Four Point


Top 10 Most Common 4 Point Electrical Issues

The current real estate market is in the middle of a strong growth period, but in most cases to buy or sell a house the property must be insurable, to get a loan. What that means is the property must pass a four point inspection. 

What is a Four Point Inspection? 

Four point inspections are conducted by independent inspectors, who in turn inspect the Electrical, Mechanical Plumbing, and Structural Integrity of the given property to verify that there are no hazards that may result in personal injury or death, or that may cause damage to the building and property being insured.

These are some of more common issues found during a four point inspection:

  1. Outdated Panels and Fuse Boxes. Many older panels have been unlisted by the UL Group, and as such insurance companies deem them unsafe. Although they can not technically make you change the panel, they will not insure the property until it is updated.

  2. Knob and Tube and Cloth Wiring. Houses built 20’s had knob and tube wiring in the 30’s they came out with cloth Romex, but it wasn’t till the mid 50’s that grounding became part of the standard, but they were still using cloth. In the 60’s plastic Romex came out, and there have been many improvements, but that’s what we still use to this day.

  3. Flying Splices and Open Joints. Over time some home owners or “handymen” have modified the electrical system by making junctions under the house or in the attic. In some cases the work was not done correctly. Proper junctions must be made in an electrical rated box with the appropriate cover plate otherwise it is subject to physical abuse and is considered a shock hazard. 

  4. Open Grounds and Reverse Polarity. An open ground may be an indication of older wiring or it maybe a poor connection some insurance companies are OK with replacing the 3 prong with a 2 prong device. Reverse Polarity could just be the person who wired the device didn’t know what they were doing and wired it backwards, but it can be a lot more complicated than that, and may require expert troubleshooting.

  5. Open Neutrals. If you have an open neutral you should contact me as soon as possible. 813-500-8814.  Open neutrals can cause lots of other issues and can damage sensitive equipment such as electronic devices and some modern appliances.

  6. No GFCI Protection. The code is clear on this subject. Any outlet within 6 feet of a sinks edge in a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, garage, outside, or any other wet location must be GFCI protected.

  7. Un-Sleeved Wires. Exposed wires subject to physical abuse that can be damaged or cause a shock hazard. Wires for water heaters, garbage disposals, A/C units, and other household equipment must have the electrical wiring sleeved in an approved conduit. 

  8. Double Taped Breakers. Double taps occur when someone adds a circuit to a panel that has no space, so they install the new circuit on a breaker with an existing circuit. Each circuit should have it’s own breaker, it maybe necessary to upgrade the panel, but not always.

  9. No Isolated Neutral in a Sub-panel.  The neutral is considered a current carrying conductor and must be isolated from the ground except at the main panel.

  10. Unsecured Fixtures and Devices. Fixtures and devices that were not installed properly, or over time have vibrated loose, can be a hazard and must be repaired. 

    Service 1 Electric has focused on 4 point electrical repairs for sometime now, we can tell you every project is different and the older the house the more likely the issues, but we have yet to find a problem we couldn’t solve. Call us today, this is what we do!