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Sketch of the beginning point for an electrical inspection (C) Carson Dunlop Associates How to Inspect Residential Electrical Systems, Panels, Grounding, Wiring

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Electrical panel inspection guide:

This electrical wiring article discusses procedures for safe and effective visual inspection of residential electrical systems including electrical panels and other components, when the inspection is conducted by trained building inspection professionals, home inspectors, electrical inspectors, and electricians.

We include questions and and answers about common defects in electrical panels that may be discovered by visual inspection, that is, without performing electrical tests.



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COURSE SUMMARY - Electric Panel Inspection Course Summary

Electrical panel inspection: STOP and LOOKSAFETY WARNING: Inspection of electrical systems risks death by fatal electrical shock. The procedures discussed in this class require that the cover of the panel be removed in order to expose the panel interior.

Homeowners should not attempt this step, and no one lacking proper electrical safety training should remove the electrical panel cover nor attempt to perform the tasks discussed in this class.

ELECTRICAL CODE COMPLIANCE WARNING: these inspection procedures are designed to assist in the detection and reporting of electrical service defects which can be recognized by visual inspection.

This inspection is not for the purpose of determining compliance with local or national electrical codes. Guidelines given here, such as overhead wire clearances, are based on widely-accepted codes and standards, but local building codes may specify other or different restrictions.

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This material was first presented by Daniel Friedman - InspectApedia.com, at the Hudson Valley chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors - HVASHI Seminar 12 Sept 2002, Updated April 2006, April 2009, August 2011.

Part I - Electrical Panel Defect Identification - Principles

Part II - Electrical Panel Defect Recognition - Photos of Electrical Defects & Examples

This section of the class contains annotated field photographs of certain electrical panel defects which can be recognized by visual inspection.

That is, no instruments, no measurements, and no insertion of any device into the electrical panel are required to perform these tasks. I have these photos on file and will add them to this presentation if readers request

ELECTRICAL INSPECTION SAFETY - Overview of the Residential Electrical System and Electrical Inspection Hazards

Safety Procedures for Residential Building Electrical Inspectors

Unsafe grounding electrode (C) Daniel FriedmanSAFETY WARNING: Inspection of electrical systems risks death by fatal electrical shock. The procedures discussed in this class require that the cover of the panel be removed in order to expose the panel interior.

Homeowners should not attempt this step, and no one lacking proper electrical safety training should remove the electrical panel cover nor attempt to perform the tasks discussed in this class.

Electrical Panel Inspection Safety - Critical Warnings

Watch out: Do not:

Watch out: Protect nearby observers, clients, etc. from hazards [added by DF 2/13/2006]

Open electrical panels are dangerous (C) Daniel Friedman

 

Safety Warning: Do not attempt to work on your electrical wiring, switches, or outlets unless you are properly trained and equipped to do so. Electrical components in a building can easily cause an electrical shock, burn, or even death.

Even when a hot line switch is off, one terminal on the switch is still connected to the power source. Before doing any work on the switch, the power source must be turned off by set­ting a circuit breaker to OFF or removing a fuse. See SAFETY for ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS and ELECTRICAL WIRING BOOKS & GUIDES

More Reading on Electrical Inspection Safety

Electrical inspectors planning to examine residential electrical panels, in addition to obtaining proper training, should read the following:

Carson Dunlop's sketch at page top shows where the electrical inspection starts at a residential property.

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