 30 years old, and better than many.
How liable is the seller for “amateur” work that isn’t really unsafe, but might not meet code? Then when you see the “overstuffed” (good for deli sandwiches, bad for electrical enclosures) service panel, the homeowner doesn’t understand why the Home Inspector didn’t say anything.
Member posted 09-28-2005 04:44 PM
You know I tried to post on the NACHI site once about these home inspectors requiring GFCI recepticles by all water sources to tell them there is no such code and they told me to take a hike
needless to say I have never been back to tell them what the true codes are
What a scam to the home buyers!!! the most of these inspectors are hired by the realators and if you find to many things wrong with the house or building they will never call you back
Moderator posted 09-28-2005 05:13 PM
I too got fed up with home inspectors and their website. I have very, very little respect for most of them.
New Member posted 09-28-2005 08:12 PM
As a state licensed home inspector I have to respond your general bashing of my profession. If it makes you better to bash a new profession, you must feel threatened by us. Is the quality of your work inferior to the point of fear that “we” will find something and question you on it? Do you believe we make "easy money” with no “license, insurance and authority”? If you believe that a home inspector just rolls in money from questioning someone’s work then you don’t know anything of my profession. Apparently you don’t know much about what home inspector does or what I had to do to become one. Nothing is that easy. I had to get licensed after lengthy training, which is REQUIRED by my state and then get tested for hours just to stay current. I never stop learning about more then one area and can’t since my state DEMANDS that and requires testing and documentation. My reports take HOURS for a little $$$ only to get sued since some hidden problem was not “seen” because some “contractor” was out to cut costs. So I get reamed for someone else’s mistakes… Surely you would like that right? Can you say scapegoat?
You don’t know how I work and what I do! You don’t know what my state mandated responsibilities are? You don’t know what I did before I entered this profession so before you slam me look at your own profession and ask yourself this question: If I do my work well and to the letter what do I have to fear from a home inspection? Nothing!
Worry about lawyers suing you! Not for my “opinion on something". I look at everything possible and anything that is going to cost the homebuyer $$$. I don’t work for a real estate broker. I work for a homebuyer pointing out safety concerns and condition issues. If “contractors” cut corners and the home inspector questions it WITH OUT CODE enforcement powers we have nothing to gain. I direct that to licensed qualified contractors to evaluate the condition not to act like I have authority and give you guy’s problems!
Contractors are on the top of the list for lawsuits next to, used car dealers. Do you like to be grouped with them?
I can’t tell people whether to buy the house or NOT. I can tell them from my experience / training that there is a problem and suggest they have a LICENSED QUALIFIED CONTRACTOR evaluate it and get the results in writing for their sake! (It maybe electrical contractors like YOU) that I recommend to look at installations since I am NOT allowed by law to tell them how to FIX it! DIY’ers are everywhere including you guys. Building permits …What??.. How many times have you fixed something on your own homes without a permit?
So cut me some slack and don’t think that every inspector is an idiot. Sure some inspectors are not qualified just like some contractors I meet. Every state is different with regards to requirements and licensing. Some states don’t even require licenses at all. Mine does and makes me work for it.
New Member posted 09-28-2005 08:47 PM
As a former electrician and Failure Analysis Engineer
with 38 years restoring 19th century homes
I am disappointed in the comments about home inspectors. I now work as an HI and my state required me to get training in all the home related technologies and pass a five hour exam just to be licensed. My 30 + years as a inspector for manufacturing facilities counted for ZIP toward a residential inspection license.
If anyone pays a few hundred dollars for a checklist report - you get what you pay for.
A certified inspector must continue training and pass an annual exam to keep the license and remain certified.
We are experts in detecting wear and tear, degrading and structural deficiencies, We are trained to recognize poor workmanship, health hazards and risk to occupants. We prepare narrative reports explaining what we find and if deficient why. We refer the client to the experts in the related field for repair or restoration.
Yes we find contractors hiding behind the phrase “It meets code” Since code is the minimum allowed just meeting it is an easy out. When someone pays hundreds of thousand dollars for a home is the “minimum” what they expect? Code does not define quality, practicality or common sense. Good workmanship and pride - craftsmanship is without fault. Do it right and we love you.
Do it on the cheap. or carelessly, or take shortcuts and we will find what you did and report on it.
Take pride in your trade and hire a real home inspector who takes pride in his trade.
By the way - electrical contractors do not require licenses in my state.