electrical inspection: I think you need to be a groupie… Grouping of conductors in MWBC - 12/04/14 06:19 PM
I think you need to be a groupie… Grouping of conductors in MWBC- Wenatchee Home Inspections
It is very common to find multiwire branch circuits (MWBC) in homes, especially newer homes.  A multiwire branch circuit is where you have two or more hot/line conductors (ungrounded conductors) sharing a common neutral (grounded conductor).
We can argue the merits of this type of wiring in residential, you find those who like them and those who do not.
But as home inspectors and electrical inspectors it often hard to tell if  the hot conductors (ungrounded conductors) have been properly landed on … (11 comments)

electrical inspection: Upstream and Downstream. We all scream….. AFCI - 06/21/14 07:52 AM
Upstream and Downstream. We all scream….. AFCI Chelan Home Inspections
Okay we don’t all scream, but many do. The 2014 NEC is moving one step closer to the eventual goal of whole house AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection. As a home inspector in Washington State we are required to report the location of any inoperative or missing GFCI and/or AFCI devices when they are recommended by industry standards. So keeping up on these new rules is very important.
In review some of the new requirements I had some questions on AFCI protection.  The code provides 6 ways to … (16 comments)

electrical inspection: Shocking….Electrical Inspections - 05/15/14 06:57 AM
Shocking….Electrical Inspections
Maybe one of the most important components of a home that needs to be evaluated during a home inspection is the electrical system and its various components.

Per Washington State Standards of practice  (Home Inspection SOP )
“The inspection of the electrical system includes the service drop through the main panel; subpanels including feeders; branch circuits, connected devices, and lighting fixtures.”
Some of the specifics in which we are to report; Any circuit breaker panel or subpanel known within the home inspection profession to have safety concerns, the location of any inoperative … (5 comments)

electrical inspection: Hitting for the cycle, Electrical wiring for the boys of summer. - 04/18/14 05:54 AM
Hitting for the cycle, Electrical wiring for the boys of summer. Chelan Real Estate Inspections
Well spring is here and many homeowners think they can be electricians. Hey the proof is in the pudding, it all works it must be right? Wrong!!! Though it may still all work it really is not right. We have rules and they are there for a good reason. Just like a baseball game there has to be rules and cheating is really not look upon nicely.
So here we have a homeowner who needed some power for their AC conditioning unit. No problem … (7 comments)

electrical inspection: Coming down the Pike- New AFCI rules for 2014 - 03/17/14 08:48 AM
Coming down the Pike-  New AFCI rules for 2014
Well there is a buzz  in the electrical world with the upcoming adoption of the 2014 NEC, (on July 1, 2014 for Washington State). The big one is in regards to AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection, and now all the areas they are to cover. (Here is an article from 2012 on why AFCI protection-  Link )
But now the debate rages on about the new rules from the 2014 NEC in regards to these devices, their cost versus … (4 comments)

electrical inspection: A Whip Around- HVAC technicians and electrical work - 12/10/13 09:58 AM
A Whip Around- HVAC technicians and electrical work
The recent “Electrical Currents” (local electrical newsletter) got me thinking.
I have seen some less than professional electrical work when it comes to HVAC equipment replacement. There are some lines being crossed and/or improper work performed. Here in the State of Washington HVAC contractors can perform some electrical work when replacing a HVAC unit under a class B permit per Washington Administrative Code (WAC  296-46B-908).
This is why hiring a good HVAC contractor is critical. One who knows the rules and performs their work within the scope of their permit. … (5 comments)

electrical inspection: Bubbly is good for drinking but not for wiring. - 09/11/13 06:10 AM
Bubbly is good for drinking but not for wiring.  The dangers of loose electrical connections.
With all electrical systems heat is the enemy. When evaluating the system with in mind you may think what can cause heat. One of the main contributors to heat is resistance.
 In electrical systems you can think of pressure being applied on the charge (amps) as Voltage. How difficult or how much friction it is to push that charge along as being resistance.
So using the old water analogy we have more friction/resistance pushing water through a long narrow pipe (long runs of light gauge … (5 comments)

electrical inspection: Getting Horizontal- Better in bed than your electrical panel - 07/30/13 05:58 AM
Getting Horizontal- Better in bed than your electrical panel
Chelan and Leavenworth Home Inspection Services
So I had a recent home inspection and found an interesting installation of the main electrical panel. It was in the horizontal position. This is an odd installation for sure. No offense to our neighbors up north (they allow horizontal installations) but this is weird installation for the us down south. It even had an electrical inspection sticker on it but this indicates some messing around happened after the inspection.

Here is the catch for us in US, electrical panels can … (25 comments)

electrical inspection: We need a Home Run, no it better be two… SABC - 06/17/13 06:34 AM
We need a Home Run, no it better be two… SABC
Wenatchee and Chelan Real Estate Inspections
Ah the land of home inspections is so much fun… it really is. I love to learn and think about this profession I now enjoy.
I also love history, so some of these items that we evaluate when performing home inspection are curious to me.
First a little terminology in … (26 comments)

electrical inspection: Baseboard Heating and Receptacle placement. - 05/22/13 07:08 AM
Baseboard Heating and Receptacle placement.                                      Chelan Home Inspection
In the land of hydropower it is common to find many variations of electric heat, from radiant ceilings to wall heater to those lovely baseboard heaters.
The most common heating and cooling is electric forced air with either a heat pump or AC unit.
Another pretty common heating component is the electric baseboard heater. There are some nice advantages to them. They are quite, easy to install and relatively cheap to purchase.

