What I'm Seeing Now

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Dangerous Receptacle Installation - "That's How They're Doing It Now."

If something has always been done a certain way for decades, either through common sense, best practice or because of codes, and suddenly it changes because someone thinks "that's how they're doing it now," then we need to rethink sanity.  Who makes these changes?!

This is new construction, again (!), and here is the view under the kitchen sink.

Something might spring out at you.  Yes, the disposal receptacle.

Is that under the drain and disposal?  Yes!
Is it facing up and ready to receive a drippy leak?  Yes!
Is the box metal?  Yes!
Was this intentional?  Yes!
How do I know - because the box is screwed into the cabinet floor.
Is the disposal circuit on a GFI breaker?  No!
Should it be?  No!  (Well, maybe when done like this!)
Should it need to be?  No!

Everything about that is about as dumb as it can be.  The receptacle box should be high on the rear wall of the cabinet, away from water, spilled cleansers and other stuff and damage.  It is a dangerous receptacle installation!

BUT THAT ISN'T ALL!

It isn't the disposal plugged in there!  It's the dishwasher!  The disposal is hard wired and clipped to the drain line, as it should be!

Here's the rest that bothers me:

1.  That braided hose services the dishwasher water.  It comes out of the hot water handle in the back, loops around the FRONT of the cabinet, to pass through a hole in the BACK of the cabinet, a hole full of sharp edges and splinters, to service the dishwasher.  Why not shorten it, run it straight out the back of the cabinet, thereby protecting it from damage as kitchen things get put into the cabinet?
2.  The gray conduit you see services the disposal switch, located under the cabinet.  The switch location is fine.  But why not run that conduit along the top of the cabinet to go down and pass through the rear corner, out of sight and not in the way?
3.  The dishwasher plug is looped in the front of the cabinet, unprotected and passes through a hole full of sharp wood and splinters.  I have never seen a dishwasher plugged into a receptacle before, but if this is how this one is wired up why not do the cord installation smartly?

Funniest of all, the supervisor showed up to do his thing with the buyer.

He walked into the kitchen and saw me and his face went white!  He knows me pretty well!  I opened the cabinet and asked him to look inside and he looked down at his feet like he was caught at something! 

He said simply, "That's how they're doing it now."

My answer to that?  "So!  It's dumb and dangerous!  And who are 'they'!?"  And I went through my litany of bothers.

AND HE AGREED WITH ME!  And he said they would change it all.

I wondered if it was my job to express myself and what bothered me?  ;>)

My recommendation:  if something that is supposed to be done right is suddenly changed and done wrong or dangerously, don't ever accept the excuse that it is the new way they are doing it!  How "THEY" do it is irrelevant if it is wrong!  And your home inspector will know what looks right and what does not!

Don't ever discount the value of a home inspection on new construction!  You never know what you will run into!

 

 

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 31 commentsJay Markanich • July 08 2011 07:33AM

Comments

That's why I say a good home inspector is not expensive, they are priceless!  Good morning Jay.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 9 years ago

WOW...what a great DIY example.....Billy Jo Bob and all his cousins must have had a hand in this one !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Hi Ken and good morning!  Another photo of another new construction installation in another neighborhood in Mr. Jay's neighborhood!

S&D - what was so funny here is that the disposal wiring was perfect!  At first it looked like the disposal was the problem!  Not so!  So many people got their heads together to get this thing into perfect shape, and just the way they are doing it now!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

We don't have much new construction around Crofton, but I remember back in the day... buyers simply weren't willing to invest in a home inspection for new construction because they felt the county inspectors were already checking on things like this.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Jay, You just never know what they'll try next!  At least mount it vertically and above the lower section if you have to put it in there.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 9 years ago

Oh, my.  The picture says it all. 

Posted by Katie McBride, The McBride Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 9 years ago

Yeah right Margaret!  This house already had it's county approval and they missed, oh, a lot!

That's the idea Bliz.  Receptacles should always be on the wall!

Katie - a thousand words?  Then how come my blog is so short?     ;>)   You are right of course!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

If that's how they are doing it now......... they must be Moe, and the others as we know are Larry,Curly,Shemp and Joe.

