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Old 09-25-03, 05:46 AM
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Angry main Panel

I just sold my house that was built in 1923. I bought it 12 years ago, it was an FHA loan and the inspection was O.K. Now that I sold it(accepted the offer), the buyer's inspecteor came out and wrote: " Electric services wire too small. It has 100 AMP service, use 60 AMP wires. Need to be repaired" ???? can anybody tell me what this means???
The only change I had done since I bought the house was I added a 60 AMP breaker that goes to the new garage, which supplies 2 15 AMP breakers.
Thaks a million.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 06:43 AM
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Inspectors commonly make suggestions that bring a house up to modern expectations. The inspector must point these things out to the buyer of an old house so that the buyer is not surprised when things are less than one would normally expect. 60-amp service is almost always noted, as is lack of GFCI. These things were probably up to code at the time the house was built.

In most areas, you are not required by code to do these upgrades. Sometimes you will alternatively grant a price concession and the buyer can upgrade if desired. If you feel that you have already incorporated concessions for these deficiencies in the asking price, you can tell the buyer so.

You are probably not obligated to make the changes requested by the inspector. However, failure to do so may cause the sale to fall through. What you do depends on your perception of the strength of the real estate market, and your confidence of whether you can get the money you want out of another buyer.

What the inspector means is that the service conductors are only rated for 60-amps, but the main breaker is 100 amps. I'm not sure whether he is referring to the power company's conductors, or your conductors between the meter and the panel. You should ask. If it is the power company's conductors, then the power company may upgrade them on request without cost to you. Or the power company may disagree with the inspector and refuse to upgrade them. If the change-out of the 60-amp breaker to the 100-amp breaker was made without a permit, then you may have a real hazard.

Bottom line options: (1) Tell the buyer that you feel the price already reflects this deficiency, (2) Have an electrician evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action. (3) After doing #2, make a price concession to the buyer for all or part of the estimate, or (4) After doing #2, have it repaired.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 07:12 AM
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Exclamation

Thanks a million John, I contacted a contractor and he is supposed to take a look at it, because he could not understand the note either... I hope it is the electric company's problem. I will let you know..
Thanks, once again.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 07:33 AM
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The 1st.-step is to determine the EXACT size of the Service-Entrance conductors which terminate on the Main-Dis-connect inside the Service panel.If the Wiring Method is Service-Entrance Cable, the conductor size may be printed on the cable seath. A #2 copper Service -conductor indicates a 100-amp service.Also, please describe the type of Service Equiptment---- fuses, circuit-breakers, etc. A fuse-type panel would probably be rejected by the inspector, so I'll guess there is a CB panel.

I'm very skeptical about the ability of a house inspector to identify the exact size of electrical conductors.If necessary, have an electrician determine the conductor size.

If you have a 100-amp Service which is Code-compliant ,we'll do a Service calculation for you should you be confronted with the problem of being told the 100-amp Service is in-adequate.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 08:28 AM
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Thanks PATTBAA.

it is a 100 AMP service, and like I mentioned earlier, I bought the house as an FHA 12 years ago, and it passed inspection back then. since then the only thing I changed was the 30 Amp breaker going to the garage.
I just called the inspector and he said: the wire serving the 100 AMP breaker is not big enough, need a bigger wire" ???

Is this my responsibility ir is it the electrical company's responsibility??
Thanks
 
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Old 09-25-03, 09:23 AM
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The so called electrician just looked at it; I am not sure if I should or , but as soon as he looked out side, he said : well, the wire to the main pannel, conduit, the meter, even the wire comming from the pole are all wrong, then he walked throu the house and said, once you pull a permit to do that, you will not pass inspection, because you need to change all plugs to GFIs.. it is about 4 to 5000 dollar job!!!!

Any suggestions!!
If not, go ahead , I'll take it. I respect your openion.
Thanks.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 10:00 AM
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The electrician is telling you everything you would need to do to completely bring the house up to code. That's overkill for a home sale. Pulling a permit to upgrade the service wiring does not obligate you to upgrade the entire house. The inspector who inspects the service wiring will not come into the house to see if the bathrooms have GFCI.

Try to get a quote to fix only that one specific thing that the home inspector found.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 10:30 AM
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That is exactly what I was looking for. an estamate for fixing just the one thing the inspector pointed out, which is the service wire from the meter to the 100AMP breaker. But he said that I have to pull a permit. I called the permit people and I was told that when they will come out to inspect they have to inspect the box, wiring and everything else .......which makes me wounder after they note what has to be changed to bring the entire wiring up-to-code, it will become a documented problem which will force me to do at a high cost!! which will be not worth the price I am getting for the house, but I am stuck, I have 2 house payments, and can hardly make them.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 11:09 AM
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"The wire (cable) coming from the pole" is completly within the jurisdiction of the utility co. ONLY! Not as issue of your concern.

We need to know the type of Wiring Method for the Service Entrance Conductors, probably either (1), a flexible cable, SEC cable,or (2), conductors inside metal tubing/conduit, and the EXACT size of the conductors, and the type, copper or aluminum. You were remiss in not insisting that the "so-called electrician" determine this for you.Also, if it's "wrong", it's a de-facto Code violation, so you need to insist that the person who concludes "it's wrong" cite the exact Code Articles.

Possibly you could provide a general description of the Service, from the utility-connection to the Service-panel, incuding the type of panel (Fuses?), the "Make (GE?), the ratiing (100 amps?) of the Main Dis-connect, and the circuit-capacity (20 circuits?).

I have the impression that you have been exposed to either erronous or false conclusions.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 11:36 AM
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PATTBAA;
Here it is as good as I can describe it:

comming from the meter through a metal conduit to the house. The "so called Electrician" said it is a #6 wire. the Pannel is a 100 AMP as follows: the main breaker is 100 then: 20, 15,15, 15, 20, 30, 60,30. The pannel is full.
 
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Old 09-25-03, 03:08 PM
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One explanation for 60 amp service conductors terminating an a 100-amp MCB is that someone replaced an old fuse-type panel with the existing panel and dis-regared the 60 amp conductors.

If the Wiring Method is 1" (trade-size) tubing/conduit with old #6 Type R conductors, it maybe possible to re-place the #6 conductors with #4 conductors. Perhaps the conclusion that the Service-Conductors are #6 was simply based on the fact that there is an "old" 1" conduit containing the Service Conductors, which is a valid conclusion.

Much depends on the condition of the existing conduit if new #4 conductors are a possibility, and also, the current-rating and condition of the meter-socket. Also-----inspect your water-service line where it enters the house for the Service Grounding Conductor which should be clamped to the pipe/tubing.

Apparantly you have an old '30's Service connected to a relatively new panel which exceeds the current-rating of the service, and apparantly you'll have to "negotiate" the solution with the prospective buyer.

Good Luck!!!!!
 
 

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