electrical inspection: Are you a flip flopper? Zinsco Breaker and Bus Design - 04/20/13 06:18 AM
Are you a flip flopper? Zinsco Breaker and Bus Design Wenatchee and Chelan Building Inspection
Well if you have been following me you know that I am not a big fan of the Zinsco panels and breakers.
I have many reasons for this, one is it may just burn your house down. I know that seems a little strong but hey I did not design these things. And when you have a garbage design, I get to say so!
When I see a Zinsco panel during a home inspection I let my clients know that in my professional … (21 comments)

electrical inspection: We are so alike yet we are Dissimilar, Copper and Aluminum wires. - 04/11/13 08:31 AM
We are so alike yet we are Dissimilar, Copper and Aluminum wires. Wenatchee Home Inspections
Ah the things we will see during a home inspection.
Here we have another one of those things that you must be aware, terminating copper and aluminum conductors under a common lug or commonly called double lugged or even more commonly called double tapped.
Copper and aluminum are considered dissimilar metals and as such special precautions must be adhered to. They should not touch.

Conductors of dissimilar metals must not be intermixed in a terminal or splicing connector where physical … (9 comments)

electrical inspection: Before and After- Cleaning up the mess after the electrical inspection. - 03/19/13 05:55 AM
Before and After- Cleaning up the mess after the electrical inspection. Chelan and Leavenworth Real Estate Inspections
As home inspectors we see a lot of dubious wiring practices, mostly by DIY’ers. Many people think it is easy to do wiring but do not understand many of the nuances and safety issues that go with performing electrical installations.
Here in the State of Washington you need to get a permit to do almost any electrical wiring other than changing a receptacle or light fixture. There really is good reason for this.

Here is an example of why it is good to hire a professional … (10 comments)

electrical inspection: Lights out- Three way switches - 02/27/13 05:53 AM
Lights out- Three way switches. Wenatchee and Quincy WA Home Inspection services.
One thing I try to do during a home inspection is to test that the 3 (and 4 or 5) way light switches have been wired correctly, or should I say working correctly (I actually do not see the wiring).
It is not all that uncommon to find that someone has not performed this correctly, mainly in older homes.
This seems to be one of those items that can confuse many DIY’ers. It … (11 comments)

electrical inspection: Change your panel, Change your life. - 02/17/13 06:45 AM
Change your panel, Change your life. Wenatchee and Chelan Home Inspection Services.
We rarely think about it. It serves us every day.  It is the largest safety device in your home but most do not appreciate what is does.
It is your electrical service panel. It is the heart of the home electrical system and is in essence the heart of our modern lifestyle.
If you went to your main service panel and shut off the main breaker what would your life be in your home? No lights, no heat, no cooking, no TV so on… and so on.
As a home inspector I had … (38 comments)

electrical inspection: Missing knock out plug, no big deal… maybe? - 01/13/13 05:57 AM
Missing knock out plug, no big deal… maybe?    Wenatchee and Quincy Home Inspection Services
Ah another tale from the traveling home inspector.
One of the things we do is to provide safety information. Many times people think it may be not that important or relevant. And for them it may not be. We all live with risk on a daily basis.
On this particular home inspection I was letting my client know that the electrical panel was missing some knock-outs in the panel and that they should have proper plugs installed.

electrical inspection: You must mend the bend- Service entrance conductors - 01/02/13 06:30 AM
You must mend the bend- Service entrance conductors  
When entrance wires come into a panel there are requirements for the installation. One of the issues with older panels is that the gutter systems (the space in the panel) are smaller than what is required by today’s standards. During the home inspection I will examine the installation of the wiring in these older systems for potential issues.Older wiring systems always should be scrutinized more carefully.Wiring actually has bend radius requirements. Over bent wiring may cause excessive heat at the bend of the wires and can cause stress on a connection.

electrical inspection: The Mark of Spark- Wire markings - 12/30/12 04:49 AM
The Mark of Spark- Wire markings Chelan and Quincy Home InspectionsWire shmire, yeah… yeah… yeah. It all can carry the juice (electricity) right?Well it can but there are many different types of wires and they are marked to designate what and where the wires can be used.Here we have some wires that are being sent to a detached building (like the conduit and conduit termination, that’s another issue ; ).
                                         Most homeowners choose to run the electrical feed underground to detached … (18 comments)

electrical inspection: Trippin’- Locked on Circuit Breakers - 11/16/12 05:56 AM
Trippin’- Locked on Circuit Breakers                      Wenatchee Home InspectionsSometimes you have a conversation and you go… DUH!In a recent conversation with the infamous Mr. Buell the question of can you lock a breaker in the “ON” position by locking the handle?  Meaning can you interfere with the trip mechanism.I had to think… (really I was not thinking).  Well I should have known the answer without thinking… but such are those brain farts.

electrical inspection: Loosey Goosey Receptacles - 11/12/12 06:20 AM
Loosey Goosey Receptacles-  Wenatchee and Chelan Home InspectionsHow things look in a home are very important, details, details…right!Then we have form over function.  An Item I find quite often during a home inspection, and really is such a simple fix, is loose receptacles. You know what I mean they are loosey goosey on the wall. When I stick my tester into them they squirm like a worm.
                     So you say… what is the big deal? The deal is over time this can cause the connections to become loose. A loose connection … (3 comments)

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