Electrical Wiring in the Home/help my buyers please


I'm a Realtor trying to put a very nice young family in a 1925 home. Inspection yesterday revealed 70amp breaker box w/ 3 sub panels (at least 1 of which is Federal Pacific), double tapping and no room left to do anything else. We asked for box to be brought up to code and at least 100amp service. Seller is saying they had an electrical tell them it's fine as is. Do I want to die on this hill? I don't want to get this family into trouble and am trying to arm myself with more info in anticipation that they offer us a small allowance or aren't willing to update. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Robert Wilber
Philadelphia Licensed Electrician
Philadelphia License # 3516 - 16765
Electricity is dangerous!
You can be injured or killed!
Improper installations can cause fire, injury and death!
Are you qualified to do this work?
National Electrical Code definition, NFPA 70 2008 Article 100: Qualified Person. "One who has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of the electrical equipment and installations and has received safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved."
Electricity is fire in a box, death on a leash!
Always check with the local “Authority Having Jurisdiction” for an official interpretation before making installation decisions.
In Philadelphia, it is unlawful for anyone except an individual licensed by the City of Philadelphia to install electrical equipment and wiring.
Homeowners are not allowed to install wiring.
The owner of any property wherein any such installation is discovered shall be issued a violation by the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
The limited exceptions include replacing devices and fixtures at existing outlets.
Contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections for more information.
You are more likely to be killed by 120 volts than any other voltage [120 volts creates the PERFECT fatal current through the human body's electrical resistance!]
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) [downloadable GFI safety pdf]
This information is provided for the use of parties as they see fit!
I am not responsible for the application of this information by any party, including those lacking sufficient skill or knowledge to perform these steps safely and any hazard created is the SOLE responsibility of the user.
You used the key word, whether you know it or not. Update.
If it was Code when it was built that means it is code today.
The purpose of the National Electrical Code is to provide guidelines suitable for adoption as law for the installation of systems for the safe utilization of electricity. Period. If you locate and read a copy of the NEC you will find it is not a design standard nor does it guarantee a suitable or adequate system, just a safe one.
I actually find it annoying that people go and shop for a property and make an offer at the fair market value then demand the present owner increase the value by adding equipment that the present owner happily lived without. Nothing is free. The house is either worth what you are offering as is, in which case the buyer should expect to replace the service to suit their desires, or you are offering too much.
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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