What I'm Seeing Now

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Light Fixture Pond

Interestingly, during a recent home inspection, I turned on the kitchen light.

It worked fine.  But it looked really weird.

Part of the globe was orange, and other spots looked like there were water drops.

This is a newer light fixture, replaced apparently to improve the kitchen's appearance, along with new appliances and counter top.

I had already run the water in both bathrooms above, and the kitchen was directly under the master.

Tapping on the globe it sounded funny.

So I unscrewed it!

Looking inside I did not know this could happen.

Mold was growing in water which had accumulated in the globe!

Running the bathroom water again it began to drip slowly from a hole in the top of the fixture!

Wondering if this had happened before now, one only has to look at the light bulbs!

It looks to me like this has been happening for some time!

And over and over and over and over...

That is the Superman of light fixtures! 

AND THIS IS ONE LUCKY HOUSE!

I did not know mold could grow in water in a light fixture and I did not know that kitchen light fixtures were so water impervious!

My recommendation:  just when you think you understand things, even simple things like light bulbs, you get thrown for a loop! 

Reminds me of the lyrics from a Moody Blues song:

"Breathe deep the gathering gloom,watch lights fade from every room...

Cold hearted orb which rules the night, removes the colours from our sight,
Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right,

AND WHICH IS AN ILLUSION!"

 

 

 

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 • March 18 2013 02:58AM

Comments

Oh wow. That is strange.  And, they are lucky as water and electricity don't mix so well.  Looks like they need a plumber.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 6 years ago

This was one funky house Debbie.  Older and rural.  But what a find!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

OK.  I guess the next thing I wanted to say was .. so what will you find in the attic?  Wondering about a bad roof .. yikes..  What a fun job you have.

Posted by Stanley Stepak, Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake, (Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH) almost 6 years ago

Interestingly, Stan, the roof was metal and the best thing in this house!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

That looks like a bowl of soup. Is that a carrot in the middle of the bowl? 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Isn't that gross Jim?  But soup yes, and it tastes like chicken.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago
All I can say is yuck! Seems like the homeowners were living in a very dangerous situation.
Posted by Lisa Ackerson, CRS - Dallas Fort Worth Area Expert (Fathom Realty DFW) almost 6 years ago

Cheers to the Moody Blues' reference alone!

Posted by Rick Phillips, I care about you and your transaction. (Frankly Realty - Old Town) almost 6 years ago

This is not the best place for water to be ponding Jay. We see this sort of thing in apartment repairs; the upstairs unit leaking into the downstair through the nearest penetration.

Thanks for the unique photos.

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) almost 6 years ago

We are looking for something similar on mars now....nothing so far. The potential for a life mystery is found in an old kitchen fixture?

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 6 years ago

What a cool looking light bulb! I guess the bulbs were getting just hot enough to keep the water level low? A dual purpose humidifier! Jay, you mis-diagnosed it...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 6 years ago

So did these homeowners just empty the bowl when it got full or did they let the water evaporate with the heat of the bulbs?  

Posted by Athina Boukas, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) (Virginia Capital Realty) almost 6 years ago

How many times do we say this...I've seen everything now! And then something so stupid like this comes along. This is really really stupid. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) almost 6 years ago

Interesting that the water was leaking right above the light fixture. I have seen water in light fixtures before but usually there are other signs of a leak.

Posted by Kathy Fuhriman (Bear River Valley Realty) almost 6 years ago

Question is, where does the water come from??  Since water will find it's way DOWN, it could have trickled from anywhere above between floors, etc., etc.  It could have come from 10 feet away.

Making it's way to the lowest level often takes water from a long way from opening to the fixture. 

Gravity is a strange and perplexing force.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Oh! That is something every homeowners should look into as well. 
Jay, thanks for sharing how the light buld pond can get us into trouble when left unattended. 

Posted by Ridhi Raheja, FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan (Movement Mortgage (Illinois)) almost 6 years ago

Water molecules will find a way to let everyone know. .we are here !. .

I need  attention !

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 6 years ago

I'm voting with Fred...it's a humidifier! They're lucky this song wasn't more appropriate...

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) almost 6 years ago

Outside of the electricity part the heat from the light probably made that a really nice environment for the mold to grow. 

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) almost 6 years ago

Jay, so fess up---what did it taste like?----probably even warm wasn't it?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 6 years ago

A petri dish or a light? My weird Science Project - this one takes the cake.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 6 years ago

Lisa - dangerous yes!  I was surprised to see this, truly I was.

Kind of fits, right Rick?

Pretty weird stuff, Tom.  Water will pool where it can!

Maybe this is a frag from a meteor which was cut off of Mars, Richie.  And it landed in that kitchen.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Silly me, Fred.  You Florida types are surely familier with humidity!  Now that I think of it, so are we here!

Athina - I don't know.  The house has been vacant for a while.  But water is surely there, and for some time!

Scott - what can we say?  We will never see it all.

Kathy - it will make its way to the lowest point, as you know.  In this kitchen, that was the light fixture!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Lenn - there's a bathroom above and to the side.  After I ran that bathroom again, with the globe off the light water began to drip slowly from one of those holes in the fixture about 15 minutes later.

Ridhi - I guess.  I have never seen this before!

Fernando - and apparently they like to collect into large groups!

Tim - not a bad thought!  I liked that one too.  Those homeowners were lucky your song wasn't part of their house experience!  That song came on my favorite radio station just yesterday!  One of my faves!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Marc - that and the organics in the water.  This house is fed by a well.

Charlie - you know that before asking it!  And I answered that back in #6!

Debb - looks like a petri dish we did in bio class in college.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago
Now that's a Moody quote I don't know! But I have found light fixture globes with water in them, and it's never clean water so there's some degree of decay, i.e. mold.
Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) almost 6 years ago

That's less than a quarter of the poem at the end of "Nights of White Satin," Robert.  I thought it fit!

That's a poem I memorized in college and it never left.

This is well water too, so it is full of organics and mold food.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

That's disgusting!  It's bad enough to find dead bugs in a light fixture like that, but water and mold?  Nasty.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 6 years ago

Since you already know what it tastes like, Chris Ann, this is just another bowl of feel good when you're sick.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago
Jay-Just when you think you've almost seen it all, a new situation shows up. Water issue, electric issue, and respiratory issue- can you say trifecta?
Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) almost 6 years ago

Good things come in threes Wayne, like all that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

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