What I'm Seeing Now

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Overheated Ground Connection In A Panel Box

There are various reasons for an overheated ground connection in a panel box.

But on a home inspection we inspectors don't diagnose causes.  We simply see it and report it.

The two service conductor connections were also overheated, though not as much.  But no matter what, the entire electrical system on this 1967 house, and it's original panel box, has to be evaluated professionally.

What can be the causes of overheating?

Things like:

> a loose or poor connection, perhaps the most common.

> a too-tight connection.

> an insulation problem, not the issue here.

Nevertheless, seeing such a warm ground-line connection is unusual.

The heat demonstrated by the thermal image is obvious.

This warmth is radiating outward from the connection.

It is NOT a good condition!

I like to have my client look over my shoulder when I am looking at things with the thermal camera.

They not only find it interesting, but it is very instructive.

There is no disputing the fact that the discoloration in the photo above is caused by heat. 

And at this point the cause of the overheating is almost irrelevant.  We have older wiring, and older materials, and irreversible damage.  Professional evaluation is the only recommendation I can make, but we all know what an electrician would recommend. 

And prudence would listen to the electrician!

My recommendation:  you never know what you will find during a home inspection.  But the house is the house.  We inspectors don't invent things like this.  But it's really good when a problem, such as the above, can be demonstrated so definitively.   Everyone sees the problem and understands that an unusual condition, and perhaps a dangerous one, exists.

 

 

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 13 commentsJay Markanich • April 15 2015 02:46AM

Comments

Jay, your job is to report the facts! And, that is what you have done! Enjoy your day!

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

I am merely the vehicle for Mighty Mo, Wayne!  Driving Mr. Mo...

Not a bad title for another post!

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

Morning Jay That photo causes me as well as I'm sure causes you some concern as you stated.  I do like the title "I am merely the vehicle for Mighty Mo".  Catchy

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

I'm sure Mighty Mo would love to be featured in a post James.  Maybe...

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

 Good morning Jay. Yes, that is a poor connection and it needs to be corrected. Given time, it would burn through.

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

Not the only big, fat electrical problem in this house, Michael, but one I could demonstrate clearly!

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

Looks like an electrician will find employment...soon !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 4 years ago

Around here they are very busy S&D!

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

Let's hope the inspection report causes the buyer to write the defect and the owner/seller to make the correction.

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

The thermal image looks like Tony Starks heart... power, I need more power! 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 4 years ago

There were lots of electrical issues Lenn.  Single, older, female seller, been there a long time and looking to leave town.  We'll see.

Fred - don't know who that is, but if you can see his heart isn't that a problem?

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

A panel that old should have been changed out long ago. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 4 years ago

You and I might say that, and you're right, Jim, but this is an older widow, who's been there a long time, by herself, and what would initiate this for her?   My client knows this is on the list, but wow, the list is long.

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

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