Electrical

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Citizen’s Four-Point Inspections: New Form, New Price

Citizen’s has come out with a revised Four-Point Inspection form. Insurance agents are supposed to only accept this form as of September 1, 2018.  In order for our client’s to have this form by that time, we will begin using the new form July 1, 2018. This gives 60 days for anyone to close and have the new form on hand.

The new forms asks for much more information than the previous form. In addition to everything the old form asked for, inspectors are now required to test most of your household appliances for a four-point inspection, report any visible signs of leaks on the ceilings or in the attic, take photos of each slope of the roof and each side of the home. Due to the increase in time to gather information and the increase in time to report the information, the price of this form must increase as well.

 

The Dangers of DIY Electricians

Here we see an electrical panel that at first glance looks professional.  The wiring is neat.  The wires are bent and terminate properly.  Upon closer examination, we see where a circuit has been added for an additional outlet in the garage.  This was obviously not done by a professional licensed electrical contractor.

The wiring for the additional circuit was not done by adding a breaker even though there was room in the panel. Instead, the wiring was added directly to the main buss of the panel.

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You can see the two wires screwed directly to the buss bars.  This essentially created a 220 volt, 20 amp circuit that is protected only by the 150 amp main breaker.  This is very wrong and very dangerous.  This circuit could be overloaded to the point that the insulation could melt on the wiring and the wiring could get hot enough to create a fire.

 

Electrical Panel Knock-Outs

The electrician will remove the knock-outs as required for the breakers.  No more, no less.  But over the life of the home, renovations happen.  Things are added and things are removed.  If circuit breakers are removed, the empty slots should be covered up with filler plate covers. Otherwise, it is possible to poke a finger or a tool into the open slot and touch the electrical buss inside the panel. Covers are inexpensive and should be purchased to match the brand of the panel.

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These covers are easily snapped into place without having to remove the front panel of the breaker box.

 

 

 

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Circuit Breaker Panels

Who painted the breaker panel and why?  Very hard to identify wires: black for hot, white for neutral, green or bare for ground.  If they could mask off the breakers, why not mask off the whole panel?

 

Lots of fabric coated romex, including the main feed.  Older fabric coated romex had a plastic insulator that becomes brittle after it ages.  Bend the wire to make a connection and suddenly you have a large bare wire to work with (note the electrical tape on the left side).  Not safe.

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Lights in Showers

I see a lot of showers with lights in them.  Great if they are done right, but done wrong and you are looking at mixing water and electricity.

A recessed light in a wet environment has to be rated for that area. Got to your local home supply store (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) and look at the recessed lights.  The ones for the shower all have a lens between the bulb and the shower to prevent splashes from hitting the hot bulb.  One drop of water on a hot bulb and it can explode, scattering glass all over the shower.

National Electric Code says if the fixture is above the tub or shower, and within 8 ft. vertically from the top of the bathtub rim or shower threshold, the fixture must be rated for damp locations. Most ceilings are 8 feet high, with showers often having drop ceilings.

If the fixture may be subject to shower spray, it has to be rated for wet locations. These are the fixtures that look like they belong in a submarine or the pool.

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