How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Does a home inspector check an emergency generator?

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Emergency power generator systems are not a required part of a home inspection according to the Standards of Practice of both national home inspector associations, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and also the State of Florida. The InterNACHI standards state that the home inspector is not required to inspect “private or emergency electrical supply sources, including, but not limited to: generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or electrical storage facility.” Florida has a similar exemption, and ASHI excludes “ancillary wiring systems and components not part of the primary electrical power distribution system.

    Even if the exlusion of emergency generators is not stated directly in the home inspector’s contract agreement, one of the Standards of Practice mentioned above will referenced as part of the contract agreement.

    Although excluded from the list of house components inspected, some inspectors will test a standby generator with an automatic switching system by simply shutting off the main breaker and seeing if the generator kicks on. A common problem we find is that the circuit used to plug-in (backfeed) a portable generator to the house electrical system—which is inspected—does not have a foolproof switching mechanism that does not allow the service from the local electrical utility and the generator to be connected at the same time. To read more about this problem, see our blog post Why did my generator hookup get tagged as defective by the home inspector?

     Here’s links to a few of our other blog posts about “GENERATORS":

What is the average life expectancy of a whole-house standby emergency generator?

What is the best emergency back-up generator for the power outage after a storm? 

Can I run a window air conditioner on a portable generator? 

What size generator do I need to run my submersible well pump?

How can I determine the age of a Generac standby generator from the serial number? 

 • Can you wire a electrical cord with a male attachment plug at both ends, and plug into a receptacle and a generator, for electricity in the house during a hurricane power outage?

    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 •• Furniture •• 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  

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

  And to learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a some of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

If we already looked at the house very carefully, do we still need a home inspection?

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1940s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosure? 

What should I look for when buying a former rental house?  

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What should I look for when buying a house that is being "flipped" by an investor seller? 

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION and "DOES A HOME INSPECTOR…?” pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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