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Panel and wiring issues ...


Ron Smith
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I found these in the 1983 house I inspected Thursday. The panel is located in the Master Bathroom downstairs. I couldn't take the cover off, because the newly painted wall had paint up over the edges of the cover and when I tried to remove it, you could see where the paint would peel away. Inaccessible. I explained in my report the NEC standards since 1993 and recommended and electrical contractor look at it. The other picture is from the crawlspace and all of the wiring and gas lines coming through a very ragged hole. I recommended them having an electrical contractor look at it and evaluate.

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Ron,

Carry a utility knife with you. Score the edges before removing the cover. Sometimes you have to cut the paint off to get the cover off.

I alway tell the seller or the agent what I have to do, if they have a problem with possible damage, I explain there may be an additional charge if I have to come back; then they agree to let me do it.

Darren

http://www.aboutthehouseinspections.com

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That's what I do as well. I carry a utility knife with a tip that breaks off so it's easy to keep sharp. It's a pain in the *ss and you have to be like a surgeon, but I never get complaints about it. The only time I don't go into a panel is when there are fully loaded shelves or trim covering it.

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Ron, I had one the other day that was caulked and recessed into the drywall. The spackle is a lot easier to deal with. It took me about 15-20 minutes just to get the cover off without tearing the drywall paper. Realtor and buyer said they never saw an inspector spend so much time as I did on the panel box. I think they meant to say they appreciated how careful and thorough I was...

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Originally posted by Ron Smith

I found these in the 1983 house I inspected Thursday. The panel is located in the Master Bathroom downstairs. I couldn't take the cover off, because the newly painted wall had paint up over the edges of the cover and when I tried to remove it, you could see where the paint would peel away. Inaccessible.

Personally, I wouldn't consider that inaccessible. As everyone else has said, a little careful knife work can get you through the paint with little or no damage. At the prices I charge, my clients would be understandably ticked off if I let a couple of layers of paint get between them and a full understanding of their electrical service panel.

I explained in my report the NEC standards since 1993 and recommended and electrical contractor look at it.

Why? You've just told the buyer to spend $80 on an electrician. For what purpose? What's he going to see that you can't? The panel was allowed there then. It isn't now. What new information is he going to bring to the table?

The other picture is from the crawlspace and all of the wiring and gas lines coming through a very ragged hole. I recommended them having an electrical contractor look at it and evaluate.

I don't understand what that's going to achieve. If you see something that you know is a problem, why not recommend that it be corrected instead of "evaluated." After all, an electrician installed that mess. Is it really in the client's best interest to have another electrician (or possibly the same one) evaluate it?

On the other hand, if you see something that isn't a problem, why spend your client's money needlessly?

Also, I don't see the gas lines your talking about. Are they outside the frame of the picture?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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