I'm buying an older home. The inspection showed no ground on the panel and no ground on some outlets. I'm assuming the outlets are near water, sinks, etc, that need the reset protection. I currently live in California, moving back to Michigan, by February 17th, 2019. The current owners are baulking about doing the fixes, $$$, and have us at a disadvantage, because we need to finalize the sale ASAP. ( I've helped to install a 240 amp panel in a pole barn that was going to use machines that needed the higher amps, so I'm fairly confident I can do the work myself.🤔) However...

If I'm asking for advice, does this mean I should be seeking professional help? And then too our lender may make closing contingent on the work being completed before financing. Thusly making this question moot.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. We can only answer questions which invite specific answers, and unfortunately you question is too broad for us. See if you can narrow it down to a specific, non-opinion-based question. – Daniel Griscom Jan 22 '19 at 1:59
  • Is the panel the inspector reported the main panel for the house, or a subpanel? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 22 '19 at 2:03
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    Don't ask the departing seller to do work, unless you want really crappy shortcutted low-bidder work. Just ask for an offset on sale price, then as Thanos says, "I'll do it myself". Since the offset will be surely more than the parts and closer to the cost of the low-bid labor, you will actually make money on the deal and get work that's tip top. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 22 '19 at 3:05
  • My favorite is when the buyer demands a new service panel, slaps himself on the back for being so clever to get such a great concession, and gives it no further thought. Later, he goes to hook up an electric car and discovers a 100A 12-space Homeline crammed full of double-stuffs. But it's new. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 22 '19 at 3:09
  • It also depends on the locality whether you can legally do it yourself. If not, and there's an electrical problem, your insurance will likely refuse to pay. – Duston Jan 22 '19 at 15:04

I am going to assume a few things. First the inspection you are referring to is by a home inspector and not the AHJ. I have to say I have never been very impressed with the home inspectors of this area because they are not licensed electricians, plumbers or HVAC-R mechanics. They are simply someone who is somewhat familiar with general construction and building codes, and they were able to pass a general inspection test to be qualified to inspect houses. Some are pretty good. Some not so good.

I really have a hard time believing that you have a main panel without a ground. I can believe you have circuits not grounded in a house built before the mid 1960's. If what I just said is true then your house is legal under the grandfather clause. Any changes to your electrical system is an upgrade and if the buyer wants an upgrade then he should be responsible for cost incurred or a mutual agreement between the buyer and the seller.

My advice is to hire your own electrical contractor and have him review the comments and reinspect the house. Then he can present you a letter on his own letterhead and license number stating that the system meets the code it was constructed under. He will probably also suggest to you what you really need to fix.

I can't speak for the State of California or your local jurisdiction, but my masters license and a letter on with my letterhead and my license numbers (contractor and master) over rides any home inspectors report in this area.

PS My license never over rides the AHJ.

Hope this helps.

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