What I'm Seeing Now

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Another "Remodeled" Kitchen - And Another Wiring Disaster

Don't touch!  The wires  might come out, bite you, spark, burn - who knows. 

This house boasted yet another "Must See!" remodeled kitchen.  New cabinets, new kitchen sink, new appliances including a new disposal and -

OLD WIRING...

You might have noticed that this wiring did not quite reach the new disposal in its previous, more complete form.  You know, insulated, together, properly entering the disposal, safely held by a CONNECTOR CLAMP.

Since the cable you see  would not reach, it should have been connected to newer wiring inside a box.  This junction box should have been secured to the cabinet wall.  A newer cable should have come from that box to wire up the new disposal, attached to the drain within 12" of the disposal and secured with a connector clamp.

That's how it would have come with a professionally-done "Must See!" kitchen anyway.  This represents one thing that I could see.  What about what I couldn't?

Hey, at least this connection appears to be grounded!

Once I reached under a disposal to feel if there was a connector clamp and did not look first.  Not only was there no clamp - the wires were twisted together but were not covered with wire nuts.  I touched the bare wires...  and found out pretty quick just how bare they were!  As James Bond said, "shocking..."

My recommendation:  Sometimes you should look before you leap.  And check out the wiring before you feel for a connector clamp!

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 14 commentsJay Markanich • July 28 2009 05:03PM

Comments

I wonder what you would say if you saw the way airplanes are wired.  I saw a documentary that exposed this and it was an eye opener.

Posted by Monika Depalo, REAL ESTATE Agent/Stager (GAFF'S REFERRAL'S INC.) about 11 years ago

Jay,
there's just no pride in workmanship these days. My husband just ran into a similar situation today. Mike didn't look before reaching and touched some exposed wires. Next thing he knew he found himself across the room.

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) about 11 years ago

Sue - it happens to the best of us!  Not only the lack of pride, but the person who thinks he knows something and does not.  We don't know what we don't know!

Monika - certain principles have to be met or there will be heat, sparks, damage and so forth.  On a plane that would be the worst circumstance.  Remember, it was unprotected wiring that sparked slightly and caused the problem on Apollo 13.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Jay - wow makes me want to look closer at all those "updated" homes I have been seeing in my area.

Posted by Victoria Murphy, Santa Fe, NM (Sotheby's International Realty ) about 11 years ago

Jay it would have been so much better to terminate that old wire in a j-box with a receptacle and then put a proper plug-in cord on the disposal

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 11 years ago

Victoria - um, yes you should!

Shadow AKA Charlie - that county doesn't allow them.  They are water vulnerable and people tend to use them for other things, like popcorn poppers.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Victoria - um, yes you should!

Shadow AKA Charlie - that county doesn't allow them.  They are water vulnerable and people tend to use them for other things, like popcorn poppers.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Jay, It would seem like you have been running into a lot of these renovated must see beauties lately.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 11 years ago

Jay - WOW! I would be afraid to go under the sink to get something thinking I would get shocked.

Posted by Robert Schwabe, Orange Park Real Estate (EXP Realty) about 11 years ago

James - yes, that is a part of the market here because there are so many illegals who bought houses and just walked away.  That is easy to do when you get no doc loans with someone else's social security number.  I am still doing 4 or 5 of these a week.  A year ago there were more on the market.  There is, of course, a huge trade off - lower price and lots to fix up.  Those costs are variable and unknown.  With all of these kinds of inspections, what you can see portends disaster with what you cannot!

As you well know...

Robert - the kitchen sink wasn't the only place my man!  There were many, many more of these beauties.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

Looks like harry home owner at work once again. This is just crazy.

Posted by Sharon Harris, Realtor (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) about 11 years ago

Sharon - I see this nearly every day.  I could post one from each, but it would blur you into thinking they were all the same thing!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

In our city, there are very strict requirements for permits. One of my sellers thought that by substituting "like for like" and simply changing out the counter tops would be a no-permit job. Wrong! Each time appliances are swapped out, even if it's "like for like", and countertops replaced, it will require a permit because the new building codes have guidelines regarding the location of outlets ad switches, amperage, etc.

That's why it's so important to get a property inspection.

Posted by Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA (Alain Pinel) about 11 years ago

Pacita - I agree!  Inspections are always recommended, by me anyway!  Here, if wiring or plumbing is changed, a permit is necessary.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 11 years ago

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