If a company is out of business, does that mean that all the products it ever made and sold — and may still be in use — were defective?


At this very moment, I can think of any number of local basements storing black-and-white TV’s made by RCA, Zenith and other defunct brands that work just fine 50, 60 or even more years after they were made (I wish I could say the same about my almost 52 year-old body).

What if the product no longer has an Underwriters Laboratory (“UL”) certification?

It sounds like cause for concern — at least until you realize that UL only certifies products if the manufacturer pays it an annual fee . . . and by definition, defunct companies aren’t around to do that (at least, that’s what I hear from one of my favorite inspectors). 

I raise the foregoing as prelude because I have now encountered my third electric service panel issue in six months.

Whether or not a service panel is safe can depend on the manufacturer (if it’s a recalled model . . it’s not).

However, the best assurance that a given service panel is safe is a safety inspection by a reputable, licensed electrician.

Which is the usual, next step when a Buyer’s inspection raises the issue.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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