Anytime I see a basement "apartment" I know I am in for some fun.
Looking inside the panel box I knew they had done some wondrous new things to the house (6 double taps and one triple tap in an original, and very small, 125amp panel box), but I could not figure out where the wiring came from to service the basement "apartment."
It had two fluorescent light fixtures and three new receptacles. Each receptacle was overloaded, necessarily. They were all three-hole, but not one was grounded. But where did the electrical service for all that come from?
Looking up inside a small hole in the ceiling beside the furnace, and using my telephoto camera lens to bring me a few feet closer, I found it!
Ahhh, the ubiquitous and ever useful extension cord! We couldn't remodel without it!
The wiring was done for about $8!!
Once again the camera goes where my body can't! It took a few tries to get a clear photo.
And then, from there, the closer photo of how the first light fixture is plugged in! The second light fixture is connected to it! No photo was possible, but I could see the connection with the camera, albeit blurry. Terrific work. Grand mom is really safe.
And from the lights, a wonderful splitting of wiring happens inside the "ceiling" from where conduits extend down to service the receptacles glued on the wall!
1. The extension cord is meant maybe to service one lamp. You can see how small it it.
2. The grouding prong for the lights must not be necessary. So they are not grounded.
3. If the lights are not grounded the receptacles, which come from the lights, cannot be grounded.
This was consistent with the light found in the kitchen ceiling.
A load-bearing wall had been removed between the kitchen and living/dining rooms!
People see the HGTV "open concept" on TV and think they can get it in their house too!
And that new space surely needs a new light!
And yes, this light is wired with one wire nut and three connections merely with electrical tape. It's gorgeous.
Oh, the sagging there now is another consequence of such wall removal. But that is so common these days it is almost not worth commenting on!
My recommendation: when there are "new" spaces, like apartments and "open concepts," have a careful, careful look! Sometimes only a camera can get to where the human body cannot! But be sure you get an informed, experienced home inspector who has a camera! That's the best of Best Practices. And let the games begin.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560