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BPI Written Exam - Section 3 Measurement & Verification of Building Performance
16. Understand and Inspect For Basic Electric Safety (e.g. frayed wires, open boxes, etc)
Electrical safety is very important especially when as energy auditors and home performance contractors we are already balancing on studs, inspecting insulation and/or trying to seal ductwork, all in attics that are 130 degrees or with our face in insulation. Energy auditors need to be on the look out for knob and tube wiring in homes built pre-1960s but also electrical hazards that happen even today such as open electrical boxes, non IC rated canned lights and wires spliced together without covered electrical boxes.
I have learned the hard way and now it is a practice to get the homeowner to sign off that you made them aware of any electrical hazards, that you are not an electrician and that you recommend a certified electrician inspect the hazard and that it be removed ASAP. Document everything and get the homeowner to sign off on that documentation.
As energy auditors, we should always be on the lookout for electrical safety issues that could endanger yourself, the homeowner and your crew and peers. In older homes manufactured before the 1970’s may have used knob and tube wiring, which is outlawed by today’s electrical standards. When you find one of the electrical safety issues below you should always take action to notify the homeowner and get them to sign off that they were made aware of the issue and recommend an electrical contractor repair the issue before any work is started.
3a. Applied diagnostics and troubleshooting