Two wires diverged on a wood,
And I, I saw the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
On a pre-drywall inspection I saw a wayward traveler - a wire improperly placed on top of a piece of wood and vulnerable to damage.
Yes, a traveler vulnerable to mischief caused along its path by sharp instruments, blows with blunt objects - well, shocking things can result, all caused by highway thugs and miscreants.
This wire needs protection!
To sum it up, this is poorly installed. It's outside an upstairs bathroom and in a hallway. This spot is certainly attractive to picture hanging, and a nail could easily hit it.
Without even quoting the code, which demands various sorts of proper protection for this wire, common sense alone dictates that!
One way is with a simple cover plate. The wire would be buried in a canal or other way to partially hide it and then protected with the plate. This prevents a nail from hitting the wire.
But there are other ways too.
NOTICE the common sense in each of these installations.
The wires have been stapled in the MIDDLE of a vertical stud, or pass THROUGH a hole drilled.
Or they are stapled BEHIND the stud so that they are a comfortable distance from the drywall.
Or they pass THROUGH the convenient holes provided by the manufacturer, or, again, stapled high enough to be AWAY from the drywall.
THIS IS BASIC COMMON SENSE. WHILE ALL OF THIS ALSO "MEETS CODE," IT DOES NOT REQUIRE MUCH EFFORT. ALL IS PROTECTED.
Going back to the top, see how the cable is left unprotected? You can see that the horizontal 2x4 was installed later, and here to hold the shower head. And the plumber did not care about the electrical wire, obviously, as he was interested in the shower head installation.
What to do? Maybe a canal in the stud which buries the cable and then protective cover plates?
That isn't my problem - I merely observed the installation and reported it.
My recommendation: sometimes things found on a pre-drywall inspection seem like little things. This one certainly does. But imagine the shock, pun intended, if on some future day someone goes to hang great grandma's photo in that hallway, and the the nail for the hanger hits that cable! Murphy's Law says it will happen! In a couple of days this cable would have been hidden forever by drywall. It's best to find it now!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560