How to Inspect the Electrical Circuit Breakers (UPDATED 1/19/18)
While the inspector is at the electrical panel they should be checking to make sure that all of the breakers are in good working condition. If there are any breakers that are missing, broken or a different brand from the other breakers, it should be called out as a defect. Please review the entire procedure below.
International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection
I. The inspector shall inspect:
H. Panelboards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers or fuses).
J. A representative number of switches, lighting fixtures, and receptacles, including receptacles observed and deemed to be arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)-protected using the AFCI test button, where possible.
K. All ground-fault circuit interrupter receptacles and circuit breakers observed and deemed to be GFCIs using a GFCI tester, where possible.
II. The inspector shall describe:
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
B. Any unused circuit-breaker panel opening that was not filled.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
B. Operate electrical systems that are shut down.
I. Activate any electrical systems or branch circuits that are not energized.
Axium SOP Differences
Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.
No tools required to inspect the electrical circuit breakers.
- The inspector will check the circuit breakers while the panel cover is off to make sure that they are properly secured and there are no different brands in the panel.
- We also want to use the test button on any GFCI and/or AFCI breakers to make sure that they are working properly.
- Also, look for any double taps, signs of overheating, and the wire breaker size/insulation.
- If everything looks good and there are no defects we will take one picture showing all of the circuit breakers.
- The AFCI or GFCI breakers don’t trip when tested.
- There are different brands of breakers in the electrical panel.
- There is a double tap or signs of overheating.
- The wire breaker size or insulation is insufficient or damaged.
- Not checking all of the breakers to make sure that the brands are the same.
- Not testing the AFCI or GFCI breakers that are in the panel.
- Not checking the circuit breakers for general damage or that they are secured in the electrical panel.
Report / Software
AFCI Breaker Procedure:
- Read the Special Instructions/Notes for the inspection property.
- Some homeowners have sensitive electronics, and have instructed us NOT to test the AFCI breaker.
- If no special instructions are present, test the AFCI by pressing the blue button.
- Document results in the report.