Home Inspection Fail - Electrical - Contractor Talk

Home Inspection Fail

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-23-2017, 04:36 PM   #1
Pro
 
rselectric1's Avatar
 
Trade: Licensed Electrical Contractor and Remodeler
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 11,798
Rewards Points: 894

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!
__________________
220...221...whatever it takes!
rselectric1 is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to rselectric1 For This Useful Post:
Fouthgeneration (10-05-2017), greg24k (05-06-2019), KAP (09-23-2017), overanalyze (09-26-2017), SmallTownGuy (09-23-2017)

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 09-23-2017, 05:04 PM   #2
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,969
Rewards Points: 11,812

Re: Home Inspection Fail


You need to learn that HI's are Gods of the Gods. Lekturshuns are just tool-carryin' monkeys.

Advertisement

__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
rselectric1 (09-23-2017)
Old 09-23-2017, 07:32 PM   #3
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 23,959
Rewards Points: 4,706

Re: Home Inspection Fail


Insurance inspectors are worse...
hdavis is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-23-2017, 07:54 PM   #4
John the Builder
 
SmallTownGuy's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter/Builder Professional Painter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Oxford, MI
Posts: 16,439
Rewards Points: 4,024

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.
__________________
All my Life loving Hippie friends turned into soul-sucking Conservatives - or died. Same difference.
"Mornin' ladies, my goodness don't you look happy. Must be cuttin' somebody up pretty good." - Andy Griffiths
SmallTownGuy is online now  
Old 09-23-2017, 08:33 PM   #5
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 23,959
Rewards Points: 4,706

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.
hdavis is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to hdavis For This Useful Post:
SmallTownGuy (09-24-2017)
Old 09-24-2017, 12:49 AM   #6
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 37,267
Rewards Points: 21,010

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


Mike.
_______________
Calidecks is offline  
Old 09-26-2017, 09:25 AM   #7
This space for lease
 
RangoWA's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: WA State
Posts: 5,323
Rewards Points: 4,628

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.
RangoWA is offline  
Old 09-26-2017, 03:16 PM   #8
Pro
 
Big Johnson's Avatar
 
Trade: Contractor Grunt
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,283
Rewards Points: 4,910

Re: Home Inspection Fail


Someone here says:



"Those Who Can, Do.
Those Who Can't, Teach.
Those Who Lack The Ambition To Teach, Inspect."
Big Johnson is online now  
Old 09-26-2017, 07:55 PM   #9
Pro
 
B.Johnson's Avatar
 
Trade: Builder
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 1,457
Rewards Points: 2,654

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?
__________________
Home Designer Series Software
B.Johnson is online now  
Old 09-26-2017, 08:23 PM   #10
Pro
 
MarkJames's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman Services
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 9,010
Rewards Points: 14,453

Re: Home Inspection Fail


Are the plug-in testers (with test button) reliable?
MarkJames is offline  
Old 09-26-2017, 08:23 PM   #11
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,969
Rewards Points: 11,812

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.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.

Last edited by 480sparky; 09-26-2017 at 08:26 PM.
480sparky is online now  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
B.Johnson (09-27-2017), cwatbay (09-27-2017), Defenestrate (05-06-2019), hdavis (09-26-2017), jproffer (06-26-2019), RangoWA (09-27-2017)
Old 09-26-2017, 08:27 PM   #12
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,969
Rewards Points: 11,812

Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJames View Post
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.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
MarkJames (09-26-2017)
Old 09-26-2017, 08:32 PM   #13
Pro
 
Big Johnson's Avatar
 
Trade: Contractor Grunt
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,283
Rewards Points: 4,910

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?
Big Johnson is online now  
Old 09-26-2017, 08:47 PM   #14
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,969
Rewards Points: 11,812

Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Johnson View Post
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.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
Big Johnson (09-27-2017)
Old 09-27-2017, 05:41 AM   #15
Pro
 
Big Johnson's Avatar
 
Trade: Contractor Grunt
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,283
Rewards Points: 4,910

Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
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....
Big Johnson is online now  
Old 09-27-2017, 08:52 AM   #16
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 11,969
Rewards Points: 11,812

Re: Home Inspection Fail


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Johnson View Post
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.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
hdavis (09-27-2017), jproffer (06-26-2019)
Old 05-05-2019, 09:44 PM   #17
Registered User
 
amelia2's Avatar
 
Trade: cabinet maker
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Ocala Fl
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4

Re: Home Inspection Fail


I'm hoping you can tell me why the GFCI trips when it rains hard and can be reset when it dries out. I'm a woodworker and this has been driving me crazy to help a friend who thinks I should know because I work with my hands.
amelia2 is offline  
Old 05-05-2019, 10:44 PM   #18
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 37,267
Rewards Points: 21,010

Re: Home Inspection Fail


It's getting wet? I don't know, it's just a wild guess.


Mike.
_______________
Calidecks is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Calidecks For This Useful Post:
B.Johnson (05-06-2019)
Old 05-22-2019, 05:17 PM   #19
New Guy
 
ElectricianC-10's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 22
Rewards Points: 78

Re: Home Inspection Fail


Lol
ElectricianC-10 is offline  
Old 06-23-2019, 02:02 PM   #20
Registered User
 
Jarrett.SPSI's Avatar
 
Trade: Licensed Home Inspector
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Olympia, Wa
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 2

Re: Home Inspection Fail


That's a bummer for something like that to have happen. It is unfortunate to say the least, but honestly something that could happen to anyone.
BUT, and this is a large but...
Being a home inspector in Washington, it makes my head spin when inspectors stop communicating to either the client, or the clients agent etc. when in a situation such as this, there could have been a lot less headache and stress if the inspector would have just communicated those observations to you or someone else while at the inspection to be able to rectify the situation if at all possible right then and there, whatever that might mean at the time. It should be as simple as that, right? I mean the "findings" werent even findings to begin with, and so if that can be figured out before everyone leaves, wouldn't that make things more efficient and accurate when the report is done? I know it does because that is how I approach all of my hhome inspections.
Also, was the inspector certified? The funny thing is, it is typically not required to have any kind of certifications in most states to perform as a home inspector, in many states a license is all it takes. As such, you want to make sure any inspector you work with is certified through an accredited certifying body such as NACHI or ASHI. You can learn more about the importance of hiring certified inspectors in another article I wrote here.
Well, I hope that was of some use to you. Cheers and have a great rest of the day!

Advertisement


Last edited by Leo G; 06-23-2019 at 02:13 PM. Reason: removed link
Jarrett.SPSI is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New home inspector in upstate New York Apizur New Member Introductions 7 02-19-2013 09:40 AM
Home Improvement Salesman Reveals Dirty Sales Secrets in New Tell-All Book Grumpy Roofing 3 04-28-2011 07:49 PM
Illinois Mechanics Lien Forms and Instructions Ed the Roofer Business 4 02-23-2008 08:58 PM
Home Inspection Nightmares | Photos Cole General Discussion 13 10-05-2007 08:26 PM
Proposals...... AAPaint Painting & Finish Work 3 08-25-2007 08:47 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?