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ASHI has removed the requirement for reporting the presence of aluminum wiring from their SOP. The arguments put forth have merit as there isn't any other defective material reporting requirement, so why single out aluminum wiring as the single defective material; it's no different than, say, orangeburg pipe.

Secondary rebuttals to the folks (me and another guy) questioning the removal directly implied it's really not a significant danger, and in the case of #8 single strand AL wiring, not a danger at all.

What about it? Are we mopes for reporting this? Or, is it really something folks think customers should be informed of?

FTR, my license says I have to report it, so I will. I'm just curious why now, after years of fervor over aluminum wiring, it's now determined to be a very minor to nonexistent concern.

Thoughts?

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I report it when I find it! I understand the reasoning from the committee but do not agree with it. The various SOP's in our profession are becoming more of a list of items inspectors do not need to do or look at! So much for consumer protection! IMVHO, an SOP should benefit the consumer as much as it does the inspector and we are moving further away from this type of balance.

Too many folks in our profession hide behind their SOP and use it as the end all template for an inspection when it couldn't be further from it.

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I'm with Scott. There was this article posted a while back about a renegade inspector from New Orleans that anomalously griped to a news studio about the SOP not requiring inspectors to report asbestos, mold and something else I can't remember. There was a big backlash among the local HI community and a wild angry hunt for the identity of that inspector but quietly, I agreed with him. We can and should report apparent mold growth and other things.

Point is: SOP shouldn't make us all into a bunch of item-inspectors.

I'm surprised ASHI took this turn. Most news about them is bad. This one is good.

Marc

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I'm with Scott. There was this article posted a while back about a renegade inspector from New Orleans that anomalously griped to a news studio about the SOP not requiring inspectors to report asbestos, mold and something else I can't remember. There was a big backlash among the local HI community and a wild angry hunt for the identity of that inspector but quietly, I agreed with him. We can and should report apparent mold growth and other things.

Point is: SOP shouldn't make us all into a bunch of item-inspectors.

I'm surprised ASHI took this turn. Most news about them is bad. This one is good.

Marc

Marc, ASHI has not made any changes at this time..

They(the Standards Committee) just put the SOP's out for public comment... Once this is done it will go before the board of directors and if they then agree(2/3 vote) with the changes it will then be sent to the membership for a vote. It is not an easy process to get a change like this approved..

About as quick as this could get out to the membership for a vote would be this fall and then if it passes it would be next year before the changes are enacted.

I'm curious as to what "bad news" you are referring about?

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The presence of Al wiring is a red flag to insurance providers and is one of the items they will ask the HO about before providing the insurance coverage. Ignoring it in a home inspection report and leaving the client unable to answer this NB question would be poor service, no?

I will sometimes make a distinction for the sake of my clients between the larger gauge stranded Al, which is common, and the solid Al branch circuits. The insurance people rarely never make that important distinction.

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Marc, ASHI has not made any changes at this time..

They(the Standards Committee) just put the SOP's out for public comment... Once this is done it will go before the board of directors and if they then agree(2/3 vote) with the changes it will then be sent to the membership for a vote. It is not an easy process to get a change like this approved..

About as quick as this could get out to the membership for a vote would be this fall and then if it passes it would be next year before the changes are enacted.

I'm curious as to what "bad news" you are referring about?

I get most of my education on the societies from this forum and I trust that education. ASHI comes under discussion here from time to time that nearly always tends to discredit ASHI. It's the reason I don't join and can't see myself ever doing so.

ASHI makes a presence locally and while I know a few that are good inspectors, there's many others that also boast ASHI membership at the top of their lungs, wearing the ASHI logo on their shirts, hats and badge that I wouldn't hire to inspect my doghouse.

JMHO. Everyone's different.

Marc

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Marc, ASHI has not made any changes at this time..

They(the Standards Committee) just put the SOP's out for public comment... Once this is done it will go before the board of directors and if they then agree(2/3 vote) with the changes it will then be sent to the membership for a vote. It is not an easy process to get a change like this approved..

About as quick as this could get out to the membership for a vote would be this fall and then if it passes it would be next year before the changes are enacted.

