electrical expert in NJ? (or legal expert)

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I didn't say so before, but I know how you feel, and I agree. A big part of life seems to be learning to get past stuff like this.
I"m not good at it, so I try to do as little commerce as possible.

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I also found in NJAC 13:40-15.16, the standards of practice for inspectors in NJ, that inspectors are required to:
(i) 1. Inspect ii. Main disconnects, main panel and sub panels, including interior components of main panel and sub panels; v. Over-current protection devices and the compatibility of their ampacity with that of the connected wiring;
(i) 2. Describe (report in writing) iv. Predominant type of wiring; vi. Presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring.
source: http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/adoption/hiado63.htm
Also, the standards of practice for the American Sociaety of Home Inspectors requires that inspectors report in writing "on the presence of solid conductor aluminum branch circuit wiring". http://www.ashi.org/documents/pdf/standards.pdf 7.1, C, 1
In addition, the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors hanbook indicates that inspectors should be familiar with "Problems with aluminum wire" http://www.homeinspectionexam.org/pdf_files/46372Fexamhandbookrev.pdf section II, Task 4, c., 4
Yes, I am obsessing about this but when you pay somebody to do a job, they should do what they are paid to do. Especially when they are licensed experts in a particular field.
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Good information, but keeping score here, wasn't it Copper-clad Aluminum in you house?
tom
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Funny I have a house built in 1993, and I have aluminum wire. 4/0 SE cable, wonder if I have a lawsuit too.
;)
tom
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4/0 guage aluminum is service entrance wire, not branch circuit wire. I think most homes use aluminum service entrance wire because it is much cheaper than copper.
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After DAGS, (a whole lot of them) I have found that the inspectors waiver would probably not hold up in NJ.
http://lawlibrary.rutgers.edu/decisions/appellate/a6811-01.opn.html
Now I have to find an attorney...
The bug guy showed me how extensive the damage is in the basement, sill plate compressed under a few joists and the rim joist is pretty chewed up. House is in no danger falling down but would easily be found by a decent inspector.
I'm still too ticked off to let this go right now. Maybe a discussion with an attorney will convince me to let it go...
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RayV wrote:

As others have tried to point out, there is the issue here of what is practical. If you were to pursue this to trial, where is the big payoff? It's far from certain that you would win, and even if you did, what are you going to collect? The most that I could see would be the inspection fee you paid, plus some arguable amount that covers the difference in value of a house with the wiring you have which is still legal and functional vs one with copper wiring. How much that amounts to is highly questionable, but it's a lot less than the cost of rewiring the house.
Let's take a generous guess and say it's $10K. To try to recover $10K, how much are you prepared to spend? You're going to have to pay a lawyer. You are going to need testimony from expert witnesses. In short order, you will spend a lot more than you stand to recover and you may not win. I'd also take a good hard look at the contract you signed with the home inspector, as they generally have pretty good protection for the inspector and limit recovery. To succeed, you are probably going to have to prove it was gross negligence.
The best solution I see is what has been already suggested and that is to sue the inspector in small claims court. In NJ, that limits the amount to $3000, but avoids the legal fees.
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See my post from earlier today, it shows that inspectors in NJ are required to report in writing the presence of aluminum wiring in a house. http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_frm/thread/ca5e2b861b4fce60/136aa7ebdb2efa94#136aa7ebdb2efa94
Small claims might not work because *malpractice* is not eligible for small claims in NJ. Also the inspector is required to have insurance so any claim I file will put me up against an attorney from the insurance company who would bury me in legaleze.
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RayV wrote:

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.home.repair/browse_frm/thread/ca5e2b861b4fce60/136aa7ebdb2efa94#136aa7ebdb2efa94
Just checked the rules for small claims in NJ and I think you are right. Malpractice suits are prohibited, so I think that route is out. If you could get it into small claims, I wouldn't worry about the insurance company sending a lawyer for a possible $3000 case, as it's not worth their time. More likely they would offer to settle Even if they did send a lawyer, the judge knows small claims is to give the little guy a fair shot, so I doubt he'd let a lawyer bury you in legaleze. But if small claims is out, I don't see any alternative that makes any sense.
Another possible data point occurred to me. I believe the max you can hope to recover in any case would be the inspector's fee, plus whatever a judge would determine is the difference in worth of a house with copper clad alum vs a house with copper wiring. If you know a real estate agent, you could see if they have any actual experience in sales where the inspection uncovered that type wiring, or even full alum wiring. They could tell you what happened and how much difference it made in selling price. Even that is probably very hard to determine, because other factors can be involved. But if you were to pursue this in any court, that would be evidence you would need to prove damages. If a realtor tells you it can't be determined or made little difference, then you know you are gonna have a hard time proving damages.
I would also check the NJ sellers disclosure law rules at the DCA, which are pretty strict and what the requirements are for disclosing alum wiring. You might have a legitimate claim against the seller, if for example it is required to be disclosed, you can show they knew it and didn't disclose it. But of course that comes with it's own problems. You could check with the town for records of electrical permits pulled and what they show.
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