HOME INSPECTION TRAINING PROGRAM
training module for Home Inspection
Michael W. Pederson, Architect/General Contractor
writing and inspection assignments:
Special Inspection Comments:
WARIES PO BOX 532, Edmonds, WA
98020, Ph: 800-583-5821
2003 Michael W. Pederson
Module # 7
Section of Standards:
of the Module:
1.) Standard of Practice (This standard parallels the report form)
2.) Study Guide ( A guide for future improvement and study)
3.) Focus Points and Check Points (Provides necessary guides for observing to make the report analysis, facts and findings)
4.) Sample Check list (Good for review, can be expanded)
Samples of lap top computer generated reports (in your binder.)
1.) The student is to do (1) one complete house inspection using a field or lap-top form and use the contained module from that inspection to do assignments (3) & (4) and a part of (5).
2.) Narrative writing assignment. Trains you to develop a link between the observation (eyeballs) in the mind (brain), and the written report (hands) for detailed work.
Assignment (2) does not require you to inspect any buildings.
3.) Section of the module for hand written field report. (Fill it out)
4.) Section of the module for lap top generated report form taken from your disk.
( Fill it out)
The following assignment requires you to look at 3-5 building situations.
5.) Section of the module for unsatisfactory conditions, maintenance, repairs and replacements on 3-5 buildings. (Fill it out completely, 90%. Some items may not be found.)
Before beginning this section, remember
to read the theory of the eyeballs and the brains working together. Modeling is
how you make the observation count when providing the analysis. Compare what you
see with the model, and write down the observed differences. This is the
analysis, facts and findings. Things do not look a certain way; they are a
particular way and a fact. Write them down. Use your “Focus Point and Check
Point” guides in this module. Examine the entire system thoroughly looking for
signs of alterations or repairs. Ask
the agent and owner for this information.
To develop your modeling ability you
must do your own self-education, and go look for the information about each
item. The question is, how was it supposed to be when it was built, and how does
it appear now. Report the
differences, no matter what, in the analysis.
The Electrical inspection, is considered a part of the “Home Inspection” (the actual building structure), and it is included because it is part of what the owner is purchasing, and contains many things which influence the conditions found in the building, or potential things which effect the building, negatively or positively.
inspection process is always sets of opportunities to show your client how
thorough, complete and critical you are. Doing the Electrical section is a
rigorous and dangerous exercise, which your client can easily relate too.
Therefore, you seat your client while you do this section of the inspection,
especially when you open up the panel for inspection. This comes quite naturally
since they are now done inspecting those items they are familiar with anyway and
by now would like to rest and be seated. You tell them they will be notified if
anything is found they should see. Inspect each inspection item thoroughly and
completely being very careful when inspecting the open panel. First, inspect
service entrance for a safe and solid installation. Second, inspect the panel;
it’s interiors, equipment, and wiring for proper and safe appearing
installations. Once the exterior of the panel is inspected, remove the cover
being very careful not to touch anything inside the panel. We recommend that a
flashlight be the only tool in your hand, once the cover is removed, and do not
face the panel, but stand sideways with your left hand in your pocket and to the
outside and the right side at the panel side with a flashlight in hand only to
observe the interiors. Third inspect all of the switches and receptacles you can
observe including all GFCI receptacles. Lastly check the fire and smoke
detectors for functionality if possible.
tedious and dangerous exercise will make the inspection a thorough and precise
one, and impress on your client you are a thorough and complete Home Inspector.
This is a good marketing tool and adds to convincing everyone you are the right
Risk & Liability
The most important issue is, of course,
as always, any “Life Health and Safety” item we see, which could be
identified as an existing and/or potential hazard, dangerous or an emergency
condition, or other safety oriented items in need of immediate attention. We
report these as such and as an unsatisfactory condition with urgent attention
required. They may or may not be costly to repair or replace.
In the case of the electrical inspection
it is a black and white issue. Wherever you see any evidence of amateur or
homeowner work, other than professional work with a permit and an inspection, we
report it, and request a full inspection by a qualified State licensed
electrical contractor. The next most important item is functionality, which
should always be totally useful throughout the building. Nothing should be non
functional. This prevents any homeowner or other amateur from activating any of
the non-functional equipment for some reason by hooking it up to the panel or
elsewhere and using it.
Improperly installed service entrances
may allow water to enter around the masthead or through the mast head entry if
the wires are not attached properly.
The panel may be improperly installed with inadequate stud or other form of protective methods for the wires coming and going into the panel. The panel may have no seals at the entries or the breaker openings may not be covered leaving an opening into the panel interior.
