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Homeowner Electrical Wiring Gone Wild!

This show doesn't come on as infomercials late at night, but let's call it Homeowner Electrical Wiring Gone Wild!

It starts with a completely remodeled home - new kitchen, new bathrooms, bedrooms redone and beautiful.

There was a new roof and siding as well!

Completely remodeled.

The kids even had their own spot out back, a small deck comfortably tucked into the wooded area behind the house.

But wait!  How could the chillens listen to music and play video games without power in the deep, dark woods?

No problem!  Dad to the rescue!

Thinking carefully, what better way to extend power to a deck far from the house than with an extension cord!

That's the ticket!

Let's see - one end at the deck and the other at a power source.

What to do?
What to do?

Got it!

There is a light fixture on the outside of the house conveniently located for such a job!

All we have to do it take off that light fixture and connect the black to black and white to white, running the cord out from under the fixture!

What could be easier?

There are three wires in the extension cord.

But don't worry about that bare copper wire.

There's no where to attach it anyway.

Well, it's bare, so how important can it be?

The extension cord can just stay out there at the deck so the kids can use it anytime they want!

Easy peasy!

That is what I am told was the scenario.

The house partially burned, inside and out.

The whole house filled so completely with black smoke, from the plastic, that the interior needs to be gutted, taken down to the studs, sprayed with deodorizer and then drywalled anew.

All of the insulation, carpets, siding, roof, appliances (the fire was just outside the new kitchen) and windows will need replacement.

This was a big deal.  Fire damage always is.

And all this so the kids can do more than just sit on a deck and talk.

What fun is talking?

My recommendation:  the day likely will not come when someone thinks they can do a quickie electrical project around the house.  And do it without understanding of electricity, wiring, grounding or common sense.  It's best to hire a professional.  Advice from a friend or neighbor on how to "best" do the job might not be the "best" advice one can get...

 

 

 

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 28 commentsJay Markanich • August 24 2013 04:08AM

Comments

Hi Jay,

You have to Love the "charred look". Was that the dead give away there was an issue? LOL

Alway call a pro. MOST of the time they get it right.

Have a good day in the Bristow area today.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 5 years ago

Fortunately no one was hurt Clint, but I wonder how insurance will handle this?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

I guess dad was counting on the having an impromptu fire pit. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 5 years ago

They are sure popular now Jim!  Or maybe a little ritual sacrifice?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Banana bread coming to the next Meet up that Jay makes it to in Wilton!   

No fires....

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Thanks Dags!  Will it look like this?  Is that missing slice mine?                      

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Oh gosh.  What a shame.  Not a surprise, but still what a shame.  They should have had a licensed electrician do this.  Maybe even the sameone who did the kitchen.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

And maybe they were making "smores to:

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago

Perfect example of what CAN happen when somebody that doesn't know what they're doing plays electrician! Pass the marshmellows!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 5 years ago

But Cousin Debbie, after all, why spend all that money on an electrician?

No doubt Raymond!

Fred - I saw a scorched water heater panel just yesterday.  You should have seen under the panel!

A post on it soon.  Homeowner installation!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Oh my gosh, What was this homeowner thinking?? Oh yeah, he wasn't.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) almost 5 years ago

He wanted the kids to have some fun Tom!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

OK, I'm going to unplug the electrical extension I have jury rigged in the back yard!

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 5 years ago

Wow they're really lucky someone didn't get killed.  All because the kids wanted electricty.  When I was a kid most of the stuff we used didn't require electricity. 

Posted by Marc McMaster, Putting my clients before myself (RE/MAX Centre Realty) almost 5 years ago

Jay, I can tell that wasn't a Billy Jays kit. If he had purchased a Billy Jays outdoor music kit it would have included firepit OUTSIDE for the smores... not inside. That was a cheap imitation that cost them dearly.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 5 years ago

Good idea Gabe.  Extension cords are not meant for long-term use.

I hear you Marc.  And wow, you must be really, really old!

Andrea - they should always check with Billy before trying to come up with their own solution.  I agree...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Burned up vinyl siding can indeed make for some nice smoke :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 5 years ago

The house is condemned obviously, Charlie, but looking in a couple of windows that black smoke is really evident!

No White Widows however...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Boy, this high tech lifestyle can be dangerous Jay.  :) 

Great argument for a professional installation.

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 5 years ago

I think they could have accommodated the play deck a bit more professionally too Tom.  Electricity is always dangerous.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Ok. YIKES is about the best I can come up with for this. It could have turned out so much worse for this family...and with how dense it looks with all those trees..well, I don't even want to think about it!

Posted by Emmary Simpson, Serving Tucson AZ (Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert) almost 5 years ago

Emmary - there was a 250' tree beside this house leaning at 20 degrees right toward the house!  That scared me too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Jay -- hopefully many of the people in the surrounding area will LEARN something from this family's catastrophe.  Glad to hear no one was injured.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 5 years ago

Put a sign in the yard maybe Steven - "Don't do your own wiring!"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Steven i will use this post as a good example when people ask me "what could happen" when i call out items just like this one. Most common extension cord connection is in the garage for the opener.

Posted by Westchester County Home Inspector BY Anthony Cioppa, Westchester Home Inspectors compassinspectors.com (Westchester Home Inspector Compass Home Inspectors ) almost 5 years ago

'Tis Anthony!  And again, extension cords are not long-term cables!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

Jay, It always amazes me how something like this go on then I see home that if I would have to guess would catch fire but don't. Sometimes you just have to be lucky.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

These folks certainly weren't lucky Don.  They had previously done a lot of remodeling and upgrading to their house, only to have this thing happen.  It's really too bad, but consequences sometimes follow poor decision making.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 5 years ago

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