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Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.

MONDAY MORNING MESSENGER

Message prepared especially for Members of the American Institute of Inspectors® as well as Home Inspectors abroad

October 14, 2002

GOOOOOD MORNING, A.I.I..... 

It's a great day here in Orem, Utah! Today's issue is action packed. Some of it is a compilation of last week's great AII Hotline discussions. Once again the Hotline proved to be an invaluable resource to the membership. Quick responses and great information made it a pleasure to pick up e-mails. Those non-AII MMM readers should contact Betty Buckley at 1-800-877-4770 and become a member. Your membership in AII also includes your subscription to the MMM as well as discounts on our great conferences and trainings. The Annual Meeting in Portland is less than a month away and I really look forward to rubbing shoulders with the membership.


BONDING & SRV DISCHARGE LINES

Bill Ball responded to last week's bonding and SRV discussion with the following from his Home Inspector's Code Book........

The Uniform Home Inspector's Code Book(tm) - [HICB(TM)] - states that there should be NO PLASTIC within 6" of the SRV tank connection, AND that the plastic SRV drain line must be supported every 12", {which they never are.....Bill}

DON'T GET CONFUSED ON BONDING - It's NOT Grounding = The BONDING of anything DOES NOT run to the electrical distribution panel.

From the Glossary of the HICBtm):

=========================================

BONDING = Joining of metallic parts to form a conductive path that has the ability to safely conduct electrical loads.

BONDING WIRE = Connection of Pool and Spa equipment and other metal parts such as diving board, ladder, and pool light with a bare "bond" wire (usually #10) that runs to "earth" and is not connected to the electrical system. This bonding provides a third route to ground in the event of a short circuit. Other bonding wires may be connected to water pipes, gas pipes, and metal lath or siding.

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BONDING, (other than observing and noting it - or its absence at a pool or spa), is beyond the Scope of a Home Inspection. Here's why - again from the HICB(tm) Glossary:

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CONTINUITY TEST = A test performed with the electrical power off using a battery powered continuity tester to determine the positive connection of a bonding or ground conductive path. Because the main power breaker must be off, (according to the protocol of the HICB™), this test is beyond the scope of a Home Inspection.

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I don't know of a single gas utility company that allows "bonding" to their pipes. They don't want an accidental spark from "stray voltage" down their pipe where one of their workman is creating a new connection. SOooooo = Most of the time that bonding wire jumper from the cold water line at the Water Heater to the hot water line, or gas line, or both, is cut by the gas utility workman before they connect the meter. Here's the dichotomy: Although the bonding wire is REQUIRED in order to get the building department occupancy permit, (so that the utility company has permission to install the gas meter), as soon as the gas company shows up they clip the bonding wire. BUILDING CODES, CONFUSING UH!????? = I'm sending something for the MMM on point describing why a Home Inspector should NEVER quote a building code.

Bill Ball Founding Chairman Las Vegas


AVOID USING CODESPEAK BY BILL BALL

================================

"CODES"

Nobody Could Keep Them All Straight

Here

So, while a general knowledge of the underlying purpose behind each code requirement is necessary, describing code sections as authority in the body of a home inspection report is foolish because what is required in state X may not be in county Y, and is disallowed in city Z.

Therefore a Home Inspector, complying with the Uniform Home Inspector

================================

Performance Based Building Codes

Existing Codes

Currently, there are four model building codes in the United States. Commercial building codes are comprised of the National Building Code (NBC), Standard Building Code (SBC) and Uniform Building Code (UBC) and residential is handled by the CABO One and Two Family Dwelling Code (CABO) code. Which code governs depends on which code has been adopted by each state, county, or local government jurisdiction.

In the year 2000, new codes were available for adoption including the International Building Code (IBC), the International Plumbing Code (IPC), and the International Mechanical Code (IMC) These codes are being developed with the intention of having a national code. It is anticipated that these codes will eventually take over the role of the existing model codes as more and more jurisdictions choose to adopt them.

