What I'm Seeing Now

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This Was Code Then! So here we are!

Sometimes I am surprised to find out that this was code then!  So here we are!

It looked like this laundry room was created at a date than the construction of the house.  In calling the county, one of the more rural ones in Northern Virginia, we found out that not only was this room original, but it was to code!

It's the electric panel box in a closet beside the washing machine trick!

This house was built in 1984.  I am not sure I have ever seen this before, but the panel box was located in the laundry closet, beside the washing machine.

So here we are!

In today's world a panel box should not be in a closet.

And common sense, if nothing else, would suggest not to put the main electric power location right next to an appliance that can splash water, or tubes that can burst and spray water!

So here we are!

It's hard to move either thing in this house.  The panel box is where it is by design, and it's proximity to where the outdoor underground electrical lines attach to the house.

And the laundry room?  There is no where else in the house to put one unless other closets are removed and major plumbing and renovation changes occur.

So here we are!

The code today cannot force a change in this arrangement! 

When people ask me if their house is to code, my comment is simple - no.

Every year hundreds or thousands of changes are made to the National Electric Code alone.  Do you think every house in the country is up to the most recent codes?  Do you think anyone knows all those changes every year?

No.

But even something as odd, and dangerous, as having a water-using appliance sitting just beside an electric panel box is not something the code will affect. 

And that there is a wide appliance - the dryer - sitting in front of the panel box, making it harder to access to turn breakers on and off is also not affected.

So here we are!

My recommendation:  sometimes a home inspector finds himself in the odd place of explaining how bad something can be, and, at the same time, say that gee whiz, by golly, well, that's just the way it is!  Hopefully the cover on the panel box is really, really water tight!  But, as for me and my house, we shall obey common sense, and keep these two things separated!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • July 16 2015 03:15AM
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