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I am going to catch hell for this


pete
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Does anybody know where I can get a large volume of panel cover screws. I know we are not supposed to make any repairs but we do replace the panel cover screws if they are tapping. We have made the decision that it is to dangerous to ourselves to put tapping screws back in place. We also carry wire nuts to cap protruding unterminated wires--once again we feel we are just protecting ourselves. SOme of you will say we are taking on a huge liability and you may be correct, but someone please tell me where to get these screws. I have tried the internet and HomeDepot to no avail.

Pete

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Pete,

This liability worrying has gotten way out of line for all of us. I think you COULD be dammed if you do or dammed if you don't on this one.

I also think you have a good idea. I am going to try this too. I am just going to try to do it without client/realtor/seller knowing what I am doing. That should reduce some of the liability.

George

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George,

I actually let everyone know what I am doing. I want them to know that we are watching out for them. SOmeone will sue, but hey thats what insurance and lawyers are for.

I am going to try dougs suggestion. I keep looking in the electrical section, I will look with the fasteners.

Thans

Pete

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Pete wrote:

I actually let everyone know what I am doing. I want them to know that we are watching out for them.

Yea me too ... to a degree. My concern here is answering the question of where the line gets drawn. If I replace a panel cover screw, why didn't I replace the wall switch cover plate in the kids room? OR, why not switch the #12 GA wire on the 15 amp breaker with #14 GA on the 20 amp breaker? There was a box of furnace filters under the dirty clothes, why didn't I change the plugged filter in the furnace? I guess the what ifs are endless and a little scary (to me).

According to K/E Electric Supply, all panel cover screws are called simply "panel cover screws". The various configurations are designated by the manufacturer and model number of the panel. (I did not know that, until today)

Learning something new every day,

George

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Originally posted by pete

George,

I actually let everyone know what I am doing. I want them to know that we are watching out for them. SOmeone will sue, but hey thats what insurance and lawyers are for.

I am going to try dougs suggestion. I keep looking in the electrical section, I will look with the fasteners.

Thans

Pete

Pete,

Both Home Depot and Lowes out here have them. They're in the electrical section along with terminal bars, grounding lugs, etc. They carry only the Siemens style, but those work well on most panels. They have the balls to charge $1 each for them though.

I'm certain that you could order them through a local electrical supply house, but they'll probably have to special order them.

I collect old panels, so I have a pretty good assortment of old screws. If I'm in the mood, I replace the sharp screws I find. If not, I don't.

Another thing I've found useful is to carry an assortment of old fuseblocks.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Another thing I've found useful is to carry an assortment of old fuseblocks.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Why are you carrying the fuseblocks? We also carry foil tape and cover up other peoples holes and tell people that is a patch until properly repaired.

George--I could give you a great answer but I am sort of tired. So suffice it to say that I think we could win that one. I also think that most discussions about liability miss the NUMBER ONE reason people sue--poor customer service.

In one of my prior careers I was an innner city Paramedic and there were alot of studies that said that if you were nice to the patient you could make tons of mistakes and it never turned into a complaint. I have seen a great amount poor quality healthcare that people tolerate because the provider was polite, friendly, gave the person dignity and conversly be cold, distant, caring and you could give textbook perfect care and see a never ending tide of litigation.

Be professional, be as smart as you can, admit what you do not know and then go get the answer and deliver it promptly. Good service= happy customers...

If you are the most technically proficient inspector and you don't have what I like to call the "Dog and Pony Show" I think your career will be limited.

Pete

I think I just drifted alot..

Pete

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Originally posted by pete

Why are you carrying the fuseblocks?

Well, I have a habit of pulling the darn things out to check on them and sometimes they fall to pieces in my hand. It's nice to have a replacement handy. Now, before anyone goes chiding me about this one, I should make it clear that I don't endorse this behavior. In fact, I routinely advise other inspectors *not* to pull old fuse blocks for this very reason. However, for me and my own business, I decided long ago that this is the way I want to do things. What can I say? It's a macho thing. (Mano a Mano with the fuse block -- blood in the sand and all that.)

. . . I also think that most discussions about liability miss the NUMBER ONE reason people sue--poor customer service.

In one of my prior careers I was an innner city Paramedic and there were alot of studies that said that if you were nice to the patient you could make tons of mistakes and it never turned into a complaint. I have seen a great amount poor quality healthcare that people tolerate because the provider was polite, friendly, gave the person dignity and conversly be cold, distant, caring and you could give textbook perfect care and see a never ending tide of litigation.

Be professional, be as smart as you can, admit what you do not know and then go get the answer and deliver it promptly. Good service= happy customers...

If you are the most technically proficient inspector and you don't have what I like to call the "Dog and Pony Show" I think your career will be limited.

That's really excellent advice. I've certainly found it to be true in my own business. However, I woudn't call it a 'dog & pony show.' That implies insincerity, and it sounds from your post like you're very sincere with your clients. How about 'the common touch'?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Jim

That's really excellent advice. I've certainly found it to be true in my own business. However, I woudn't call it a 'dog & pony show.' That implies insincerity, and it sounds from your post like you're very sincere with your clients. How about 'the common touch'?

I prefer the way we characterized this idea on the other forum once..."Make them love you". If you can combine tech skills, people skills, and service they will. No doubt, great people skills can cover a world of sins.

I don't consider myself a "performer" though. After being alive for 41 years I've become comfortable enough in my own skin to just be myself (slightly restrained), and know it will be fine. Most of my time with clients is spent in "business mode", with occasional humor to keep the tension down. I treat them more or less like freinds, except I don't flirt with the ladies...t'wouldn't be professional.

Brian G.

