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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
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AMPS & VOLTS DETERMINATION
AMPACITY - the LIMITING FACTOR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BACKUP ELECTRICAL GENERATORS
BOOKSTORE - ELECTRICAL
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
Cadet & Encore Heater Recall
CIRCUIT BREAKER FAILURE
CIRCUIT BREAKER SIZE for A/C or HEAT PUMP
Classified CIRCUIT BREAKER WARNING
CORROSION in ELECTRICAL PANELS
CORROSION & MOISTURE SOURCES in PANELS
CUTLER HAMMER PANEL FIRE
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 GROUND SYSTEM INSPECTION
ENERGY SAVINGS in buildings
FEDERAL PACIFIC FPE HAZARDS
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
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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
RUST in ELECTRICAL PANELS
SAFETY: ELECTRICAL INSPECTION SAFETY
Shock Risk Statistics
Outside Electrical Inspection
Electric Meter & Service Entry
Local Electrical Grounding
Electrical Panel Interior Inspection
Removing Electric Panel Covers
Electrical Panel Cover Screws
Electrical Panel Interior Hazards
Testing Main Breakers or Fuses
Inspect Breakers, Fuses, Circuits
Testing Receptacles GFCIs AFCIs
When to Shut Down Equipment
Touching Electrical Equipment
Guide to Electrical Test Equipment
Using DMMs & VOMs Safely
VOLTAGE DETECTION & MEASUREMENT
General Electrical Safety Suggestions
Electrical Inspection Client Safety
SE CABLE SIZES vs AMPS
UNDERGROUND SERVICE LATERALS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
This article discusses safety hazards at residential electrical systems that may lead an inspector to turn off or shut down equipment, even if there is risk of collateral damage such as loss of heat. There are also circumstances in which an inspector should not turn off electrical equipment during testing because doing so may create a greater hazard.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
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.
Be warned that whether you touch a building component or not there are grave responsibilities.
Touching a building component: if you precipitate a catastrophe, will of course be viewed as a mistake.
Not touching a building component: Failing to act effectively to protect occupants of a building you inspect will, of course, also be viewed as a mistake. If you failed to inspect, detect, report a hazard in a building you may bear liability if later an event occurs.
Disclaimers: A simple disclaimer "not inspected" is in adequate. An adequate disclaimer that meets ASHI standards makes sure that the client understands the significance of an observation [or of steps to omit making an observation].
The last man in rule: Trade and professional education classes concerning mechanical systems, which can involve life-safety concerns, commonly teach the "last man in" rule. Home inspectors know this problem as well. The last "expert" to set foot on the property is vulnerable to blame for any ensuing failures, even if s/he acted entirely correctly and even if s/he never touched the component later in question.
In the final analysis then, the precise safety steps to be taken are up to the judgment of the inspector at the scene. The inspector should also document his or her action. Failing to do anything and failing to even serve notice may be viewed as very dangerous and seriously irresponsible.
With proper training, knowledge, and procedures, electrical inspections can be done safely and accurately. Be careful.
If in your opinion unsafe conditions exist at a property you are inspecting you should notify all parties concerned, including building occupants/management/owners, realtors involved, and other appropriate authorities.
For example, what if the case above had happened the day after the property described had been examined by an ASHI inspector? Were there perhaps clues which telegraph a developing problem? What about anecdotal reports from the occupants of recurrent breaker tripping, visible signs of overheating in the panel, widespread and unusual use of electric heaters, or evidence of work in the panel by untrained people? These risks to occupants are also a hazard to the inspector on several bases.
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 how to decide when to turn off electrical systems or equipment for safety reasons.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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