Inspection Includes: Service entrance & masthead Main panel and subpanels (if any) Branch circuit wiring Junction boxes, outlets & fixtures
National Electric Code Governs all electrical installations for both commercial and residential NEC does NOT require updating to older homes with new code revisions The MOST important aspect of the electrical inspection is to be on alert for SAFETY HAZARDS
Required to Inspect Service entrance Main distribution panel Branch circuit wiring GFCIs within 6 ft of interior plumbing fixtures Polarity & grounding of representative number of interior receptacles and ALL carport receptacles
Not Required to Inspect Low voltage systems Telephone, security, cable TV, intercoms or other ancillary wiring DO NOT: Insert tool, probe or testing device inside panel Test or operate overcurrent devices except GFCIs Dismantle any electrical device or control other than to remove main panel cover
Inspecting Service Entrance Service entrance Overhead or undergroundOverhead or underground Secure attachment to houseSecure attachment to house Copper, aluminum, or copper-clad aluminumCopper, aluminum, or copper-clad aluminum Amperage 60A (round meter base), 100A (square meter base), or 200A (rectangular meter base)Amperage 60A (round meter base), 100A (square meter base), or 200A (rectangular meter base) By today's standards, 100-amp service is considered minimal service.By today's standards, 100-amp service is considered minimal service.
Service Drop & Masthead If service comes in below roof level, it must be at least 3’ from windows If service comes in above roof level, it must be at least 3’ above roof Service wires must: Be 12’ above driveways At least 10’ above ground At least 8’ above a flat roof & 18” above roof ridges
Voltage Rating Service drops: Number of wires going to masthead indicates voltageNumber of wires going to masthead indicates voltage Three wires with one tied back & two entering = 120 VThree wires with one tied back & two entering = 120 V Three wires entering = 240VThree wires entering = 240V
Service Panel Check box for heat. Don’t open of warm..cause for immediate concern. If OK remove cover: Inspect for any “tapping before the main” …SAFETY HAZARD If no main disconnect, must be able to power down in six hand movements Inspect for properly sized wires to properly sized breakers or fuses
Wiring to Branch Circuits & Breakers AWG# COPPER COPPERCLAD AL OR ALUMINUM 18Typically lampcord wiring and low voltage applications 16Typically lampcord wiring and low voltage applications 1415 Amps 1220 Amps15 Amps 1030 Amps20 Amps 850 Amps30 Amps 665 Amps50 Amps 4100 Amps70 Amps 3110 Amps80 Amps 2125 Amps100 Amps 1150 Amps110 Amps 1/0175 Amps125 Amps 2/0200 Amps150 Amps 3/0175 Amps 4/0200 Amps
Service Panel Inspection Overview Look for signs of corrosion outside and at interior connections Look for circuit breakers that have more than one conductor attached (Double or triple tapping is normally prohibited)(Double or triple tapping is normally prohibited)
Service Panel Inspection Check for loose or unattached conductors Check wires for signs of arcing, charred metal or burnt wire insulation Evaluate cables entering box for proper protection and fastening
Main Service Panel Inspection Report wires smaller than #8 (fire hazard) Clearance around panel should be: 6-6” headroom6-6” headroom 30” all around30” all around 36” clear in front36” clear in front
Grounding Conductor Grounding releases unwanted electricity to “ground” (earth) Ground wire must come from the neutral to the plumbing system or to a steel rod driven into earth. (Both reqd since 1987) Check for continuity of plumbing and dielectric connectors!
Common Defects To Report: Recommend an Electrician Be Called Double tapped circuits Broken or cracked fixtures or outlets Melted insulation Handyman wiring Loose ceiling fans Permanently installed extension cords & temporary wiring Missing or inoperable GFCIs Oversized breakers & fuses
Safety Hazards: Report & Recommend An Electrician Be Called Masthead within reach of occupants Frayed entrance cable Tapping before main Oversized fuses or breakers System not grounded More than 6 hand movements to power down