Repairs in accordance with building codes is a matter of safety!

In every class, I teach my students the importance of their localities building codes and how important it is that their home repairs are made in accordance with these codes, because it is a matter of their home’s safety. If they are not sure if a repair was made properly, I always offer a Home Examination.

Not knowing you have an issue and then realizing that you need a Home Examination

At the end of a class, a student proudly showed me a picture of the boiler that had recently been installed in their home. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the newly installed boiler was installed very close to the front of the main electrical panel. I expressed my concerns:

  • In the event that the panel needed to be accessed to reset a breaker or have it serviced, there was no room to do this. More importantly, it would be very difficult for the Fire Department to shut the power off in an emergency.

The Code Requirements for spacing in front and on the sides of an electrical panel were not followed by the boiler installation team.

panel clearance in accordance to building codes

A few days later I received an email. Feeling a bit more confident, my student requested that the owner of the plumbing company inspect the installation of the boiler. After his initial review, my student handed him the Code. The next day the boiler was relocated to a proper location in the basement, no further discussion. We scheduled a Home Examination at a future date.

Getting a Home Examination when you have concerns, worries and uncertainties about your home’s condition

In July, I performed a Home Examination for one of my students. As the process goes, I start examining your home’s exterior and then work my way inside: from attic to basement/crawlspace, checking everything. And, you are by my side during the entire examination process, taking notes.

No big deal, but then!

Everything was going pretty well until I checked the polarity of the outlets on the first floor. The load and the line wires were switched, the first floor was not grounded properly. Also, the GFCIS were not working around the kitchen sink. Ok, the problem was noted. Off to the basement.

Not Following Building Codes

This is What I Observed During My Examination of the Basement

Image of student's basement that contains build code issues and in need of repair.
Sink too close to the electrical panel not in accordance with building codes.

A major part of a home examination is to remove the electrical panel cover and check for any abnormalities; wire sizes, properly sized breakers, double tapping, etc. When trying to access this electrical panel there were obstructions. I can see that the sink was in the way, as well as, the washing machine. Given that the sink was in the way, my student showed me how they access it; climbing into the sink to open the panel door. THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS GOING TO DO THAT. Right then and there, I sat down on the floor, in the basement, and for ten minutes stared at the panel, not believing how someone could install the panel in this location.

A Challenge for You Guys

In the pictures above, there was another piece of equipment that was not installed correctly and the material used was not to my liking, as discussed in class #8, “Your Home’s Air Conditioning.” Its your turn to become the Home Inspector. Let me know what you find. Email me:

After the student hires the right contractors to do the job in in accordance with building codes. Here’s the result…

Image of student's repairs in accordance to building codes.
I’m so proud of my student for getting all the right contractors to do the work properly and at their direction after learning what was needed through a Home Examination. Home repairs are made in accordance with building codes

Ok, the job turned out great because my student told the electrician and the plumber exactly what had to be done and how they wanted it to be accomplished, and was on their backs every step of the way. The sink was replaced and the washing machine was relocated. The dryer was moved and re-vented. The student had the panel upgraded to from a 100 amp to 200 amp service.
They became the GENERAL CONTRACTOR. I guess when a homeowner demonstrates how to use their polarity tester the electrician knew he had to do the job right, and he did!!!! I am So Proud!!!!

5 out of 5 on the TLC Confidence Scale

TLC confidence scale
TLC confidence scale

Electrical Class, Electrical Workshop, Home Examinations

I teach the importance of polarity, wire size, load and the purpose and locations of GFCI’s in the electrical class and how to maintain your home’s electrics in the electrical workshop. I hope to see you there.

Mission Statement

Our Mission is to inspire all homeowners to learn how their house works and how to take care of it.  The net results of keeping money in their pockets and having paid repairs made properly and in accordance to building codes.

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