Prescriptive vs. Performance

Building codes are typically classified as prescriptive codes or performance codes.

A prescriptive code specifies in detail exactly what materials are to be used and how they are to be assembled. Alternatively, a performance code describes a level of accepted performance to which the assembly or construction must conform without specifically outlining how materials are to be assembled.

Intrinsically, performance codes allow more freedom in construction than prescriptive: i.e., They are also more readily adaptable to new construction materials.

The codes in use today have a mix of performance and prescriptive language. CABO is more prescriptive with their extensive use of tables and diagrams while the UBC and IBC lean more to the performance side.

To date, no code has been written strictly as a prescriptive or performance document. The trend in the industry is toward a performance-based code which will allow greater freedom of construction.

How Performance Codes Work

It is the intent of building codes to "ensure public safety, health and welfare" through "safety to life and property from all hazards." Both performance and prescriptive codes serve this same purpose.

Prescriptive codes meet this intent by dictating how materials are to be employed in a safe manner in a building. While the code language must be specific as to how the material is used, it does not stipulate the reason behind the code. Consequently, many factors can contribute to a particular code provision including rationalization, calculations, and (of note) accepted practice and standards based on historical performance.

Performance codes meet the intent by setting the minimum performance standard to be met by a building system. Thus it is left to the design team or the industry selling the system to prove that the system performs at or above the level of the standard.

But let's imagine that a performance-based code sets a standard which has not been previously used. If an existing material, such as brick, historically meets the standard through accepted practice, but the industry does not have testing to demonstrate compliance, then the material may require further testing. In other words, just because a particular design has a history of good performance, does not necessarily mean it will not need testing to show that it has the "numbers" to comply with the standard.

In addition, writing a performance code which includes all the necessary standards to establish a well-constructed building is not an easy undertaking. All provisions must be well thought through so as not to give certain materials advantages over others and not bring faulty systems or products to market (such as EIFS).

While performance-based codes have a long way to go before they are on the books, it appears to be the wave of the future.

Source: Brick Institute of America (used with permission)

===================================

Bill Ball
Founding Chairman
HomeInspector@LVCM.com
Las Vegas, NV
800-347-2455

What are your thoughts on using "Code" language during inspections?

Your Name: City, State: B4

Please provide your full name or else we will not know who the response is from.


RESTRICTED OR PRIVATE REPORTS

If you did not read last week's real life scenario, then please go to the back issues and catch up on the topic before continuing with this section.

In most California contracts, the seller is entitled to a copy of the report if, and only if, the buyer asks for one or more item to be corrected. This is sort of between Utah and Oregon law isn't it? Jim Lucas - Camino, CA

Yes Jim, California seems to be somewhere between the "Everybody is entitled to the report" attitude of Oregon and "Realtors take a hike" attitude of Utah. Bill Ball responded with....

My response would have been much shorter than Michael's = "I'm sorry that I cannot comply with your request for a copy of the subject report. I asked my client about it, and he declined. Since my contract is with him, I am sure you understand my need to respect his desires."

HERE'S WHY IT SHOULD BE SHORT:

(1) There's nothing for them to argue with you about later on, and MOST IMPORTANT,
(2) Realtors(r) HATE IT when you lecture them on the laws and rules of their industry -- It shows you know more about their business than they do – No one likes to be shown-up, especially agents.

(REMEMBER during training, I told you to NEVER let the agent know that you knew what they were supposed to do! It's nice to know, but it is ALWAYS A MISTAKE, (in my view), to let them know what you know..... REMEMBER, this is NOT a contest to prove how smart you are, it is a Home Inspection Service

Bill Ball
Founding Chairman
HomeInspector@LVCM.com
Las Vegas, NV

Bill makes a great point that newer inspectors should take to heart. You are trying to build your business and you must choose your battles very carefully. In real estate it does not pay to burn bridges no matter how right you think you are. If you fire an agent today he will transfer to you biggest referring office next month or year and spoil a lot of your referrals. And this is when you were absolutely justified when you pulled out your sword and cut them to the dividing asunder. I have found that this game is tiring and I have been prone to cut to the quick more often and fire an occasional agent. I shared with you last week the letter that was sent to Mr. Harward of which my wife Shelly approved. Here is the original letter with an extra paragraph. I am sure that Bill Ball will shudder with my original draft, yet everything I state is accurate. I realized that it adds fuel to the fire, yet it is the third paragraph that states what my original thoughts were. I phrased the rest to make this sentiment more palatable and it was left on the cutting room floor. Here is the original draft......

