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ELECTRICAL INSPECTION, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
AFCIs ARC FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS
ALUMINUM WIRING HAZARDS & REPAIRS
AMPS VOLTS DETERMINATION
AMPERAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
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 ELECTRICAL DISCONNECT
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
VOLTAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
ZINSCO SYLVANIA ELECTRICAL PANELS
Electrical ground system inspection safety: this article discusses safety suggestions when inspecting the grounding system at residential electrical systems and suggests safety procedures for the electrical inspector, home inspector, or other professionals who examine residential electrical systems.
Safe electrical inspection procedures and safe use of volt meters, DMMs, multimeters, and similar electrical test equipment is discussed at the end of the article.
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Inspect the Local Electrical Grounding Electrode or Grounding Connections - electrical ground system defects & safety hazards
Here we discuss safety considerations when inspecting the building electrical ground system. Readers of this article should also see ELECTRICAL GROUND SYSTEM INSPECTION - on how to inspect the electrical grounding system and what common defects may be present.
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.
Testing for live voltage: this procedure describes a method for checking for the presence of live voltage.
During electrical work when we want to know if a metal part is connected to the grounded conductor (neutral) or to ground, we might use a neon tester to create a connection between a point of live voltage and the item which is being tested for grounding.
Be careful: this is not a reliable nor a complete test. For example, a weakly-grounded wire or electrode may look just fine when tested with a VOM, a DMM, or a neon tester, but when subject to higher current flow the ground may be completely inadequate.
For a case study which found exactly this problem, see DOUBLE FAULT, LOSS OF ELECTRICITY..
For example, if the meter indicates more than 1or 2 volts between a service panel cover and ground, there's a safety problem. Most low-cost analog-type meters such as the one described provide additional ranges used to read lower voltages with more sensitivity.
Some VOM models provide alligator clips for the ends of the test probes. These clips permit measuring high voltage without handling the probes. Always shut off the power before connecting the alligator clips.
Details on safe use of DMM's and VOMs are at DMMs VOMs SAFE USE OF.
ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR SAFETY PROCEDURES describes important basic safety procedures, clothing, and equipment for home inspectors and electrical inspectors.
These electrical inspection suggestions are not a complete inventory 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
If in the inspector's judgment equipment is an immediate threat to life and property, such as a boiler whose flue connection has fallen off, we recommend that dangerous equipment be shut down and the appropriate people notified. See Shutting Down Unsafe Equipment. In some cases "appropriate people" includes not only the client and building owner, but also building occupants.
In some instances such as sparking electrical panels, gas leaks, or evidence of a fire, the inspector and everyone else should leave the building immediately and from outside, call the fire department and as appropriate, the gas company, police, or rescue personnel.
Continue reading at ELECTRICAL GROUND REQUIREMENTS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about safety when inspecting the electrical ground system
Questions & answers or comments about shock and electrocution hazards when touching electrical equipment during an inspection.
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