How To Look At A House
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Is a home inspector allowed to open an electrical panel?
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Not only are inspectors allowed to open the electrical panel as part of a home inspection, they are required to do so in Florida. The State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Standards of Practice for Home Inspection, that went into effect on October 22, 2013, state that a home inspector must examine the “interior components of main service panels and sub panels,” which cannot be done without removing the cover plate, which is called a dead front.
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), one of two major national home inspector associations, has required that inspectors remove the dead front to examine the panel interior for many years as part of their Standards of Practice—as long as there does not appear to be a safety hazard in doing so. But the other national group, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), specifically exempts the inspector from the requirement to remove the dead front.
When we first started doing home inspections almost twenty years ago, we would occasionally find a homeowner that was surprised when we opened their electric panel to check the wiring. “The last home inspector we had didn’t open the panel,” was the usual comment, and then their rationale for being annoyed that we were writing up defects inside the panel. But, also during that era, we heard of inspectors that claimed that only a licensed electrician was allowed to open a panel. That may have sounded logical, but it’s nonsense. Actually, only making repairs or modifications to an electric panel is restricted to a licensed electrician.
Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:
AFCI •• Air conditioner •• Ants •• Appliance recalls •• Appliance testing •• Attic •• Awnings •• Barns and ag blgs. •• Bathroom exhaust fan •• Bonding •• Carpet •• Ceiling fans •• Central vacuum •• Chimneys •• Chinese drywall •• Clothes dryer •• Dryer exhaust •• CO alarms •• Code violations •• Condemn a house •• Crawl space •• Detached carport •• Detached garage •• Dishwasher •• Docks •• Doors •• Electrical •• Electrical panel •• Electromagnetic radiation •• Fences •• Fireplaces Furnace •• Garage door opener •• Garbage disposal •• Generator •• GFCIs •• Gutters •• Ice maker •• Inspect in the rain •• Insulation •• Insurance •• Interior Finishes •• Grading & drainage •• Lead paint •• Level of thoroughness •• Lift carpet •• Low voltage wiring •• Microwave •• Mold •• Move things •• Help negotiate •• Not allowed •• Outbuildings •• Paint •• Permits •• Pilot lights •• Plumbing •• Plumbing under slab •• Pools •• Questions won't answer •• Radon •• Range/cooktop •• Receptacle outlet •• Refrigerator •• Reinspection •• Remove panel cover •• Repairs •• Repair estimates •• Retaining walls •• Roaches •• Rodents •• Roof •• Screens •• Seawalls •• Septic loading dye test •• Septic tank •• Sewer lines •• Shower pan leak test •• Shutters •• Sinkholes •• Smoke alarms •• Solar panels •• Specify repairs •• Sprinklers •• Termites •• Toilets •• Trees •• Troubleshooting •• Wall air conditioners •• Walk roof •• Washing machine •• Water heater •• Water pressure •• Water shut-offs •• Main water shut-off •• Water softener •• Water treatment systems •• Well •• Windows •• Window air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRIC PANELS:
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