Mr. Harward: I have checked with my client and they did not give me consent to release the report to any individuals other than their agent. I am bound by a strict confidentiality agreement with my client and the inspection information is between me and them. This means that no other individuals or entities are privy to the findings and I am not allowed to discuss the information and findings without their permission. This also prevents other individuals from relying on the report and its findings and then trying to bring legal action at a later date. The nightmare scenario occurs as a seller shows the report to another buyer months later and the buyer goes cheap and does not have another inspection performed. By this time the water heater may have failed and they want me to buy them a new unit even though I have never met them and they received a report that was not prepared for them. I

I have long encouraged seller to invest in a home inspection at their own expense to find out what condition the home that they are selling is in, but the majority are too frugal to justify the expense. In this case, the sellers can still hire another firm to inspect their home if they really want to know the findings. But let's be serious, this transaction is an estate sale and the sellers are probably best advised to not learn of the information and then have to disclose the information identified in the report. Currently they can just say "I don't know, it was Mom and Dad's house and I never lived there."

You are probably also aware that there is no standard provision in the Utah real estate purchase contract that entitles the listing side of the transaction to the inspection findings, and although we may not agree or like this lack of provision it is still the case. I have found that in most transactions my client agrees to release the findings, but this is completely at their discretion. Therefore, I will not be able to complete your request in forwarding on a copy of the inspection report at this time.

Michael Leavitt
1145 N. Main Street
Orem, Utah 84057
Peaceofmind@TheHomeInspector.com
801-225-8020

Bill Ball is absolutely right in his advice and I would encourage you to ponder long and hard before you hit the send button on a message that advises a confrontational agent on how they should conduct business. No matter how much relief you think that it will bring your soul, you should sleep on it and have your significant other talk you out of sending it.


WOOD BARK INSULATION

Who can identify and quantify this substance found in the attic? Jon Gudnason - Placerville, CA

John, Man

Several folks guessed that it was redwood or cedar bark, which was correct. I am not sure which one of the two it is. It was used as ceiling insulation fifty years ago. The bark from both of these trees is naturally fire resistant. Does anyone know what the R-value of this material is? I don't. There is never more than an inch or two so I always comment that adding additional insulation would be a beneficial energy conservation upgrade if there is not newer insulation on top of it. Jon Gudnason - Placerville, CA

Jon, Thanks. As one who used to live in the Redwoods, I should have known the answer. So was this pretty much used regionally or was the bark shipped out of state as well. I haven

Larry, I live a hundred miles from the nearest redwood tree and find the material around here occasionally. I don't know how far they shipped it. Where are you? There are a lot of cedar trees in Oregon & Washington. Jon Gudnason - Placerville, CA

I'm on the central Oregon coast and have seen it (redwood fibers) in about 3-4 homes. Peter Barten - Gleneden Beach, OR.

The R value of wood is 1 per inch, as in log homes. That would decrease in this shredded state but I'm not sure how much. In any case not much insulating value, which is probably one reason it wasn't used more. It is really interesting to see some of the different types of insulation that have been tried over the years. I once found corn cobs packed into the exterior wall cavities in an old house. I had difficulty coming up with an R-value for that. Betty Buckley - OR

