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New service 'upgrade' and new panel


msteger
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The home I inspected this morning had a brand new service panel (installed last week) with new 100 Amp/240 Volt service. I found a box of fuses on the floor under the panel, so I am assuming the new panel replaced an old fuse box. I found no sticker from the electrician or boro inspection on the cover; many areas around here require this. None of the breakers were labeled.

I open the cover and notice only three 15 Amp branch/120 Volt circuits inside. The home was built in 1927 and had 3 bedrooms, 1 bath. Why on earth would an electrician install a new service panel and leave the home wired with only three 15 Amp branch circuits?!? The guy even ran knob and tube into the panel.. can't say I've ever seen that done. It's normally junctioned to Romex/NM and then the Romex/NM is fed into the panel.

In the report, I reported the system as "grossly inadequate for modern electrical needs" and recommend consulting a different licensed and qualified electrician to evaluate the home's electrical system and make needed upgrades for modern usage.

No 240 Volt circuits for laundry, range, A/C, etc. The home had gas appliances, but what about planning for the future?

Am I missing something?

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You are missing something.

No inspection sticker. Legit and should be mentioned in your report.

Questioning the number of circuits after a panel change is another story and a separate issue. No one has to add circuits when they change a panel or upgrade a service. If that is what the customer wants then that is what they get. No one has to upgrade the rest of a house when a panel is changed or upgraded.

If you have a problem with loading on a panel due to too many circuits or think the home needs more circuits then that too is another issue that you can put in your report. Just don't tie a new panel into automatically thinking the rest of the house has to be upgraded. If all of the appliances are gas then I don't see a problem.

You can always recommend additional circuits be added if there is a lack of receptacles in the home that has caused a problem with use of extension cords.

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In the report, I reported the system as "grossly inadequate for modern electrical needs" and recommend consulting a different licensed and qualified electrician to evaluate the home's electrical system and make needed upgrades for modern usage.

No 240 Volt circuits for laundry, range, A/C, etc. The home had gas appliances, but what about planning for the future?

Matt, the electric system isn't inadequate, just the amount of circuit wiring in the house.

Why do you need to install 240 volt circuits for a range or laundry if they're gas? Why waste money planning for the future?

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When I see knob and tube I note that in the report as I've heard of several past clients finding out late in the game that they cant insurance covered.. I know Erie, State Farm, etc. won't do knob and tube. To cover my butt and protect my clients, I report on knob and tube onsite and in the report.

Some of the rooms had no receptacles and only a ceiling light. I would call that inadequate for today's needs.

I guess the lack of 240 Volt circuits isn't really an issue, as you mention.

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I would have said exactly what Matt did, except for mentioning the lack of 240-volt circuits and recommending further evaluation by an electrician.

"Grossly inadequate for modern electrical needs," pretty much sums it up. A house simply won't function with only three 120-volt circuits. A breaker will trip whenever someone switches on a blow dryer at the same time a toaster, vacuum or whatever is being operated on the same circuit.

I realize that the house doesn't have to be upgraded along with a panel, but our customers aren't going to know if they need three circuits or twenty. Till after they move in, that is.

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Right, and I don't want to get a call after the buyer moves in and he, his wife, and 2 kids are sitting in the dark because one had a hair dryer on, one had the flat screen TV on, one was on the computer, and the 4th was playing video games and the breakers keep tripping. I have a duty to my client to warn him now of the inadequacy of that electrical system.

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Right, and I don't want to get a call after the buyer moves in and he, his wife, and 2 kids are sitting in the dark because one had a hair dryer on, one had the flat screen TV on, one was on the computer, and the 4th was playing video games and the breakers keep tripping. I have a duty to my client to warn him now of the inadequacy of that electrical system.

Howabout "limitations of the existing distribution system"

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