I'm curious as to what "bad news" you are referring about?

I get most of my education on the societies from this forum and I trust that education. ASHI comes under discussion here from time to time that nearly always tends to discredit ASHI. It's the reason I don't join and can't see myself ever doing so.

ASHI makes a presence locally and while I know a few that are good inspectors, there's many others that also boast ASHI membership at the top of their lungs, wearing the ASHI logo on their shirts, hats and badge that I wouldn't hire to inspect my doghouse.

JMHO. Everyone's different.

Marc

Marc, just a word of advice... You can't believe everything that is on the Internet and all professional associations regardless of the profession have members that are not always reflective of that organization.

It has been my experience that a good percentage of the discussion board members tend to be anti-association for various reasons. On the other hand we have many TIJ members we see some value in belonging to a professional organization.

To each their own but using a broad brush stroke opinion based on Internet hearsay is not a good way to gain respect or make friends, just saying...

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ASHI's current SOP requires the reporting of "solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring." That is a mistake, since solid conductor 8 AWG aluminum wire is manufactured today with the AA 8000 series alloy and is perfectly fine.

A more important distinction than solid/stranded is the type of alloy, and whether it is the older AA-1350 type conforming to ASTM B 230, or the post-1971 AA-8000 series conforming to ASTM B 800. Even if the date of the system is uncertain, there are ways to tell if a sample of the wire can be extracted for field testing.

There is a lot to the issue of aluminum wire, and I think that much of the existing published material has oversimplified the issue. Warning - shameless plug coming - We devoted 8 pages to the topic in the latest edition of Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings, and if I had to simplify it I would say that each case is different. Even houses with the old alloy might be OK in applications such as home runs on multiwire circuits.

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At the same time they're taking out AL branch wiring, they propose to insist we run the dishwasher.

Both bad ideas in my opinion.

I'm going to continue to report AL branch wiring.

John - whether or not you report it is not the same thing as whether or not it belongs in the standards. I think Kurt's point, and his example with orangeburg, is that the standards aren't the place to try to list each and every possible defect. Think of the most common defect you find in panels, and ask yourself if it needs to be specifically mentioned in the standard, or whether it is enough to state that you inspect the panel and report defects.

There is another standard for electrical inspections - NFPA 73, The Standard for Electrical Inspection of Existing Dwellings. It is up for revision this year. Though it is much more detailed than the ASHI standards, and though the insurance industry is represented on the committee in charge of the standard, it does not currently have specific mention of aluminum wiring. Perhaps that standard should have some sort of specific requirement regarding inspection of terminations on houses with the AA 1350 alloy? We will be starting a discussion on NFPA 73 in the coming weeks, and will be soliciting your input.

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The proposed change to the ASHI standards has nothing to do with whether or not the presence of aluminum wiring is a reportable deficiency. If an inspector feels that aluminum wiring is unsafe, then he or she will still be *required* to report it. That will not change.

The proposed change simply seeks to remove the *single, one, and only place* in the standards where an inspector is required to report on a specific product.

In my opinion, that requirement is out of place in those standards.

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The proposed change to the ASHI standards has nothing to do with whether or not the presence of aluminum wiring is a reportable deficiency. If an inspector feels that aluminum wiring is unsafe, then he or she will still be *required* to report it. That will not change.

The proposed change simply seeks to remove the *single, one, and only place* in the standards where an inspector is required to report on a specific product.

In my opinion, that requirement is out of place in those standards.

An inspector's opinion seems like an unreliable guideline to me.

We are required to describe the wiring method, why not the material too? Add the plumbing material and the foundation materials if you must.

My relative in Ontario sold a house and signed a disclosure form. She was not aware of Al wiring in the home, having never worked on it in 6 years or so. So realtor said just answer No then. The buyer's home inspector missed the Al branch circuit wiring and the buyers moved in. They had a spark show in the garage and discovered the Al about 3 months later, went to court and won a cash settlement from my relative, who was completely bewildered by the whole mess. Realtor and home inspector were never implicated. She had a crappy lawyer, no doubt. But the point is, Al wiring is serious, and whether it is a problem or not, the home owners need to know about it.

