June, 2009
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Short a Few Circuits? Not Really


Robert Achelpohl, Eagle Eye Building Inspections, O’Fallon, Mo., took us to task for a postcard from the field we published in March 2009, and it turns out our Technical Committee agrees with him.

After saying he always looks forward to reading the Reporter because of the great information in each issue, the ASHI Certified Inspector wrote:

MissingBreakers.jpg“My comment regards the photo titled ‘Short a few circuits.’ The picture appears to document a common, accepted and perfectly code-compliant method used when a main panel is relocated, at least in my area. What seems to be pictured is the conversion of an existing panel into a junction box due to the needed or desired relocation of a main panel.”

Achelpohl said the problem with including a photo of an accepted practice in a section devoted to ridiculous or funny defects is that inexperienced inspectors may assume this is a serious defect and report it as such when they encounter it for the first time because they saw it being ridiculed.

The Technical Committee concurred: 

Although the installation in the photo is not “perfectly code compliant” in that it lacks covers over the open breaker ports, that flaw aside, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with using the cabinet as a junction box. The caption in the Reporter seemed to imply otherwise. The letter writer’s overall point is right on the money. A newer inspector might run across an installation like this and think that it’s not allowed — something that’s certainly not true.

Thank you to Robert Achelpohl and ASHI Technical Committee member Jim Katen for setting us straight.