Looksmart Home Inspections | Professional Home inspection services for New Jersy | License Number : 24GI00058700

Electrical panel inspections

Comments off
By : John Martino | In : Home Inspections

Electrical panel boxes contain circuit breakers or fuses that act as over current protection devices for the electrical circuits that are installed in the home. If electrical current exceeds the capacity of the wire to carry it safely the circuit breaker will trip and stop electrical current from flowing. This can help to avoid a house fire and electrical shock.

One of the most dangerous aspects of performing home inspections in New Jersey is removing the electrical panel box cover. There have been instances where home inspectors have been seriously hurt or even killed.

Home Inspectors in New Jersey must be cognizant that the electrical panel box inspection is dangerous. Home inspectors must be calm and practice careful deliberate movements. Home inspection clients should never remove the electrical panel box covers themselves. Removal of the panel box covers should be left to trained professionals.

Before the cover is removed Home Inspectors in New Jersey should establish the following:
Are the floors wet? Home inspectors should never touch an electrical panel if there is a wet floor.
Does the panel box appear wet, is there water dripping from the panel? If the panel is wet then the box should not be opened.
Is the panel box rusted. Rusted panels are an indication that moisture problems may exist.
Home inspectors should make sure that they have an escape path away from the panel box.

New Jersey home inspectors should check for the following defective conditions during an electrical panel inspection: (not an all inclusive list)

Lack of clearance. According to the 2008 National Electrical Code, residential electrical panels require at least a 3-foot clearance or working space in front, 30 inches of width, and a minimum headroom clearance of 6 feet, or the height of the equipment, whichever is greater. If obstacles would make it unsafe for you to inspect the service panel, you should not inspect it.

One of the most important aspects of the electrical inspection is to identify the presence of aluminum branch circuit wiring

Panel box cover screws must have blunt ends so they do not damage the wires inside the panel box. Look for wires that pass too closely to the screw openings inside the electrical panel.

Home inspectors should look for proper sizing of circuit breakers.

Inspectors should look for rusting or corrosion in the panel box which is a sign that water infiltration may be taking place.

Electrical panels manufactured by Zinsco or Federal Pacific Electric (FPE). These panels have a poor reputation and further evaluation by a qualified electrical contractor is recommended. Zinsco panels can generally be identified by a blue and silver “Zinsco” label inside the panel, and an embossed “Magnetrip” label at the top of the panel face.

John Martino (64 Posts)

LookSmart Home Inspections, LLC is owned and operated by John Martino. He has successfully performed over 3000 inspections for clients throughout northern and central NJ and has an exemplary track record of customer satisfaction. Mr. Martino completed a 300-hour approved NJ Home Inspector training program and was mentored by one of the most respected names in NJ home inspections. He continues to attend over 30 hours of continuing education classes each year.


Comments are closed.

Buying a house is one of life’s biggest decisions. Before you close, you’ll want a professional inspection of the house to ascertain its true condition. John Martino is a formally trained New Jersey home inspector and member of the American Society of Home Inspectors...ReadMore