Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Service Entrance Conductors (UPDATED 2/16/18)

While inspecting the electrical panel the inspector should check the service entrance conductors for any damage and for proper sizing. It is also important to make sure to check for the service lines that are coming into the home and that they have proper clearance. Please review the entire procedure below.

 

NACHI SOP

International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

 

3.7. Electrical

 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The service drop.

B. The overhead service conductors and attachment point.

C. The service head, gooseneck, and drip loops.

D. The service mast, service conduit, and raceway.

F. Service-entrance conductors.

 

II. The inspector shall describe:

N/A

 

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A, Deficiencies in the integrity of the service-entrance conductors’ insulation, drip loop, and vertical clearances from grade and roofs.

 

IV. The inspector is not required to:

N/A

 

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

 

Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the electrical calipers to measure the size of the service entrance conductors if there are no labels present.

Procedure

    • Once the front cover has been removed we will want to inspect the service entrance conductors in the electrical panel. We will first observe for any general damage to the service entrance conductors.
    • We also want to inspect the service lines that are coming into the property and make sure there are proper clearances from building, roofs, tree branches, or windows.
      • Next we want to determine the size and type of wiring that is being used for the service entrance conductors. The first picture that we take should be a close up showing the type of conductor material (Copper or Aluminum). It is important that this picture is very clear. The second picture should be the entrance conductors from termination through the box, looking at damage and bushings. If the service entrance conductors aren’t labeled try using the electrical calipers to determine the size.

Common Defects

      • The conduit at the service entrance conductors is damaged.
      • There is inadequate overhead clearance above a building, property, roof, tree branches, or a window.
      • There is no drip loop present at the service entrance conductors
      • The size of the service entrance conductors is smaller than the amperage coming into the house.

Common Mistakes

      • Not taking the proper pictures of the service entrance conductors.
      • Not checking for proper clearance of the service lines coming into the property.
      • Identifying the wrong size/type of service entrance conductors in the panel.

 

Report / Software

IN


  • The [word 1] service entrance conductors [word 2]. The service entrance conductors appeared to be in satisfactory condition at the time of the inspection.
    • Service Voltage
      • 120 Volts
      • 120 to 240 Volts
    • Service Conductor Size
      • #1 CU – 150
      • #2 AL – 100
      • #2 CU – 100
      • 1/0 AL – 125
      • 1/0 CU – 175
      • 2/0 AL – 150
      • 2/0 CU – 200
      • 3/0 AL 175
      • 4/0 AL – 200
      • Aluminum Bars
      • No Size Visible

NI

  • The service entrance conductors could not be evaluated at the time of the inspection [word 1].
    • Blocked (Cabinets)
    • Blocked (Personal Items)
    • Blocked (Shelving)
    • Door (Locked)
    • It was not installed at the time of the inspection.
    • No Size ID
    • Not Visible
    • Sealed with Paint
    • Trim Covers Screws
  • Inadequate Clearance: Inspecting this component requires removing the electrical panel cover. According to the NEC (National Electrical Code), safe inspection of a residential electrical panel requires a working space or clearance of at least 36 inches in front, 30 inches of width, and a minimum headroom clearance of 6 feet, or the height of the equipment, whichever is greater. In the opinion of the inspector, the conditions in front of the electrical panel at the time of the inspection did not allow for these safe clearances. Recommend providing the clearances mentioned so the electrical panel can be safely accessed in the future.

NP

  • N/A

RR

  • Conduit Damaged: The conduit protecting the service entrance conductors is disconnected or damaged exposing the electrical conductors to damage. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
  • [word 1]. A qualified electrical contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary and according to current standards.
    • Clearance (Building)
    • Clearance (Property)
    • Clearance (Roof)
    • Clearance (Tree Branches)
    • Clearance (Windows)
  • No Drip Loop: The service entrance conductors enter the electrical masthead without a drip loop, and water is likely to run down the wires into the conduit. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary and according to current standards.


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