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Electrical Inspections Contains discussions about electrical systems. This includes receptacles, panels, wiring, etc.

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Old 9/6/18, 8:42 PM
Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593 Emmanuel J. Scanlan, TREC# 7593 is offline
Certified Professional Inspector (CPI)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Josephine, TX
Posts: 7,429
Default Re: Opening deadfront voids warranty, says builder

Originally Posted by wogletree View Post
I'm not entirely convinced all this BS is from fear of discovery of faults. I think it all comes down from legal. When the electrician's insurer's lawyers can deflect blame to someone else (i.e. a general inspector), they might be able to dodge a claim, so the builder's lawyer says "electricians only" behind the deadfront.

I suppose it's possible that someone could monkey with stuff behind the air handler cover, thus possibly messing up the efficiency of the unit and voiding the energy efficiency certification, but I don't believe this concern outweighs the importance of knowing that items behind the panel are in good condition.

If builders don't want inspectors accessing certain panels, fine, but those panels should be labelled and sealed to prevent/reveal tampering. Otherwise how would I or anyone else know to leave them alone, and how can they determine with any certainty whether such a panel has been removed?

That's exactly what it is! Last year I inspected a home by a very large, supposedly well respected builder, and found so many significant issues. The Building Supervisor was a real idiot and even the buyers were complaining about him (I did other homes by this particular Supervisor). Three months later I come in and do another home by this Supervisor. All off a sudden I can't open dead fronts as it will void the electrical warranty, can't open HVACs as it would void the electrical warranty, can't walk the roof as it would void the roof warranty, Blah, Blah, BS, BS, etc.

Less than a month later I do a home on the street immediately behind this one that was the exact same design, same builder, etc. However this time it was a different build Supervisor and the idiot was still there (large development). I never dealt with this Supervisor but met him on site and had a short pleasantry talk and during that I specifically asked for any restrictions on electrical, HVAC, roof, etc. He had no problem with me taking off dead front panels, etc., etc.

It has very little if nothing to do with liability and everything to do with Supervisors who do not want their arses in a wringer when the buyer learns how bad they are and the number of problems they caused! Good builders and good Build Supervisors do not worry about their work and actually want you there as it gives them another set of eyes but this time paid for by the buyer. They want their buyers to be happy and comfortable knowing they have a good home. BTW the build Supervisor who was not a problem also knew what he was doing and that house was very nicely done!

Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!


TREC License# 7593
ICC Residential Combination Inspector
#5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Professional Real Estate Inspections for the counties of Collin, Rockwall, Hunt, Dallas, Tarrant, Kaufman and all surrounding areas. If you want the the best you will find it with PS Inspection & Property Services LLC!
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