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Old 08-31-2009, 03:50 PM   #16
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


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It is a method to determine the quality of connections on the branch circuits and service connections. Too far outside of the values stated, there may be high resistance or loose connections in the circuit.
Yeah, or buy Ideal's 65-165 tester. You should also measure ground integrity.

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Old 08-31-2009, 03:57 PM   #17
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


I think he replied to the wrong thread
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:58 PM   #18
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


InPhase277 / Stubbie;

Where does the neutral / ground bond from the bar to the panel on his SE?

In my dads rental property, there is a panel very similar to this, and the bar was not bonded to the panel. There was K&T and shorted and energized some EMT that lacked a ground wire, and also energized the panel, without causing a fault due to the lack of a bond from the ground / neutral bar and the panel.

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Old 08-31-2009, 04:04 PM   #19
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


At least at the top of the panel, that's almost certainly tinned copper, not aluminum.



The old varnished cloth jacket on that stuff is its own can of worms, but it's a different can.

----------------------

Keep in mind that if your financing any part of the transaction, no insurance means no deal.

FWIW, several times I've had inspection clients told by real estate agents or insurance brokers that there would be, "no problem" with K&T, that they knew of a company which would insure over the problem. or that the insurance company would give them a period of time to solve the problem after the closing.

If the transaction has been attempted within the last year or so this has not been the case, either someone pays to have the work done prior to closing, or the deal falls apart.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:13 PM   #20
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
InPhase277 / Stubbie;

Where does the neutral / ground bond from the bar to the panel on his SE?

In my dads rental property, there is a panel very similar to this, and the bar was not bonded to the panel. There was K&T and shorted and energized some EMT that lacked a ground wire, and also energized the panel, without causing a fault due to the lack of a bond from the ground / neutral bar and the panel.

Jamie
That neutral block is probably attached straight to the panel can, bonding it there. It looks like the plastic around it just serves to isolate it somewhat from surrounding conductors. Hope you guys got that resolved. Sounds dangerous.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:18 PM   #21
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


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At least at the top of the panel, that's almost certainly tinned copper, not aluminum.

No doubt about that wire. The copper had to be tinned due to the sulfur in the rubber insulation under the cloth. But there are several clearly aluminum wires in there.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:35 PM   #22
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


Main panel is likely bonded right behind the service neutral lug but you would need to check. Its an older squared d QO which is obvious. Neutrals and ground under same screw at the Main panel. Easy fix. He has already bought the home and I would have also. I see no deal killer for the OP but maybe for insurance or mortgage company. Sounds like he is past anything like that happening. And he likely cannot back out at this point...I wouldn't anyway. I would be more concerned about the foundation and structure than the electrical from what I see.

This is a vintage home I have seen this stuff a thousand times. He just needs to start addressing or discussing with the agent and homeowner what he would like fixed and see if they will take care of it or if they will give some compensation for the OP to do it.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:36 PM   #23
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This is what the home inspector said...

Electric - Power is brought to the building by an overhead line, which attaches to the meter box on the west side. The seal between the feed line and meter is cracked, and should be replaced, to provide a weather tight seal.

The feed from the meter enters the building through the basement wall, where it connects to the main panel. The service is 100 amperes, and branch circuits are protected by circuit breakers, except for the dryer shut off switch, which is protected by cartridge fuses.
The panel has serious corrosion at the bottom of the panel. The neutral bus is also corroded. One feed wire has water stains, from leakage through the service cable from the meter. This is a potentially hazardous condition.

Branch circuits were mostly wired with copper conductors, except for 2 -220 volt circuits.
Branch circuits were nonmetallic sheathed and armor clad cable and knob and tube.
There is a 40 ampere sub panel, located in the attic. It is marked “second floor”, but the directory was not marked. The main disconnect of the sub panel was protected by 60 ampere cartridge fuses, and branch circuits by edison based plug fuses. There was no anti oxidant material at the copper / aluminum connection at the panel. Two fuse holders were uncovered. There were many open knockouts. These are potentially hazardous conditions.

The sub panel branch circuits were wired with aluminum nonmetallic sheathed cable. This is a type of wiring system that has been problematic over the years. It should be evaluated by a licensed electrician.
The service is grounded by an aluminum stranded wire, which was (apparently) boned to the water service pipe, but is disconnected. This, too, is a potentially hazardous condition.
Receptacles are a combination of grounded (3-prong) and ungrounded (2-prong) types. Distribution of receptacles is marginal to meager. There are GFCI receptacles in the bathroom and exterior.
There were no receptacles in the kitchen.

Given the conditions noted above ( and were are not electricians), we recommend, under the strongest terms, that a licensed electrician evaluate the condition of the electrical system, including the meter box and feed cable, and make all necessary repairs. This should be done as soon as possible. Further, we recommend you check with your insurance company about coverage for knob and tube and aluminum wired branch circuits.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:46 PM   #24
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Yeah the water intrusion needs addressing asap. This is the problem with giving a overall opinion based on the pictures. The 'whole' picture is sometimes less pretty.... I didn't figure the corrosion was from leaking water entering the panel...those old foundations are notorious for humidity and dampness. None the less I should have brought up the possibilty. I don't think it has been leaking all that long.

The homeowner should fix this IMO unless this is an "as is" purchase.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:53 PM   #25
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we recommend, under the strongest terms, that a licensed electrician evaluate the condition of the electrical system
In view of his/her biases, if an inspector says this I wouldn't touch the house.
He/she is now looking out for his/her own financial and legal security and will face the considerable wrath of the realtor.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:53 PM   #26
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


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Yeah the water intrusion needs addressing asap. This is the problem with giving a overall opinion based on the pictures. The 'whole' picture is sometimes less pretty.... I didn't figure the corrosion was from leaking water entering the panel...those old foundations are notorious for humidity and dampness. None the less I should have brought up the possibilty. I don't think it has been leaking all that long.

The homeowner should fix this IMO unless this is an "as is" purchase.
Us and another couple put a offer in with in 1 day of each other and they wanted the electrical upgraded and we said we would take it as is, so our offer was accepted... bitter sweet
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:25 PM   #27
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


Ok so your into buying the home. It ain't that big of a deal...it's going to take some work though. Are you going to have the panel replaced? Or do you need to wait for awhile to collect the funds to do so. If so get the water stopped and get the panel looked at for corroded busses and main breaker connections. I do not see anything that would decommision that panel from the picture. The sub is another subject....
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:37 PM   #28
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Yeah, the house is as good as ours at this point... and I don't mind doing the work, at least what I can. I figure I will start with rewiring the rooms one by one and then get a electrician to hook it all up I guess. I wanted to upgrade to a 200a panel but all the quotes I got were 2k and I dont really have that right now....

I posted here because I called 15 electricians in the area and 3 got back to me and I am working with the realtor to get them in. The hardest part is that I am stationed out in Wyoming and the house is in MA. I think I am ok with the insurance. I found a company that will take the knob and tube so I am good there.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:03 PM   #29
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How Bad Does This Electrical System Look??? (buying a house)


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In view of his/her biases, if an inspector says this I wouldn't touch the house.
He/she is now looking out for his/her own financial and legal security and will face the considerable wrath of the realtor.
Home inspectors who write such commenrs are long past being concerned about what the real estate agents think.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:08 PM   #30
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Ok Pat

And BTW thanks for your service to the country. I did mine back in the Vietnam era.

I totally understand your situation. This isn't the end of the world. We lost a tail rotor on our Huey during a mission....that's an end of the world concern... I still remember how white I turned...

Anyway would you be interested in a short/long list of what I see that you should look at in order of priority with your electrical...??

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