Jon, this is a product called Palco Wool, manufactured in the 50's and into the late 60's by Pacific Lumber Company. It is made from Redwood bark and was treated with a fire retardant chemical (which may have all volatized by now). It was actually avery good insulation with a high R value per inch. You may also find in northern California, Or and Wa a similar product made from Hemlock fiber, not bark, by Weyerhaeuser Co. It was dyed a pinkish color and was also treated just as cellulose insulation is treated today. It was called SilvaWool. (silva is latin for wood) This product was o used as a blow in product and as wall insulation and was hand packed into the wall cavities--before batts and fiberglass came to be. Both Palco Wool and SilvaWool were the victims of fiberglass and cellulose marketing, but were great insulation and sound attenuation products. The Sacramento Inn has walls packed with SilvaWool and is the most quiet hotel you will ever stay in. Before the Sacto Inn opened as a new hotel, a fire broke out in the boiler room. It was the SilvaWool that kept the fire from spreading to other rooms, according to the fire marshal at that time. Hope that answers your query.

PS. Betty, you are correct in stating that wood as an average R value of about 1 per inch--varies with species and density. However wood, when defibrated, or shredded, has in increase in R value to about 2.5-3.5 per inch.* This is because you have separated the fibers and added AIR. This air is the only factor that allows fiberglass to have any r value at all as pure silica sand doesn't have much R value. I sold insulation for Weyerhaeuser for about ten years back in the late 60's and 70's, so hope my memory is correct. Their product was SilvaWool and had a settled density R value of about 3.0/inch.

PSS. Remember that this product was used before fiberglass was popular, at the time when Rock Wool was prevalent. PalcoWool was made from Redwood (Seqoia sempervirons). I do not know of any company that made a similar product from Cedar, as cedar is not quite as stringy. Palco Wool and SilvaWool both competed against rock wool because they had a much higher R value. But all products used in that era were only installed a few inches thick--gas was cheap !!

PSSS. as with any product, freight is a big factor. These insulation products were shipped mostly within a 200-400 mile radius as any further would make them less competitive. Also the contractors had to have larger blowing machines to blow these products because of the fiber length. Any more questions about wood based insulation ??? Robert Fischbach, Spokane's only trained inspector and resident expert on PalcoWool.

I inspected a 90 year old house last month, and found the underfloor to be insulated with this stuff. This is a label that I pulled off. It was about an inch thick with something like bituminous impregnated paper top and bottom. The wood was shredded, however, it had some chipped wood along with the shredded. I would estimate about R-3. No telling how old it is. Ted Harris

Ted, thanx for sharing the picture of the "Balsam Wool" label. Did you take any pictures?? Did you collect any samples?? If so, please bring them to Portland. I would love to see them, as would others. This product was the predecessor to the SilvaWool because Weyerhaeuser was not yet using their new logo (same one as today) and had not set up their "SilvaTech" Dept. I started working for them in 1966 after the changes, so this Balsam Wool product was before 1965. I would guess about late 50's. Robert Fischbach, Spokane's only trained Inspector

 

Have you seen wood insulation in your inspection area? What type was it and where did it come from?

Your Name: City, State: B1

Please provide your full name or else we will not know who the response is from.


 

 

 

 

 

 

DOCUMENTING ROOF PATCHES

Last week I asked "What do you think of Larry's lessons learned?"

I am not sure what "loop hole" Larry is trying to create in his report. If there is visible water staining or damage, we are obligated to report it. We are not obligated to determine the cause, rather to recommend the cause be found. If the damage is hidden we are not obligated to report it. If one wants to go the extra mile and try and determine the cause they are allowed to do it but should be advised that they are incurring additional liability and may not be covered by their inspectors insurance.

I rather enjoy this investigative type work and sometimes even get paid to do it. Larry brings up a good point in that his client was not calling to assign responsibility, but looking for help. I have found that this is most often the case with call backs. If one assumes that call backs are for help and clarification the conversation takes on a whole different feeling and clients that may have been looking for you to pay up may end up happy you gave them another direction to go. It is kind of like the assumptive close. Assume they just want help and take the conversation in that direction. Jon Gudnason - Placerville, CA

Larry's HAND THROUGH THE WALL issue = Even if the brick veneer wall was well set back, it should have had WEEP HOLES. If there had been, the moisture from overwatering the potted plant would have weeped away, instead of destroying the wood framing.Brick veneer ALWAYS requires weep holes -- even if weather cannot get to the wall, transpiration can cause moisture to collect on the back side of the bricks and those droplets of condensation need to have a path out, (i.e., Weep Holes).