Thats why folks you should hire a professional like JAY before,during and after new construction. You would have it done if you were buying a home.

Luv the baby shot

Enjoy the day

 

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton, Mass 02356 (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) over 9 years ago

This is a great post regarding the importance of NEW CONSTRUCTION Home Inspections. So many times, people assume because it is new it doesn't need inspected. It just isn't the case these days because of they way "they" are doing it.

Posted by Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections, Experience the IHI Difference (IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581) over 9 years ago

Beware of the dreaded "THEY"!!  Your posts are always so enlightening.  If I lived in Bristow, I'd be calling you for all my clients' inspection needs!

Posted by Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY (Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ) over 9 years ago

Don - that baby shot is pretty much how we faced each other off, remembering each other from that other inspection!

D&B - interestingly, 15 years ago I never did new construction inspections.  Nobody felt there was the need.  Now, with the professionalism introduced by 7-11 construction, they are a necessity!  I do 2 or 3 a week.

Thank you Cara.  I go all over Northern Virginia!  And watch out, "they" are out there!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay,

Thanks for a great post. You have educated me again. I would have bet that beside all of your identified problems, the lack of a GFCI in such close proximity to water would have been mandatory too. Happy Friday.... only one day left to your work week :-)

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) over 9 years ago

Saturday is the last day of the six day work week for me Brad!  Thanks, and I don't know if a GFI is required under there or not!  Would think so, but don't know!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Oh yes. The proverbial 'they'. Dumb as posts and just as sharp, NOT. One of the expressions I heard as a tradesman and learned to hate was "That's good enough.".

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 9 years ago

Hey Jay,  even the code inspectors around here wouldn't pass that.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 9 years ago

Jay - Regardless of "how they're doing it now," some things are just common sense--a commodity in short supply.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 9 years ago

Hi Jay! I will admit to being speechless before I even read your blog. This picture itself bothered me. So, if it is how we do it now, are we becoming dumber with age? Helllloooo??? Funny supervisor!

Posted by Lydie Ouellet Dickinson, Realtor (Realty Executives Tri County, Bellingham MA) over 9 years ago

"They" are everywhere Robert.  Unfortunately.  I understand even above the border!

Jack - around here on final inspection they are interested in the smoke detectors and GFI tests.  They don't look inside things, like cabinets.

John - that is so true it is scary.  This crap bothers me to no end.

Lydie - amazing!  And this house already had its occupancy permit!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay,

Nothing like gravity, water, a conductor and electricity to make things electrifying ;)

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

They sure mixed up a great recipe there Don!  I for one would like to see it all come together!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

How could anyone look at that and not know there's something wrong. What a mess.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

And the beat goes on Jim.  I should send that to Steve Smith so he can post a blog about that song!  The inspector's new theme song!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Great example of the type of thing a buyer might easily overlook, to their detriment...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

He looked at it Chris, as did the Realtor, and did not notice anything untoward.  The supervisor knew it was trash though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Oh my. I also own an electrical contracting company, and I can promise you that "they" are not doing it this way now.  Sloppy work at best.  More issues than you can count.  Thanks for the blog.   Suggested, Jay.  As Realtors we need to be able to spot some things that don't make sense when it has fire or shock potential.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 9 years ago

Holy Cow Jay, haven't seen this "way they do it" anywhere til now. Can't wait to LOL when I do see it.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 9 years ago

That was easy to spot Mike.  I suspect the supervisor knew about it, based on his reaction, and did nothing until I brought it up.  Once the buyer, and realtor, understand the seriousness of some of these things, they demand action.

Tom - let me know when you see it!  I am still wondering who"they" are...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

I haven't seen the plug phenomenon yet but that sure is a doozy!  YIKES!

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 9 years ago

I think "they" are calling that a catch-all receptacle now Justin.  And the loopy hosefaction.  Yeah, that's what it's called.

I'll have one out about ours.  I just finished the photos!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

This is a great post.  Perhaps the put one in the bath tub to so you could dry your hair while bathing.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Now there's an idea that ought to be catching on Gene.  Nothing like convenience, I always say.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

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