What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Improper Electrical Installation - Unprotected Wiring

The title says it all, improper electrical installation - unprotected wiring.

Romex wiring, where there is a protective sheathing around various wires that do different things, needs to be installed right.  If held with staples, for example, they should not be hammered in too far.  If the wiring enters a junction box, it should be clamped.  Things like that.

Another consideration is how the wiring is cut in order to service an appliance.

The clamp should be onto the sheathing, with the wiring separated inside a junction box to connect to what it needs to connect to.

Here is the attic side of a bedroom ceiling fan.

First, the insulation was hugely scooped out to create an opening from which to work.

They did provide proper support for the fan, and a good box.

But notice the wiring. 

The sheathing was stripped before it gets to the box.  This has left the individual wires exposed.

This box was wired to a couple of times.  Who knows what all this is to do.  It is simply more than just a ceiling fan.  But at least one of those jobs did not protect or attach the wiring properly.

The insulation should also be built back up over the installation.  Had they done that I would not have seen this!

My recommendation:  proper is proper, and improper is improper.  There are certain ways things should be done.  A professional job pays attention to those proper ways, and might even employ Best Practice  ways.  But what we see above is not right, and is unprofessional.

 

 

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 27 commentsJay Markanich • February 05 2015 03:28AM

Comments

Maybe it's my eyes no I know it's my eyes but it is difficult to see.  I had to look three times before I saw it.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 4 years ago

Jay, yet just another example of the importace of a home inspection. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 4 years ago

Good morning Jay Markanich ,

You have just illustrated one of the many reasons a home inspection is a must when purchasing a home. Good time to get this done correctly before moving in to this home! You are right "proper is proper, and improper is improper." Get it done the right way!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 4 years ago

A home inspection is a must, just as hiring a professional to take care of electrical work is a must!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 4 years ago

Often I have to look many more times than that James!

One of a million and two Wayne.

Dorie - would that that day would arrive would.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Kat - it needs taking care of.  Hopefully the electrician is an insulation expert too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Lenn's law #470, Never, Never, Never permit exposed electrical wiring anywhere, anytime, ever.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 4 years ago

You have more laws than Isaac Newton, Lenn!

Please take the time to print them off for me.  I am sure I can benefit from them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

I hate seeing these electrical repairs but the good thing is that rarely is the insulation put back. You can see the danger before stepping into it! 

Thanks Jay Markanich 

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 4 years ago

Yes, Jay the things we don't see in the attic will scare us out of the house!!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Jay, I would be willing to bet that many many houses have insulation that hide a host of resident evils.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 4 years ago

Electrical issues are not something to take lightly. One small spark or surge and that whole house can go up in flames!

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) over 4 years ago

It's always best to see the danger before stepping into it, Tom!

Says he, with a wink.

Ginny - Abraham Lincoln once told the story of seeing a squirrel come out of a hole in a tree beside his house.  He knew that meant the tree was dead, and could possibly fall onto the house, so he had to cut it down.  He said, "How I wish I had never seen that squirrel come out of that hole!"

And it's best when they do Charlie!  See comment above to Tom about the wink.

Hence the installation requirements Nicole.  If you follow the rules it is freeing, not restrictive!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay, electrical problems may be the worst--they just lay in wait and then spark! Good thing the insulation had been moved away...I guess.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 4 years ago

Yep, I've seen that hundreds of times. Sometimes the effort to jam too many wire in a box will push wires out that are not adequately secured with the box connector. Or, it could just be sloppy work.  I''ve seen that way too many times.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 4 years ago

Nothing like a good home inspector to point out problems like this.  So many people do not hire a good one.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) over 4 years ago

That is not just limited to DIY.  Shoddy electricians who think "nobody will ever see it" will also do it wrong.

Posted by Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Of all the issues that can come up with a home during an inspection, it is those that are electrical in nature that I often find the most quarrelsome.  

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 4 years ago

Again this post points out how important it is for a buyer to have a reputable home inspector who will point out these types of things.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 4 years ago

Jay Markanich now I like that 'Proper is Proper' - no shade of gray, it's either black or white!

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 4 years ago

This makes me crazy when I see this lack of attention to something that can kill people! Stay safe everyone! Love and light!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago

A professional should never have time for shade or misleading any buyer or seller. We are professionals and we should conduct ourselves as such or not do it – any of it – at all. Praful Thakkar

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago

 Good morning Jay. It seems as if folks like to take the easy way out when it comes to doing installations of any type. Folks just seem to love to fool around with electricity. It is the one thing that can kill them or burn their house down.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Tom - the fact that this work wasn't hidden by insulation later says to me that they didn't know what is wrong with it.

Mike - it could be that box is overloaded!  But at least they have a cover on it.

Russ - that would likely be found by anyone going into the attic.  But I had to move about a bit to be able to see it.

Fred - while you are probably right, at least they would know to hide it with insulation!

Myrl - perhaps because people don't understand the seriousness.  I wouldn't argue with a home inspection electrical item!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Joan - we do try to point out things!  Sometimes they are good things too!

Praful - personally I think there isn't too much gray in the world.

Laura - careless work is just that.  If we paid more attention to the Golden Rule this sort of thing would not happen.  And your comment about professionals is right on.

Michael - and in this case the foolish way out.  That is a silly installation!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

A good inspector is hard to find. Your attention to detail makes you a good one! 

Ian (Loudoun-Homes.com)

Posted by Ian Bush, Ian Bush, Loudoun County's Favorite Realtor (Ian Bush Homes) over 4 years ago

Thank you Ian.  This sort of find is not uncommon!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments