Home Inspection Fail

 
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:36 PM   #1
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Home Inspection Fail


I get a call from a frantic former client Monday that she has a contract for purchase on her 2 story newer condo.

I was the EC only on a recent kitchen project and we repiped and rewired only the kitchen for her remodel in 2015. She loved the decora style devices so she wanted them replaced throughout the condo in this style, and we did that.

So the home inspectors report comes in claiming that every single receptacle in the condo showed open ground, and not one single GFCI receptacle or breaker would trip. (Including pictures of the polarity tester lights, etc. You guys that clean up issues for a sale know what I mean)

I figured no friggin way! (But I doubt myself often)

The service call to check this out occurred this morning, and I tested every single receptacle in the condo.

Every receptacle showed clean and with a ground present, and every GFCI location tripped correctly whether in the panel or a upstream GFCI.

I fretted over this all week for no reason, and was guessing that there was a possibility that the inspector had a defective tester. I was relieved to see that this was the case.

Not bashing home inspectors at all because usually they find valid issues, but apparently it didn't dawn on this one that if every single one was showing issues, it could be his tester was malfunctioning.

So relieved and just wanted to vent!

Miller Time! And I think I need a vacation. I've been overbooked and overworking for the last 5 months.

Any similar stories!
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:04 PM   #2
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


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Old 09-23-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Insurance inspectors are worse...
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:54 PM   #4
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by rselectric1 View Post
So the home inspectors report comes in claiming that every single receptacle in the condo showed open ground, and not one single GFCI receptacle or breaker would trip.

I fretted over this all week for no reason, and was guessing that there was a possibility that the inspector had a defective tester. I was relieved to see that this was the case.
()trimmed)

You suspected...and shouldn't the "inspector" have doubted his/her instrument as well?

There's where the incompetency comes in.

I remarked in here years ago about a REO we were buying. The "home inspector" - that I the purchaser had to pay for - at insistence of Texas mortgage holder - had a fancy meter.

Row of LEDs went up & down like something from a Star Trek episode.

I reallly didn't give a flying fck - everything was getting ripped out after closing.

Oh! GFCI! tests good he says! I have to listen to this ding aling explain how, what, why of GFCI,

I go listen pal, just do it and get gone. Oh I don't understand how important is his whizbang meter is and how GFCIs save lives. Really, sometimes there's just no escaping fools.

So I close. I pull the GFCIs and all the other crap wiring.

The GFCIs - new wiring up to the attic, where they had skinned back a bare spot on K&T, wrapped it over and taped it off.

No ground any where in that damned house.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:33 PM   #5
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Sign of a professional - don't check your stuff, just go for it. What are they, 6 bucks? I had multiples, and gave one to my sister.
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Old 09-24-2017, 01:49 AM   #6
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by rselectric1 View Post
I get a call from a frantic former client Monday that she has a contract for purchase on her 2 story newer condo.



I was the EC only on a recent kitchen project and we repiped and rewired only the kitchen for her remodel in 2015. She loved the decora style devices so she wanted them replaced throughout the condo in this style, and we did that.



So the home inspectors report comes in claiming that every single receptacle in the condo showed open ground, and not one single GFCI receptacle or breaker would trip. (Including pictures of the polarity tester lights, etc. You guys that clean up issues for a sale know what I mean)



I figured no friggin way! (But I doubt myself often)



The service call to check this out occurred this morning, and I tested every single receptacle in the condo.



Every receptacle showed clean and with a ground present, and every GFCI location tripped correctly whether in the panel or a upstream GFCI.



I fretted over this all week for no reason, and was guessing that there was a possibility that the inspector had a defective tester. I was relieved to see that this was the case.



Not bashing home inspectors at all because usually they find valid issues, but apparently it didn't dawn on this one that if every single one was showing issues, it could be his tester was malfunctioning.



So relieved and just wanted to vent!



Miller Time! And I think I need a vacation. I've been overbooked and overworking for the last 5 months.



Any similar stories!


I can worry about things like that as well. I always have to remember most things we worry about never happen. Glad this was one of them! :thumbsup


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Old 09-26-2017, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


I wonder how he was testing for gfci tripping. A Wiggins style will do it if he doesn't know about the buttons on the receptacle.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:16 PM   #8
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Someone here says:



"Those Who Can, Do.
Those Who Can't, Teach.
Those Who Lack The Ambition To Teach, Inspect."
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:55 PM   #9
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by RangoWA View Post
I wonder how he was testing for gfci tripping. A Wiggins style will do it if he doesn't know about the buttons on the receptacle.
I have been told that the test button isn't a legitimate test, and that they had to be tested with a GFIC tester by the electrical inspector. Is that not true?
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:23 PM   #10
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Are the plug-in testers (with test button) reliable?
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:23 PM   #11
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by B.Johnson View Post
I have been told that the test button isn't a legitimate test, and that they had to be tested with a GFIC tester by the electrical inspector. Is that not true?
It is false.

UL White Book:
Quote:
QCYU
This category covers portable devices with fixed attachment-plug blades, or probes attached to flexible leads, used to indicate various wiring conditions in 15 or 20 A branch circuits by a pattern of lights or other similar means along with markings or instructions to identify the probable wiring conditions which cannot be determined by the tester.
The devices may include provisions for checking the functions of a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) connected to the branch circuit, or for indicating that a branch circuit is connected to an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI).

These devices are not intended for use as comprehensive diagnostic
instrument.
In addition, no manufacturer ever recommends using a plug-in tester. So according to their listing, only the device's on-board test button is legal.
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Last edited by 480sparky; 09-26-2017 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:27 PM   #12
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
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Are the plug-in testers (with test button) reliable?
No. If there's no ground, plug-in testers will not trip a GFCI. In addtion, I've had several cases where, despite correct wiring of new devices, a plug-in tester will not trip a GFCI.
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:32 PM   #13
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
It is false.

UL White Book:
In addition, no manufacturer ever recommends using a plug-in tester. So according to their listing, only the device's on-board test button is legal.
Don't you have to use a plug in to check the receptacles down line from the gfci. I agree with the on-board button being the best way to test the gfci unit. Why else would the test button be there?
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:47 PM   #14
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
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Don't you have to use a plug in to check the receptacles down line from the gfci.
Nope.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Johnson View Post
I agree with the on-board button being the best way to test the gfci unit. Why else would the test button be there?
Convenience.

If the plug-in tester doesn't trip the GFCI, it doesn't mean the GFCI is defective or mis-wired. Push the button on the device. If it turns off the power, check for power downstream. If it's off, the GFCI functions as designed.

I've had several cases of this. And the manufacturer's instructions are part of the listing. I have yet to find ANY manufacturer who recommends using plug-in testers.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:41 AM   #15
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


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Nope.




Convenience.

If the plug-in tester doesn't trip the GFCI, it doesn't mean the GFCI is defective or mis-wired. Push the button on the device. If it turns off the power, check for power downstream. If it's off, the GFCI functions as designed.

I've had several cases of this. And the manufacturer's instructions are part of the listing. I have yet to find ANY manufacturer who recommends using plug-in testers.
My local electrical inspector (the real one) goes through and tests every receptacle on a gfci line with his plug in. After checking each one he goes back to the gfci and resets it for the next one. I thought it was to verify the ground was hooked up on all of them. I guess it could also be to make sure they are actually protected by gfci and not on another non gfci circuit.

Super nice guy so I'd never question him anyway. And it's technically not my work or permit so....
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:52 AM   #16
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Re: Home Inspection Fail


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My local electrical inspector (the real one) goes through and tests every receptacle on a gfci line with his plug in. After checking each one he goes back to the gfci and resets it for the next one. I thought it was to verify the ground was hooked up on all of them. I guess it could also be to make sure they are actually protected by gfci and not on another non gfci circuit.

Super nice guy so I'd never question him anyway. And it's technically not my work or permit so....
That's just to verify the receps that are required to be GFCI protected are actually wired 'downstream' from the GFCI device.

He could just check each receptacle for proper wiring, trip the GFCI and use the tester to verify the power is out in all the downstream devices.

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