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ASTM standard for 40 year old electrical parts


randynavarro
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Hi,

Are you sure it was an ASTM document that addressed it? CPSC did a study in 1987 that identified significant issues with homes that were more than 40 years old and as a result of that asked the Fire Protection Research Foundation to do a study. That results of that study were just published and can be found here. This should be required reading for anyone getting into this business; especially those who are minimizing issues with wiring in older homes in order not to upset the referring realtor's applecart.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If I did an inspection tomorrow, and the house were 40-50+ years old, I'd cite the report and tell the customer that the electrical system needs a good going-over, and he shouldn't be surprised if the house needs a total re-wire. IMHO, this report will trump bubbas and bucketheads.

Maybe that's a bit contradictory.

Unless the electrician that's doing the going over adheres to the findings of the report, will it do any good?

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Originally posted by hausdok

Hi,

Are you sure it was an ASTM document that addressed it? CPSC did a study in 1987 that identified significant issues with homes that were more than 40 years old and as a result of that asked the Fire Protection Research Foundation to do a study. That results of that study were just published and can be found here. This should be required reading for anyone getting into this business; especially those who are minimizing issues with wiring in older homes in order not to upset the referring realtor's applecart.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Very interesting report found at that link.. No mention of FPE breaker panels, however.

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Boy, electrical can get complicated. (semi-colon?) AFCI, GFI, GFCI, bonding, FPE, Zinsco, knob and tube, aluminum, grounding, sub-panels, mystery gauges, ampacity and voltage, EMF, counterfeit breakers, unique cover fasteners, magic, etc....

Wonder what they are teaching in the inspector schools these days.

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Here's my problem with it........

My whole gig is focused around de-mystifying the house. Start putting references in allowing as to how 99.9% of the houses of the houses I look at are fire hazards, and it just got a whole lot more complicated; I'd see customers recoiling away from seeking knowledge; can't have that......

If I started referencing all the studies and information I have, no one would ever want a house. They would have no contextual framework for even beginning to understand all of it.

Honestly, I'm bananas about GFCI upgrade advice, interlinked smoke detectors up the wazoo, and checking out what can be reasonably checked out in an electrical system (which, once more honestly, ain't shit, SOP's and then some) during an HI.

After that, if I can see specifics, they get reported with a photo, notation, and an arrow.

I just don't see old houses bursting into flame all the time, or folks getting hurt, and all I do is look at old houses in a super dense urban environment. Where's the other statistic that tells us degree of hazard?

There isn't one. We have to be afraid of everything.

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I focus my gig on providing information. Hopefully information that's useful, hepful, and relevant.

If I came across a 1920's bungalow that was never remodeld, and impecabbly maintained I likely wouldn't tell the folks to replace all the old K & T. I still give 'em the info. though. Can't fight thermodynamics - things tend toward decay.

Trouble is, I've yet to across one of those dandy bungalows. They've been made bigger, better and being Seattle, everyone has to have their espresso machines. Chances are that K & T has been butchered and over-worked.

It's a fine line; providing relevant information and telling folks they have to be afraid of everything.

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See, that's what I'm talking about.

I love it when I find stuff like that. Love it. Then, I can hammer the whole system in my report, and throw in the NFPA stuff as reference backup.

My internal contradiction is when I don't find the obvious nastiness, and the house is simply older. I have a hard time telling folks it's all screwed up and dangerous just 'cuz it's old.

I'm an information provider too, but given the volumes of information I can level at a customer, I have to be careful of what I get into. Every house can turn into a never ending disaster in the eyes of the well informed HI.

Ohhhh, the humanity..........

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Good discussion of a real issue we face everyday. If I don't find the kind of obvious, screwed-up stuff that makes hammering easy, I usually go with some variation of "It all looks okay for now, BUT....". I feel have to tell 'em it's outdated, getting older, is more likely to have problems as time goes on, and that someday someone will have to replace all that antique stuff, but I don't think calling for an electrician to come out and do what I just did for another fee is really helping my client in that situation.

Brian G.

Lots of Grey, Not So Much Black & White [:-magnify

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