Inspectors are allowed to test the electrical panels present on your property. Examining the working conditions of your property's electrical panels or panel boards, is vital to any commercial property inspection. A professional home inspector is expected to have certified knowledge and understanding of the International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties (ComSOP) to evaluate your electrical panels' safety critically.
Now let's understand Why or Why not a Home Inspector checks your property's electrical panel.
Why Would a Home Inspector Open an Electrical Panel?
The ideal way to accurately test and examine a panel board is by opening the panel and observing the following:
Service entrance connections -
This is the part where service wires connect to the main service panel.
Service disconnect breaker -
The main service breaker is utilized to cut complete power to the service panel.
Panel board components-
This portion includes parts like the bus, neutral, and grounding bars.
Fuses - A fuse or breaker is used for linking the branch circuit wiring.
Bonding - When other metallic systems are linked with the grounding electrode systems.
Wiring connects - There are wiring lights, outlets, and mechanical breakers.
The professional snagging inspector can visually inspect the electrical panels by opening their panels. Through this inspection, they try to detect damaged wires, rusting or burned signs on the bus bar, double-tapped wiring, and improper connections.
The home inspector further mentions the issues found in the inspection report. They recommend you take immediate guidance from a licensed electrician.
Only licensed electricians should be hired to work on your electrical panel.
Why would a Home Inspector not consider examining your electrical panel?
Here are some relevant reasons a home inspector won’t consider inspecting your electrical panel.
During an inspection, there are some instances where the electrical panel won’t open. The electrical panel might be blocked by furniture and equipment or multiple obstructions so that there are zero chances of checking. An electrical panel should ideally have 3 feet of the workspace area. But there are older homes which don’t have such conveniences.
Also, there are times when the panel box is overpainted, resulting in sealing the cover or opening of your electric panel. These were some of the reasons why an electrical panel won’t open hence it will lead to an unsuccessful panel inspection.
Safety Issues that prevent home inspectors from opening the panel:
Live dead front cover :
Every home inspector tests an electrical panel box with a circuit tester to determine if the electrical current is in the metal box's dead front cover. This issue might occur only when any live wire is touching the cover.
No main service panel:
Many electrical panels don’t have any service disconnects. The main service disconnect allows for cutting down all the power to the breakers and branch wiring, allowing the home inspector to remove the panel cover safely for visual inspection. It doesn’t mean a home inspector won’t inspect a live panel box, but it can be considered a safety concern.
Rust or water presence-
If rusting and water are present near the panel area, the inspector would immediately recommend calling a licensed electrician to inspect, as the issue might be life-threatening.
Finally, expect a home inspector to open the panel cover to examine the electrical panel visually. If your hired service inspector doesn’t open the panel, ask them why.
A home inspector should also consider clicking pictures of the panel so that they can be added to the report for better understanding.
We at GTA inspectors cater to our clients' inspection requirements with dedication and determination. To make your investment successful.
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