Panel interiors may be damp, wet or
overly humid causing shorts and/or breaker tripping.
The equipment may be wrong sized wires
or breakers, no grounding or lack of it at all.
The wiring may wrong size, double tapped
breakers, or mismatched wire to breakers.
Visible wiring throughout the building
may not be in proper conduit or properly placed.
Switches and receptacles may be mis-wired
or arcing and/or non functional.
GFCI equipment may be mis-wired or
arcing and/or non functional.
Smoke detectors may not work.
All of the above items may be
unsatisfactory and require expensive consultations, maintenance, repairs or
replacements, so do not overlook them. Remember that the cost of these
conclusions is usually the deciding factor for the consumer. Therefore be sure
to recommend they consult other specialists and experts, who are qualified state
licensed individuals or companies, for their opinions and/or remedies, before
Review the enclosed material, inspect
one house, fill out a report form, and then fill out 1.) the writing exercises,
2.) the field form, 3.) the lap top form, and 4.) the section of the module for
unsatisfactory conditions, maintenance, repairs and replacements. Use the
directions found with the report forms and the binder.
The writing exercise is very important
for developing the noted relationships in your mind, with the written word. This
training creates standard patterns of thinking and developing patterns for
writing. This in turn develops your efficiency to write with ease, with clarity,
without any hesitation, and to understand the repetitive nature of this system.
The field report forms demonstrate how
efficient your ability to briefly state things should be, because you have
The lap top forms demonstrate how
efficient your ability to briefly state things can be, but provides room to be
more descriptive and explain things more clearly.
The section of the module for
unsatisfactory conditions, maintenance, repairs and replacements develops your
sensitivity to each conclusion and what it actually means.
Complete this module and send back to me
with any of the individual whole house report assignments.
Please use a hand held tape recorder to do the house inspections and take notes. Then return to your office and create the reports. This method will develop your skill much faster than doing it in the field where it will be clumsy and you cannot focus and develop your writing skills.
INSPECTION TRAINING PROGRAM
STANDARDS OF PRACTICE
Required duty: Identify,
provide an opinion and make any appropriate recommendation about the observable
conditions in the accessible areas of the electrical system and related items.
ITEMS EXCLUDED AND NOT INSPECTED
items, which are excluded, are observed at the site, they will be identified,
located and the exclusion shall be noted.
inspector is not required to perform the following:
POINTS WITH A CHECKPOINT SUMMARY
Incoming Power & Exterior
1. Observe any overhead or underground cables.
2. Check cable fastenings and attachment for looseness, improperly installed and unsafe support.
3. Check wiring for frayed or damaged sections, including incoming lines and from support cable into the masthead.
4. Count the number of service wires. Two is 110-volt, three is 220-volt.
5. Observe the main panel location – should be inside the building.
6. Observe any tree limbs, etc. which are overhanging, contacting or swinging against the service wires.
7. Check exterior outlets for weather protected caps.
8. Check exterior wiring for damage and whether it’s marked for exterior use (sunlight resistant).
9. Test all exterior outlets and lights.
10. Observe all fixtures that are in poor condition, hanging loose and/or missing.
the main power panel to see if it is fused or breaker.
2. Check the volt and ampere size.
3. Inspect the following:
a. Whether the panel is installed properly with an inspection certificate inside the door
b. Whether the cover is missing or loose.
c. Whether there are any missing knockout plates.
d. Whether all fuses are in place.
e. Whether the panel is clean, dry and well organized.
f. Whether there are any holes in the case, and all wire entries sealed at the holes.
g. Whether any circuits over-fused.
h. Whether branch wiring is aluminum or copper.
i. Whether there is any rust or corrosion.
j. Check for grounding and whether it is connected properly inside and outside the panel.
k. Observe whether the ground wire is properly connected to pipes or to the exterior rod.
C. Interior Outlets, Switches and Wiring
1. Check every room for properly mounted electrical outlets and switches, including cover plates.
2. Test each duplex with a circuit analyzer.
3. Observe any electrical hazards or unsafe conditions.
4. Test all GFCI outlets with a circuit analyzer and ground fault test device.
5. Be sure there are GFCI devices at all required locations near sinks, washing machines and other water sources.
6. Observe each room for number of outlets.
7. Observe the house wiring type (knob and tube wiring or other wire)
8. Check for poorly mounted fixtures, etc.
9. Check for any extension cords being used as additional outlets, and which may or may not pass through walls.
10. Observe all visible wiring for cracking or loss of insulation.
11. Check whether all visible wiring exposed to possible damage is covered with metal conduit. Note: Garbage and electric water tanks, for examples.