Bill Ball
Founding Chairman
HomeInspector@LVCM.com
Las Vegas, NV

TRANSPIRATION = The movement of water laden air vapor through permeable components, (such as paint, drywall, insulation, siding and stucco), because of temperature or pressure differences. {Source: Uniform Home Inspector's Code Book(tm)}

That is a difficult one to see. Good going Larry. Small evidence pieces sometimes leads to issues that cannot be readily seen. Sometimes we see the clues, sometimes not. It is a story that just points out that we need to not only look but see. Jim Corbin, AII 2002 President - Bow, WA


PHOTO CHALLENGE #124 RESPONSES

Do you pull the plug-in disconnect on A/C condensers or heat pumps?

The real question is...is this disconect box prtected by a fuse/circuit breaker from the inside? If it is then this fuse bypass is ok. If there is no protection of the circuit then the is a firehazard and the compressor is not protected. Remove the copper pieces and install appropriate size fuses. Hy Naiditch - Skokie, Il

I run into few if any air conditioners and some heat pumps. Usually I simply turn them off. This is a surprise...who would think that installing copper pipe nipples is a good thing?? Harvey Homeowner at his best. Now I know and will include the possibility in training materials. What next?? Jim Corbin, AII 2002 Presidebnt - Bow, WA

I think this would be an adequate installation provided the over current protection was correct in the main distribution panel. A disconnect is required near the A/C unit, not over current protection. Many disconnects do not have any over current protection. I am pretty sure the disconnect pictured was not intended to have copper tubing installed in place of fuses, but I see no reason why it would not work..

As to the question "Do you pull the plug-in disconnect on A/C condensers or heat pumps?", Yes. I check to be sure the fuse size is not larger than the maximum fuse rating on the condensing unit label. If the over current protection is too high, I check the main panel breaker or fuse. If that is ok, then it is not a reportable condition. Jon Gudnason - Placerville, CA

To be very frank with you this may not be a concern after all. What that hand is holding is a disconnect from a box left or right of the compressor. It is a safety item for HVAC technicians working on the unit. On would need to observe the max. fuse amps and check that the main panel disconnect conforms. Roy, as an electrician, wouldn't you agree that this acts simply as a disconnect? Jim Lucas - CA

I found that reading all of these responses was very interesting. It shows that the MMM is a real place of learning. What may be common place to one inspector may be new information to another. After being presented with a new situation we end of thinking about it and then talking with others about it. Jim Lucas did just his and what was first okay with him suddenly comes a retraction of thought and a new conviction towards a change in thought. This change of thought did not come about from an argument, but after thought and discussion with others. Here is Jim's new insight..........

You recall the A/C disconnect the other day? After talking to John Rebenstorff at our Wednesday night chapter meeting (we had 20 attend--very good) I want to clarify that, even though the copper pipe is an excellent conductor, it is not an "approved" product in a fuse block. Fuses should be in place. Jim Lucas, CA

I have read that this is acceptable with a grounded neutral to replace the fuse. As I recall, I think that it was something that Joe Scuduto wrote (I guess you know who Joe Scuduto is), but I can't remember where it was. Here is the theory: The fuse in the neutral could burn out leaving the occupants with the impression that their power was off, when, in fact, all it needs is a person to complete a path from a hot conductor to ground. Of course you know this. A section of copper tubing in the fuse holder in the panel would prevent this from happening, and you would still get the protection from the fused hots. A penny under the Edison fuse - same thing. I realize that this should only be temporary until the system can be upgraded. Ted Harris - OR

What Ted is referring to is an antique electrical system with a fused neutral. Fusing the neutral conductor was prohibited in the late 1920's, a date I recently learned. I would guess that a copper pipe in a fuse block would not be the most significant find on an electrical system of this age that was still in use. Joe Scuduto is a famous home inspector guy on the east coast. Well at least he is about as famous as home inspectors get. Jon Gudnason - Placerville, CA

