This inspection photo shows a 50A, 220V circuit that serviced the homes Range, Dryer and the Air conditioner, yes, all three appliances on one breaker. The junction box was hanging in mid air, was missing grommets. You may also notice limestone basement walls and a dirt floor. You can’t even begin to list all the reasons this is wrong and unsafe.
In older homes it is common to have an old electrical panel vacated and a new one installed at a nearby location.. At this particular home inspection I came across a door in the stairwell. The original panel had been removed from the enclosure space.
The electrical service drop is the point where the electrical service wiring enters the home. At this home inspection there was a rather lengthy span between the electrical pole and the service mast.
It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but the photo demonstrates a homeowner DIY project that creates an unsafe situation. At this home inspection I found that a previous homeowner had taken on a remodel project in the basement.
On many of the home inspections I do on older homes, I come across knob and tube wiring that is still live but should be removed and replaced. Unfortunately, over the years, this type of system is prone to problems due to age, damage, improper alterations and deterioration.
Electrical safety is important in a home, especially if you have small children. On a recent home inspection on an older foreclosure, I came across several baseboard duplex outlets looking like the one above.
Home fires are dangerous and devastating. Each year fires cost nearly 347 billion in the United States. Costs can include medical treatment, property loss and damage, fire department costs, and lawsuits, just to name a few.
This home inspection video shows an improper exterior electrical installation. The past homeowner needed electrical power to the outside, so he went ahead and drilled a hole through a basement window frame and ran a wire through it.
In this video, you will see where a home owner has used an extension cord a permanaent wiring. The cord is run from one room to another, through the cieling and down next to the electrical panel.
In addition to the spider, I found three wires that were charred due to arcing and overheating in this electrical panel. The client told me that the electrician said he was very fortunate to have not had a fire.
During a recent home inspection I came across a power strip that was being used as permanent wiring. The power strip was twist tied and duct taped to a water line supplying an external hose faucet. The home owner was watering the lawn that day, the Air Conditioning was off and it was moderately humid.
Most home inspections find that the dampness in basements can usually be traced back to lack of gutters and downspouts and/or poor drainage at the foundation. By correcting above-ground problems you can help to prevent structural damage to your home, as well as dry up those basement damp spots.
Most homeowners have automatic garage door openers to save themselves and their vehicles from the extreme Southeastern MN. weather conditions. It's a great convenience and one that is often taken for granted until the day you lose all electrical power.
You need not be afraid of fixing your own doorbell if it is not working. All parts of a doorbell system are low voltage 12-24 volts. All of the wiring in a doorbell system will be low voltage, and this low voltage can't really hurt you.
As a Home Inspector I frequently find exposed garage wiring that is subject to damage. You can protect wiring by placing a 1x3 board in front of them or by finishing garage walls with sheetrock or plywood. It's never a good idea to use wiring at a method of storing or hanging items in a garage.
Even when the Home Inspector is on vacation in the Mayan Riviera, he's checking things out. Here is an example of a public beach electrical system. About half way from the edge of the jungle to the water I came across this electrical outlet in the sand. Who knows what the code is in his particular area of the Yucatan Peninsula!
A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, (GFCI), sometimes called a Ground Fault Interrupter, (GFI) is an important electrical safety device in your home. GFCI's should be installed in Kitchens, Bathrooms, and any other room with a sink, like a Laundry area, as well as Garages, Exterior Outlets, and near Pools or Hot Tubs.
When it comes to building codes, most people have an opinion, Are they there to keep us safe, or are they a nuisance? Without a doubt, building codes are a good thing. Their purpose is to ensure proper workmanship and to provide for your safety.
On a recent home inspection I came across some wiring in a wall that had been damaged. The homeowner had covered the damaged insulator with electrical tape.
If a light fixture gives off a burning smell, disconnect the fixture until you have determined the source of the odor.
Overheating electrical wires and devices often emit a burning smell. Don't use the fixture again until a professional has inspected and repaired it. A fluorescent fixture may have a ballast that has failed and is spilling tar. For typical incandescent light fixtures, the burning smell may occur if you're using an oversized bulb. Check the rating of the fixture and the wattage of the bulb. The rating will be inside the fixture, near the bulb. Never exceed the wattage recommended.
You might also have a loose electrical connection at the splice or in the outlet box, or a loose screw or lamp base. A loose connection can create excessive resistance to electrical flow, and the resistance causes heat. Excessive heat makes metal connections expand and contract, loosening them further. This heat can damage insulation and even start a fire. Sometimes, when such excessive heat melts plastic, the problem area emits a misleading "dead animal" smell.
If you notice any strong smells near outlets, electrical boxes, or light fixtures, they may be due to an electrical problem. Call an electrician to evaluate and fix the problem. In the meantime, do not use electrical power in that area.