"Spectacular Under-Cabinet Lighting!" read the feature list.
And there it was, bright and beautiful.
Whenever I see something new like that, and touted, I look at it! Who did the work? Was it professionally done?
I could not find a power source. The lights were magically lighting! Actually, not finding a power source, I had a theory, verbalized it, and then went about searching.
Looking high in a corner cabinet there it was.
The power source! Luuuke, feeeeel the force.
What was it?
That is an extension cord. And it disappears into the wall behind the cabinet.
It is also not a grounded cord. He actually cut the ground prong on the black transformer.
First, extension cords are not intended for permanent, long-term electrical needs.
Second, one should never disappear behind a surface.
Third, and very importantly, an extension cord should NEVER be hard-wired into anything!
It turns out it was the homeowner who did this fine work.
He split the extension cord, stripped it and connected it right into the receptacle.
Thank goodness it is balanced on the left side with drywall screws holding the switch onto the wall. Very zen. Excellent feng shui. Yes, that was a bit sarcastic.
How do I know it was the homeowner? Because he called me the next day, while I was driving. He is the fast-talking, loud, interrupting, knows-everything type, who felt I was out of line dissing his fine job. Each time I tried to speak he cut me off to berate me with another tirade about what a schmuck I am, and all home inspectors universally. Alrighty then! When I finally got a word in I simply said it needs a professional to look at it and that I would be calling the Fire Marshall.
He suddenly got real humble and said I didn't need to do that, he would get it fixed.
My recommendation: really, I never call the Fire Marshall. This homeowner doesn't know that. I was the parent who laid out consequences and let the child imagine how serious the punishment could be. That fit well here. But this kind of installation, while not a high-amperage draw on the circuit, is not good, amateur, potentially dangerous and should not be done. A proper receptacle in the wall would be good, and something a PRO would probably do! The lights are great, but the installation needs professional attention.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560