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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
AFCIs ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
AMPS VOLTS DETERMINATION
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BOOKSTORE - ELECTRICAL
Cadet & Encore Heater Recall
CIRCUIT BREAKER SIZE for A/C or HEAT PUMP
Classified CIRCUIT BREAKER WARNING
CUTLER HAMMER PANEL FIRE
CORROSION in ELECTRICAL PANELS
DEFINITIONS of ELECTRICAL TERMS
DIRECTORY OF ELECTRICIANS
DMM Digital Multimeter, How to Use
ELECTRIC METERS & METER BASES
ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
ELECTRIC PANEL AMPACITY
ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION
ELECTRIC PANEL MOISTURE
Electric Power Frequency Table
EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS
ELECTRICAL GROUND SYSTEM INSPECTION
ELECTRICAL SERVICE DROP
ELECTRICAL SERVICE ENTRY WIRING
EMF RF FIELD & FREQUENCY DEFINITIONS
FIRE SAFETY Checklist, CPSC
GFCI PROTECTION,Testing GFCIs AFCIs
HEATING COST FUEL & BTU Cost Table
HEAT TAPE USAGE GUIDE
Hertz - Definitions of KHz MHz GHz THz
KNOB & TUBE WIRING
LIGHTING, EXTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTING, INTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS
LOW VOLTAGE BUILDING WIRING
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MAIN DISCONNECT AMPACITY
MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
MURRAY SIEMENS Recall
PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SYSTEMS
PUSHMATIC - BULLDOG PANELS
REMOTE ELECTRIC POWER, PHOTOVOLTAIC
RUST in ELECTRICAL PANELS
SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS
SE CABLE SIZES vs AMPS
SIEMENS MURRAY Recall
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
UNDERGROUND SERVICE LATERALS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
How to inspect the interior of an electrical panel: this article discusses inspection procedures & safety hazards inside residential electrical panels - special concerns to inspectors and electricians. We suggests safety procedures for the electrical inspector, home inspector, or other professionals who examine residential electrical systems.
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These electrical inspection suggestions are not a complete inventory of all electrical safety procedures nor of all electrical components that should be inspected; these notes focus on identification of conditions that may present special electrical hazards for the electrical inspector. Contact Us by email to suggest changes, corrections, and additions to this material.
Fatal Shock Hazard Warning: Inspecting electrical components and systems risks death by electrocution as well as serious burns or other injuries to the inspector or to others. Do not attempt these tasks unless you are properly trained and equipped.
In addition to examining the electrical panel before touching it, looking for dangerous conditions like water, rust, sheet metal screws, rats, and blocking client access, the inspector should also recognize that certain brands or models of electrical equipment are known to be unsafe and may be dangerous to inspect or operate.
Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok equipment includes breakers which remain internally "on" when switched "off", as well as too often failing to trip off in response to an overcurrent, and which have been reported to result in electrical arc explosions when manually or otherwise exercised.
Zinsco: Similar bus burnups and electrical arc explosions have been reported regarding Sylvania/Zinsco electrical panels.
Contact Us by email to add field reports of problems regarding these or other electrical products.
Opening the electrical panel to examine overcurrent devices - fuses or circuit breakers, is discussed at ELEC PANEL & GROUND
Inspecting overcurrent devices - visual: see ELECTRIC PANEL AMPACITY and ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION for detailed procedures. There is a huge amount of information about the electrical system inside of the electrical panels.
Do not try to "exercise" the breakers in these panels. Turning the circuit breaker on and off in an FPE Stab-Lok panel can actually increase the risk of a future failure to trip. We also have field reports of electrical arc explosions when these breakers have been switched on or off. Some examples are included in this series of electrical safety articles.
The inspector is not required to insert anything, finger, screwdriver, probe, into the electrical panel. The required inspection is visual. Observe. However an inspector is of course permitted to perform other tests or services which s/he chooses to provide (presuming s/he is qualified, trained, and that three are no conflicts of interest).
General Electrical Safety Suggestions describes important basic safety procedures, clothing, and equipment for home inspectors and electrical inspectors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about shock and electrocution hazards when touching electrical equipment during an inspection.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.