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Turning on breakers


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I hated to do it but I made an agent drive 20 miles one way to turn on the breakers. I do not turn on breakers that are off because they could be funcitoing properly and kicked off, or someone could be working on the house and wires be open unbeknownst to me of in this case the house had been winterized. In this case the house had been unoccupied for several years. AM I the only one or do some of you actually turn on breakers? Do you charge the buyer for a second inspection to make another trip once the realtor or someone has turned on the breakers and if so how much just to look at electrical?

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I don't turn them on either, or water or gas valves.

This gets sent along with my appointment confirmation. My client has to respond that they received this. I am doing so many foreclosures and abandoned buildings that it is becoming more and more important.

Utilities and Appliances: All utilities need to be turned on for me to do a full inspection. That means gas, water and electric. I am not allowed to light pilot lights, turn on any water valves that have been turned off, or turn on any electrical circuit breakers that are in the off position. Please contact the sellers or your real estate agent to make sure these items are all on.

Yes, I charge to go back.

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I get fewer winterized homes than most - warm rainy climate.

I often find the electric water heater turned off. If there is water pressure and water in the tank, I will turn the tank on, then make a note to remember to turn it off.

If a breaker has tripped, the handle will usually be in the half-off position.

New home recently, several breakers were off, like the outdoor outlets, because the seller had turned them off. The dishwasher breaker wouldn't reset, but hot and ground were capped with a wirenut. I tested all of the circuits and put it all back as it was when we were done.

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Ditto what Mike L. wrote.

During booking of the inspection if it is "reasonably" determined that the utilities are not on, but 'will be' ... I send my client a PDF file I prepared that goes into inspecting vacant properties with utilities turned off.

That document clarifies the definition of "ON" as the definition that my insurance company and I use is often far different than the one that the 'zoids' use. [;)]

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I won't flip any breaker on. If a breaker is off, mention of it is tagged to any non-functioning appliance, device or fixture. If power is off, I inform the client of it's impact on the inspection. I don't charge to reschedule because it rarely happens and because happy clients are my best protection against trouble.

Marc

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I hated to do it but I made an agent drive 20 miles one way to turn on the breakers. I do not turn on breakers that are off because they could be funcitoing properly and kicked off, or someone could be working on the house and wires be open unbeknownst to me of in this case the house had been winterized. In this case the house had been unoccupied for several years. AM I the only one or do some of you actually turn on breakers? Do you charge the buyer for a second inspection to make another trip once the realtor or someone has turned on the breakers and if so how much just to look at electrical?

It depends. I use my brain first.

If it's a vacant house and the range & dryer breakers are in the off position, then the overwhelming likelihood is that someone turned them off because he or she thought it was the "safe" thing to do. I turn them on, confirm that they work, and turn them off again. Never had a problem.

If it's a random single-pole breaker that's off, I might turn it on if I get permission first. Those are usually off for a good reason.

If it's a tripped breaker, I won't reset it unless I think that I'm the one who tripped it. Tripped breakers are usually tripped for a very good reason.

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Inspected a home yesterday, built in 2001, vacant, bank owned, had been winterized 8 months ago. They had someone come turn the water on and the electricity was on. Gas was turned off to the water heater and furnace, and the 15 amp breaker for the furnace was off. Temperature was 45 and supposed to go down to 30 or less here overnight, no warm up in sight. After looking everything over, I turned on the breaker, turned on the gas for the furnace, it fired up and ran fine. Turned on the gas to the water heater and lit it, ran fine. When I left I turned the gas water heater back off but left the furnace on at 50 degrees. Documented exactly what I did in the inspection report. Is this something I typically do ? Heck no. I've been told by everyone not to turn on gas or breakers, but under the right circumstances, I will. Will I get burned one day (figuratively meant), maybe. Was the calculated risk worth it to do a good inspection for my client? Well, my business, my choice.

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I do a lot of foreclose house. The power company will turn the power on to the house, but most time turn off the breaker into the house. I turn them on.

Most of the water company will turn the water on. If the meter keeps moving they will turn it off. I will turn it on after I check to see what on in the house.

The gas company will turn on everything in the house and makes sure the items lites. I will not turn the gas on to the house.

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How about the odd breaker?

I won't power up a house, but I'll turn on individual breakers from time to time.

I'd never do gas or water; that's just asking to get poleaxed. (I only do it when no one's looking.)

My last gig, the buyer de-winterized the place. He was still there draining water lines when I left.

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