Home inspectors open the panel and see it, and they are the only people who know it is there sometimes.

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An inspector's opinion seems like an unreliable guideline to me.

Is that your opinion? If so, then it must be unreliable.

We are required to describe the wiring method, why not the material too? Add the plumbing material and the foundation materials if you must.

ASHI members are required to describe those things. The proposed change won't alter that. (Has anyone in this discussion actually *read* the ASHI standards?)

My relative in Ontario sold a house and signed a disclosure form. She was not aware of Al wiring in the home, having never worked on it in 6 years or so. So realtor said just answer No then. The buyer's home inspector missed the Al branch circuit wiring and the buyers moved in. They had a spark show in the garage and discovered the Al about 3 months later, went to court and won a cash settlement from my relative, who was completely bewildered by the whole mess. Realtor and home inspector were never implicated. She had a crappy lawyer, no doubt. But the point is, Al wiring is serious, and whether it is a problem or not, the home owners need to know about it.

Home inspectors open the panel and see it, and they are the only people who know it is there sometimes.

And if the proposed changes go through, the ASHI standards will still require reporting it if, in the inspector's opinion, the material is deficient - just like every other deficient item that inspectors call out every day.

Right now, the ASHI standards have very broad and general reporting requirements with a single exception - aluminum wiring. The standard makes no distinction between old and new technology wiring and it makes no distinction between safe and unsafe aluminum wiring. It simply requires reporting it, no matter what. It's the only item in the standards that's treated in this way. That seems odd to me. If I were to select a single, really important thing that should be highlighted in this way, I'd have a hard time choosing, but aluminum wiring wouldn't be on the short list.

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The proposed change won't alter that. (Has anyone in this discussion actually *read* the ASHI standards?)

FTR, yes. They are distinguished in their consistency, and consistently sparse. They're almost not there anymore.

Which, from a poetic perspective is admirable, and from another, kind of embarrassing.

We have an SOP that is so minimalist, it is now almost universally accepted that if one is inspecting to the SOP, the inspection is worthless.

I've been informed my sometimes acerbic commentary on such things is possibly bruising young minds and crushing the delicate blossoms that should be nurtured instead of harangued.

So, I think I'll retreat to my defacto position of not caring too much about the ASHI Standards. I have to report to my State standards anyway....which means reporting on the presence of AL wiring, however inconsistent and pointless it may be.

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Not an expert on disclosure, but I have never seen a disclosure that meant much. Many people don't know how their house is put together. That's why there is a need for inspectors.

Because she signed the disclosure stating no Al, the judge found her guilty.

Folks, pay attention to what you are signing. If you don't know, say "I don't know".

Yes, we know there's no useful info in the PDS, but it is a signed legal document when it goes to court.

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I've been informed my sometimes acerbic commentary on such things is possibly bruising young minds and crushing the delicate blossoms that should be nurtured instead of harangued.

You have outstanding ability to be clear while using a few simple words. It's that side of you that contributed to things getting easier for me. It's that side of you I like.

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Ill conrtinue to report it because our sop sas that we shall and because i'm not a member of ashi anyway. no point in letting a cclient find out the hard way that the small savings they;d hope to realize by buying a less=than-perfect house will now be eaten up bby hgher premiums.

sorry about the typing im on a plane wedged in between two people.

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Ill conrtinue to report it because our sop sas that we shall and because i'm not a member of ashi anyway. no point in letting a cclient find out the hard way that the small savings they;d hope to realize by buying a less=than-perfect house will now be eaten up bby hgher premiums.

sorry about the typing im on a plane wedged in between two people.

Now that would be an image worth posting here at TIJ - [:-bigeyes

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I've been informed my sometimes acerbic commentary on such things is possibly bruising young minds and crushing the delicate blossoms that should be nurtured instead of harangued.

You have outstanding ability to be clear while using a few simple words. It's that side of you that contributed to things getting easier for me. It's that side of you I like.

OK. Thanks. There's the other side, though.....

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