Understanding Ohio's limitations on the Home Inspection industry.

Licensed Home Inspectors in Ohio will have a defined role in the real estate buying and selling process for the first time in Ohio history.

Home Inspector Limitations

What is a Home Inspection as defined in Ohio?

(C) "Home inspection" means the process by which a home

inspector conducts a visual examination of the readily

accessible components of a residential building for a client.

"Home inspection" does not include pest inspections;

environmental testing; inspection of any property or structure

conducted by an employee or representative of an insurer

licensed to transact business in this state under Title XXXIX of

the Revised Code for purposes related to the business of

insurance; or determination of compliance with applicable

statutes, rules, resolutions, or ordinances, including, without

limitation, building, zoning, or historic codes.

 

What it is, is well defined and straightforward.

(C) "Home inspection" means the process by which a home

inspector conducts a visual examination of the readily

accessible components of a residential building for a client.

A visual examination is self-explanatory.

Readily accessible is defined and has its most common use in the electrical industry.

Starting in the 2014 NEC, if something required the use of tools to gain access to it, then it was NOT considered readily accessible. A junction box for example requires a screwdriver  to open it and therefore meets the definition of “accessible” rather than “readily accessible”.

The inside of an electrical panel is NOT readily accessible.

Not readily accessible

It is well recognized that the remove of an electrical panels cover involves risk and poses more of a risk to an individual not trained in electrical safety.

QUALIFIED PERSON: A person with skills and knowledge related to the construction, installation, and operation of electrical systems or equipment, and has appropriate safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards.

The new Home Inspector law includes additional information so that it is clear that any act that could cause harm is not allowed.

Removing Panel Covers

(G) "Readily accessible" means available for visual

inspection without requiring a person to move or dismantle

personal property, take destructive measures, or take any other

action that will involve risk to a person or to the property.

This means that the door to the cover can be opened but that the cover must remain on. In other words - DO NOT TAKE THE COVER OFF!

 

 

What is not included?

"Home inspection" does not include pest inspections; ……. or determination of compliance with applicable statutes, rules, resolutions, or ordinances, including, without limitation, building, zoning, or historic codes.

There are only two reasons to remove the cover from an electrical panel.

  1. To perform electrical work. Home Inspectors are not licensed to perform electrical work.
  2. To perform an electrical inspection. Home Inspectors are not Certified to perform Electrical Inspections.

If you are selling your home DO NOT allow an unqualified person remove the cover of your electrical panel.

If they want to have an electrical inspection performed demand that it be performed by an Electrical Safety Inspector. The full state list is here.

Electrical Safety Inspectors

So what can a Home Inspector do? A Home Inspector can take his years of knowledge and tell you when he believes that an ESI should be called in.