Putting Myself Out There [:-love]

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Pete wrote;

George--I could give you a great answer but I am sort of tired. So suffice it to say that I think we could win that one.

You could win what? If you know where we all should draw the line .. PLEASE ... tell us.

Pete:I also think that most discussions about liability miss the NUMBER ONE reason people sue--poor customer service.

I am glad you live in such a wonderful place. But, I think most of us experienced inspectors have been taken aback over several frivolous claims by litigious idiots and their ambulance chasing lawyers with nothing else to do. All for clients whom we thought we had done a superb job.

Pete: In one of my prior careers I was an innner city Paramedic and there were alot of studies that said that if you were nice to the patient you could make tons of mistakes and it never turned into a complaint. I have seen a great amount poor quality healthcare that people tolerate because the provider was polite, friendly, gave the person dignity and conversly be cold, distant, caring and you could give textbook perfect care and see a never ending tide of litigation.

Be professional, be as smart as you can, admit what you do not know and then go get the answer and deliver it promptly. Good service= happy customers...

If you are the most technically proficient inspector and you don't have what I like to call the "Dog and Pony Show" I think your career will be limited.

Pete

I think I just drifted alot..

Pete

Your area obviously needs no tort reform. Most of us are not so lucky and live in a tougher world. OR, your real problem here is that you are expecting everyone that you come in contact with to be as nice and reasonalbe as you are. It just doesn't work like that. I have learned this with experience, I hope you do not have to.

Just one successful, multi-million dollar, jury award against you and you could find 6 months profits down the drain. That is indeed the potential risk here you know.

George

Trying not to take any unnecessary chances.

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George,

You say "one multi-million dollar jury award.....and six months profits down the drain". You must have one hell of a practice. I don't think I know of a single, not franchise) home inspection company that grosses in the multi-million dollar range in any given year. That's gross not profit. Did I move to Florida from Michigan too soon?

NORM

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Originally posted by Norm

George,

You say "one multi-million dollar jury award.....and six months profits down the drain". You must have one hell of a practice. I don't think I know of a single, not franchise) home inspection company that grosses in the multi-million dollar range in any given year. That's gross not profit. Did I move to Florida from Michigan too soon?

NORM

Geeze Norm,

What is wrong with one little gross exaggeration? Besides, I was told (I think once) to "lighten up". Seems like loosing 6 months of profit sounded better than "everything that you ever have or ever will earn all gone in just one jury award."

Speaking of Michigan, has the racoon poop case been resolved yet? Seems like it has been close to 2 years now. Well, as you probably know, I really don't care about the case, just the amount of the award. Did it exceed a million?

George

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Norm,

I'll see what I can find out. For some reason, I kinda thought you were following it.

Willie & Others,

Some inspector was suppose to have failed to mention that there were 300, 50 gallon bags of droppings in an attic. It made all of the local news shows and the lawyers were lining up to sue. The price tag on one news cast was 5 to 10 million dollars for clean up (tear the house down) and damages.

George

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Willie,

Talk about thread drift. We've gone from deadfront covers to racoons. At any rate, about two years ago there was an article in one of the Detroit newspapers about a family who had filed a lawsuit against a home inspector. Seem he inspected a =/- 1600 square foot two story home and issued his report which didn't mention any problems in the attic. Mind you =/- 1600 square feet translates into =/- 800 square feet in the attic (not very big). Subsequent to the closing the buyers noticed a strange odor. Further investigation revealed copious amounts of racoon feces in the attic. Also the NM cable was chewed to pieces and the insulation was destroyed by urine. George will have to help me with this, I believe the article stated they removed over 100 large plastic garbage bags of insulation and feces. It was apparant that the inspector never looked in the attic or mistook the feces for normal attic contents.

Norm Sage

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Originally posted by a46geo

Pete wrote;

George--I could give you a great answer but I am sort of tired. So suffice it to say that I think we could win that one.

You could win what? If you know where we all should draw the line .. PLEASE ... tell us.

We were talking about replacing the panel screws but not fixing a broken outlet (or something else) and I was saying that I thought I could win that dispute in court.id="blue">

Pete:I also think that most discussions about liability miss the NUMBER ONE reason people sue--poor customer service.

I am glad you live in such a wonderful place. But, I think most of us experienced inspectors have been taken aback over several frivolous claims by litigious idiots and their ambulance chasing lawyers with nothing else to do. All for clients whom we thought we had done a superb job.

id="blue">I am not sure where NY rank in the rate of Litigation, it is my impression that we are very high. In my other current career (homebuilder) I have seen a few people gesticulate as if they were going to sue--over frivolous issues and it went nowhere. Being sued is a headache no one wants but it can be a part of doing business. I am very hesitant to make business decisions based on potential suits.

Your area obviously needs no tort reform. Most of us are not so lucky and live in a tougher world. OR, your real problem here is that you are expecting everyone that you come in contact with to be as nice and reasonalbe as you are. It just doesn't work like that. I have learned this with experience, I hope you do not have to.

Just one successful, multi-million dollar, jury award against you and you could find 6 months profits down the drain. That is indeed the potential risk here you know.

George

Trying not to take any unnecessary chances.

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George,

I guess my memory served me correctly. I said over 100 bags. Didn't realize it was 300 but now you have jogged my memory and I think you are correct. As to the amount of the suit, when I left Michigan there wasn't a dwelling worth over $150,000.00. Given this was a relatively small house I would put the price at =/- $90,000.00. Punitive damages would account for the remainder.

NORM

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Norm,

Things have changed a bit since you left. To make matters worse, I think that the house in question was in Bloomfield or Birmingham. But yes, the majority of the claim is for all of the unbearable pain, horrible suffering and permanently scaring emotional trauma. Think about it, no cable TV.

George

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