Electrical Home Inspections in Ottawa
serving the Ottawa area for over 30 years!
• Report what you do see
• Report what you do not see
Bring concerns to the attention of your client.
• Only offer advice you are qualified to give
• Suggested equipment list for home inspections
Safety is the first word here I want to emphasize with you. If you are not mindful of electrical safety issues, you will not be a home inspector very long. We have all read about a careless home inspector that got electrocuted while inspecting a home. We must avoid this at all costs. Your job here is to make sure you can get to the next customer and provide the best possible service to your client. By doing that, you will always have employment, and you will be successful.
In the course of your inspections, you may be required to recommend to your client that a qualified electrician check out the defects that you have discovered. Remember this if nothing else: all problems that you identify are to be fixed or faulty equipment replaced by a qualified electrical contractor or electrician. This is the most crucial recommendation you will ever give to your client.
REPORT WHAT YOU DO SEE
You must do a competent job that satisfies not only the inspection from the point of what you see. You cannot see behind or below the concrete. You are not permitted to tear open holes in the drywall or dismantle a type of machinery. You report on what you see.
An essential part of what you see (your visual report) is the provision of photographs to your client. You need to have access to a dependable digital camera to help you document electrical problems as you move through the home. If you express concern about an issue in your final report, you should illustrate it with a photograph.
This is important for several reasons. First, photographs help educate your client about the issues which need to be addressed. It also helps your client understand what in their electrical system needs repair. When you document electrical problems with your camera, you are protecting yourself against legal claims in the future. If you can say “I found such and such issue,”
And you support that with a photograph. It will be difficult for a homeowner, client, or lawyer to say that you failed to warn them about the issue. You can also use the photographs to prove that there were issues you could not see. Problems covered up by walls or even possessions in the owner’s home.
REPORT WHAT YOU DO NOT SEE
Most importantly, you must also report on what you do not see.
What does this mean? If you do not have passage to any particular part of the structure for an inspection, you must state that in your report. Do not assume the client will understand that you did not see the mold behind the drywall, asbestos insulation on the heating pipes or cracked basement walls. You have to indicate
these things in your report. Neglecting to do so will result in potential action by lawyers and lawsuits brought against you.
BRING CONCERNS TO THE ATTENTION OF YOUR CLIENT
Concerning your inspections, it would be remiss of me not to mention that you are working for that client. If defects are discovered, your job is only to bring them to your client’s attention. Do not get involved in the sale of the house or offer advice to the client, whether you know something about it or not. The decision to buy this property is up to your client, not you. Stay out of this discussion. Why do I bring this up? Well, you may be asked, “Is this is a good buy?” or “Is the house worth the price?” You may be asked not to mention something you may find to your client. This is where the ethics of this business come into play. Your work is not that of a sales representative or a contractor; your only job is to perform a home inspection. Do the job you were hired for, collect your fee, and go on to the next inspection.
The purchase of a house or home is probably the most significant investment most people make. Increasingly people are seeking professional help to ensure their investment is sound.
This professional help is you, the home inspector. You are a qualified observer who knows the installation techniques used by several trades. This knowledge, coupled with a working knowledge of the plumbing, electrical and building codes, enable accurate estimates of condition, life expectancy, and safety
of any residence.
ONLY OFFER ADVICE YOU ARE QUALIFIED TO GIVE
I’m not going to turn you into an electrician. It is not going to give you enough training or knowledge to perform electrical work. Your only job here is to provide a comprehensive report for your client that will describe all the defects you see. Recommend to clients that repairs or replacements be carried out by qualified electrical contractors. Home inspectors do not offer advice as to how to fix defects. They must only point out that items do not work and need to be repaired or replaced. Let the electrical contractor do his or her job.
SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT LIST FOR HOME INSPECTIONS
Here are some items, including a digital camera that a home
the inspector should bring to their job site, or use to prepare their report after the inspection.
- Digital camera
- Printer, to include photos in your report
- Non-contact voltage tester
- Outlet tester
- Multimeter (600 V range)
For future blog posts, electrical units will be abbreviated as follows:
Volts – V
Watts – W
Ohms – 0
Amperes – A
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Mike Fuller Electric Ltd.
1692 Ortona Avenue
By appointment on Saturday and Sundays