The #1 Reason Four Point Inspections Fail
What is a Four Point Inspection?
Just for clarification, a four point inspection is a common insurance inspection to determine the general health of the house. These are typically ordered by insurance companies when considering to insure a house older than 30 years. The “Four Point” refers to the four critical items to inspect, namely the roof, the HVAC system, the plumbing, and the electrical. If any one of these points do not meet the standard, the inspection is considered a failed inspection.
The #1 Reason
Of course, this is more anecdotal then a true study, but it has been my experience on the field as a home inspector to name this one issue as the most common reason a four point inspection fails… that is, “Double Tapping” found in the main electrical panel. For those who are unfamiliar with double tapping, it refers to two wires are terminate under the same screw in a breaker or on the neutral bus bar.
Why is Double Tapping bad?
Double tapping is considered defective for multiple reasons. Wires expand and contract under heat, leading to micro movements. If a breaker is double tapped, these micro movements can allow for one of the wires to become loose, which can lead to sparks, or electrical arcs, which can in turn lead to fires. Double tapping can also lead to an overloaded breaker which would constantly trip or overheat.
How do I fix this?
Fortunately, double tapping is a relatively easy fix. We definitely recommend hiring a professional contractor or electrician to do any work with your electrical box. If you have another slot for an extra breaker, or an unused breaker that is the correct amp size, simple transfer one of the two wires to that new breaker. If you don’t have an open slot, or an unused breaker, you can change out your current breaker to a new one that accepts two wires. If neither of these are viable options, you may want to consider changing out your box, or installing a sub-panel.