I don't believe so Ted as this is the ungrounded A & B phase circuit. The copper tubes are an excellent conductor it's just that they are not approved in place of fuses. The configuration as seen acts just like a four prong disconnect. Jim Lucas, CA

Jim came to the right solution. No matter how good of a conductor copper piping may be, it is not an approved installation. The disconnect box was neither tested or rated using copper piping in place of fuses. This means that if it went unreported and the house burned down, then you would be on the liability hook. As inspectors we have to take the high road. We must report to the safe level and not to the "That's the way they do it all the time around here" level. Reading all of our responses saying that it is okay if there is breaker protection at another location prior to the disconnect, then it is okay was my original knee slap response years ago when I first ran across this issue. Rational thought slaps us in the face when we realize that it is just plain wrong.

To reinforce this idea I am thinking of the old penny under the screwed in fuse trick still unsafely in use in many older homes. If we were to unscrew each fuse during an inspection (which we don't) and we found this condition we would condemn the very thought of such stupidity. Using the logic above, pretend for a moment that the owner had installed a new breaker panel prior to the old fuse box. Being cheap the owner did not want to pay to have the old fuse box removed so he put pennies under each fuse in the box because the circuit was already protected prior to the fuse box. Would that be acceptable? Would you approve of such a thing and consider it a non-issue and not report the condition inside the panel? While Abraham Lincoln's head may be a good conductor, the courtroom lawyer would extract every penny from your soul after the fire inspector completed his investigation.

And finally, The reason I beat this concept onto the ground, is because as an Association we need to become unified in our reporting. If Jon Gudnason and Jim Lucas (some of the oldest members of the association) look at the copper pipes and say they are okay and rookie Jeff Herboldshimer (newer AII member) comes along and says that it is wrong, then how does this make AII inspectors look? It would prove the Realtors right when they complain loudly "Every inspector finds something different wrong or right. What is a hazard to one inspector is a non-reportable issue with another." By discussing these topics here in the MMM and on the AII Inspector Hotline we can all come to a common conclusion. In this case, just because a licensed Electrician used the copper pipe instead of Harvey Homeowner it is still wrong....... Are we all in agreement????......... Copper pipes used in place of bar fuses is just plain wrong!!!

Do you have any thoughts to add to the discussion?

Your Name: City, State: B2

Please provide your full name or else we will not know who the response is from.


A/C BREAKERS &MORE COPPER FUSES

Amazing, Just today I came across this condition for the first time. So when I got home and could look at the MMM it was surprising. It reminded me of putting pennies in an old fuse slot. It was not the only issue for this AC unit. The wire was a #12 on the 30 amp breaker and there was no wire nut as wire left panel. Wonder who installed this AC? Clear recommendation to be evaluated by licensed HVAC contractor. Greg Justice

It is generally acceptable to use a wire one size smaller than would typically be allowed when wiring an air conditioning compressor. Jon Gudnason, Placerville, CA

No it is not acceptable to run a smaller wire than recommended by the MFG. or the NEC. Now you may install a larger conductor than is recommended, and you may see this from time to time where the distance is greater than 100' for voltage drop its in the NEC. Mike Bunzel - North Texas

Check again. You can de-rate wire by one size for certain motors and applications. John Rebenstorff - Orangevale, CA

I don't know anything about Oregon requirements, but here in California if I called this an electrical hazard, I'd be run out of town by the Realtors. EVERY home I inspect with central AC has the air conditioning circuit overfused by one wire size, and I understood this was allowable by the NEC because the compressor only uses the required amperage during start-up. All of us who were trained according to A.I.I. Standards of Practice were instructed in this way. Rick DeBoard - CA

The reason for this is what we call "locked rotor amps". In other words, when a motor starts is draws a larger amount of current for a very short period of time, not enough time to overheat a wire. This is why it is permitted. Jim Lucas, CA