12. Inspect all visible wiring in basements and attics for open junction boxes, visible and exposed wire splices, long unsupported sections, installations which are unprofessional, unsafe or hazardous, and any knob and tube wiring buried in insulation.
NOTE: Test all switching for function and identify their use to be sure they are working properly.
Focus Point Identification & Terminology
1. Identify exterior service, service entry and grounding components
2. Identify panel boxes, their components, types and arrangements
3. Identify distribution systems, their components, types and arrangements
4. Identify service voltage and amperage
5. Identify wiring components, types, materials, uses and installations
6. Identify wiring methods and cable installations, switching and outlets
7. Identify circuit over current protection, breakers, fuses, fuse stats, GFCI
8. Identify grounding components, types, materials, uses and installations
Unsatisfactory Conditions Recognition, and Analysis and Relationship to Public Safety (Conditions needing maintenance, repairs and/or replacements)
1. Service at street & wires, recognize regular or irregular, installations, sag, attachments, clearances and height above ground.
2. Service entry and meters, recognize regular or irregular installations, meter box size, building attachment, clearances and height above ground.
3. Grounding, recognize regular or irregular installations, rods and piping etc. with attachments.
4. Panel boxes, recognize regular or irregular installations, quantity, location and clearances, penetrations, appropriateness of use, physically sealed and signs of overheating and damage.
5. Distribution systems, recognize regular or irregular, installations, “J” box types, wire type and location, exposure, appropriateness of use and physically sealed and signs of overheating and damage.
6. Service voltage and amperage, recognize whether the meter base, amperage and panel size match.
7. Wiring, recognize regular or irregular, types, installations, locations, protections and exposures.
8. Wiring methods, recognize regular or irregular, types, installations, locations, protections and exposures.
9. Over current protection, recognize regular or irregular, installations, types and devices and signs of overheating and damage.
10. Grounding, recognize regular or irregular, installations, types and metal to metal devices.
Systems Functions and Operations
1. Understand service entry and grounding requirements and public SAFETY.
2. Understand panel box types and their uses and public SAFETY.
3. Understand distribution systems and public SAFETY.
4. Understand service voltage, amperage and public SAFETY.
5. Understand wiring installations and public SAFETY.
6. Understand wiring components, switches, outlets, GFCI outlets and public SAFETY.
7. Understand circuit over current protection, breakers, fuses, fuse stats, GFCI and public SAFETY.
8. Understand grounding and public SAFETY.
Construction Methods and Materials
1. Understand service installation and arrangements
2. Understand panel box installation and multiple arrangements
3. Understand the installation of distribution and wire systems
4. Understand service voltage and amperage and how it is used
5. Understand the installation of wiring, switching and outlets including how neutral and grounding works
6. Understand the installation of circuit over current protection grounding and bonding
7. Understand the installation of grounding components and how it is used
8. Understand the installation of conductors and relationship to over current devices
9. Understand electrical theory, grounding and current flow
Electrical – Exterior
Poor drip loop Correct/possible water entry
Damaged duct seal Reseal/possible water to service panel
No/faulty/missing GFI outlets Add/repair as necessary
No/damaged/older outlets Consider adding/repairing/updating
Exposed unprotected wiring Correct
Lamp cord wiring Replace with proper wiring
Loose service entrance/service head Repair as necessary
Poor clearances as shown Correct
Damaged/frayed service cables Consult with an electrician
Older service cable Anticipate updating
Minimal circuits Add more circuits as needed
No ground fault circuits Add where needed as discussed
Open junction boxes Provide covers
Exposed splices/wiring Put in junction boxes
Poorly hung wires Hang properly
Over-fusing Reduce fuse/breaker size
Double-tapped circuits Single up circuits if necessary
Use of lamp cord wiring Wire correctly
Older 2-slot outlets Update to grounded 3-slot outlets
Minimal outlets in house Add more outlets as needed
Need De-oxy gel on aluminum wire Apply gel where needed
Older wiring Update/upgrade wiring as needed
Reversed-polarity outlets Update/upgrade wiring as needed
Loose outlets/switches Tighten up
Water/corrosion in service panel Correct for leaks or condensation
Visible defects/deficiencies Correct as needed
Older system/components Update/upgrade as needed
Need upgrading/updating Hire a licensed electrician
Some inaccessible areas Check if possible
Possible homeowner wiring Follow up with an electrician
Open knockouts in panel Seal up
Open fuse slots Add fuses
Possible code violation Check with a licenses electrician
Published in the United States of America 2004 Ó by NARIES,
The National Association of Real Estate Inspection and
part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by means electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording
or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the publisher.