It has been a long time since I was an electrician, the only wire we were allowed to down size was the neutral and the ground, usually to the main panel or a sub panel "disconnect". Never were we allowed to down size a wire to an appliance that was rated for thirty amps to a twenty amp wire. The only case that would apply is if the wire to the disconnect box from the AC was supplied by the manufacturer already connected in the AC. All wire from the main panel to the disconnect should be the size required to carry what is rated on the boiler plate of the AC no matter if it is start up Amps or not. What if there is a thirty amp breaker at the main and the motor shorts out to 28 amps will the breaker pop before the wire burns up? The copper pipe is an electrocution waiting to happen that looks like it is a service disconnect to me. How does one pull the disconnect to work on the appliance. Just my oppion from what I could see from the picture, Richard C. C. Iverson - Newport, Oregon.

Richard: The disconnect is a fuse block so you just pull it and on the other side is when the fuses are to be, not the copper pipes. You will find that most AHJ's subscribe to the practice that the wire can be installed one size lower for locked rotor amps. This surge lasts only a minute amount of time so no damage is going to be done. An electrician in the field looks at the min. circuit amps to size the panel anyway. If it's 25.3amps they install a 30a. breaker. You may wish to ask Doug Hansen about this at the conference. He really knows his stuff as he must as an assistant college professor. Jim Lucas, CA

Hi everyone, this logic is strange to me. I have been aware of this "acceptable" conductor/breaker mismatch and am not arguing the point that it is not "acceptable" by AHJ's. (I am curious, however, as to the why.)

I understand that at startup electric motors have a high "spike" load and then level out to a normal operating load. This is under normal conditions. It is my understanding that the Breakers are for abnormal, hazardous conditions tripping when the load exceeds the rating for that breaker (due to a number of factors not limited to normal operation of the motor) which will protect the wiring at the rest of the circuit.

So lets focus on the entire circuit, not just the normal operation of the equipment attached to the circuit, and possible abnormal conditions that may result in hazardous conditions. For instance: say the motor is operating as intended yet the connections are poor, due to poor installation or corrosion from years of exposure to the salty sea air, the resistance of the circuit can be drastically increased resulting in a higher than "normal" load. Does anyone see a "problem" in this scenario. Is it possible that an abnormal condition may occur in the motor that would cause it to draw more than the rated current? I don't know for sure but, I would imagine it's possible (think: seized bearings or foreign or dislodged objects in and amongst the inner workings and so on...)

Again, I understand that this is an "acceptable" wiring practice but have not yet heard any plausible reasons for its acceptability. Please, someone, enlighten me.

PS. This logic reminds me of the "Harvey" that was present during the walkthrough with my client and said " the instructions (for Cadet wall heater) said to use a 20 amp breaker so I decided to put in a 30 amp breaker to be safe.) Peter Barten - Gleneden Beach, OR

Peter: Rule of thumb on full load amps (F.L.A.) on a motor name plate,

Always go up to next size--- never down. Hope this helps. Roy Steffen - Willits, CA

That 's s clear as mud to me. I understand the scope of the discussion and I will forward thisscenario on to Douglas Hansen to further discuss during his Sunday morning electrical seminar in Portland at the Annual Meeting. Do you have any other electrical questions you would like forwarded to Mr. Hansen?

Your Name: City, State: B3

Please provide your full name or else we will not know who the response is from.

 


PHOTO CHALLENGE #125

I inspected a duplex today where one of the tennants was a retired"electrician" and re-wired the place. This is pretty much what it looked like in the garage, and laundry room too. All the connections appeared to be made correctly, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me where the white wire in the middle goes? Anybody have any Ragu handy? :) See ya in Portland!..... Will Baley

How would you report this condition???

Your Name: City, State: PC

Please provide your full name or else we will not know who the response is from.


QUOTABLE QUOTE: "Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries." James A. Mitchner

HAVE A GREAT WEEK! Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.

The Most Qualified Inspector in Northern Utah!

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