What I'm Seeing Now

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Don't Give Tools To An Ignorant Flipper

Don't give tools to an ignorant Flipper.

When I showed these photos to a couple of home inspectors last week, Charlie Buell wrote back and said, "When you give tools to an idiot, he will do idiotic things."

First, this 1967 electric panel box, and the wiring, is original.

The cover has been painted multiple times, and as such I was reluctant to try to cut into the wall to remove it.

However, opening it up I found something I don't remember seeing before.

Someone, likely Herr Flipper, wanted to install  a new circuit breaker in the box to accommodate a new stackable washer and dryer combo.

But being an old box, the cover knockout openings did not accommodate the size of the newer breaker required to do that.

So, what to do?  Simply make it happen!

Drilling and cutting to enlarge the opening, the Flipper got the new breaker to fit!  Sure, there's a gap over the breaker and holes on the sides, but it fits!

The National Electric Code does not allow unused openings, or holes, or gaps in an electric panel box for reasons.

Sparks can escape, animals can get inside, and bad things can happen.

It is certain there was no permit pulled for this installation.  In this particular county a permit is required for ANY new electrical installation.  And this beauty would never have been approved.  It is ignorance on parade.

But beyond, the new breaker services a new receptacle to install a new washer and dryer! 

Two problems with that.  First, it drains its water at a 90 degree angle into a bathroom sink drain just off photo.  And, second,  it vents into that cute little bucket beside the dryer. 

Dryers are required to vent directly outdoors.  Period.

ONE OF THE REASONS MY CLIENT WAS ATTRACTED TO THIS UNIT WAS THAT IT HAS A WASHER/DRYER! 

It is jammed into a small bathroom, cramping the sink and toilet, and looks odd, but at least the unit has a laundry room!  No other unit in the development does, and for a reason.  They can't be vented outdoors!

My recommendation:  sometimes features which make a place attractive are not features at all!  And often, very often, "features" installed by a Flipper are not something you would want to end up buying.  ANY TIME you see a property renovated by a Flipper, be sure permits that have been pulled AND closed (meaning inspected by the local jurisdictional authority) are provided.  If they are not, or if the listing agent appears not to know if there are any permits, it's probably best just to move on.

 

 

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 • March 15 2016 02:57AM

Comments

Oh my, what a mess. Inspections are a must -- and if it's too good to be true, it's probably not that good.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 2 years ago

At least all the cuts are straight and true, Kat!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

As always good post. Go figure what some people are thinking. 

Posted by Peter Mohylsky, Your Bucket List Broker Along Scenic 30A (BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE) over 2 years ago

Peter - this guy was "thinking" to "improve" the unit and have a washer/dryer!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Good morning Jay. Looking at apartments in downtown Chicago. Naturally some are conversions. Saw a dryer with that vent type yesterday and we moved on! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 2 years ago

Hey, I think I could get a finger in there beside that breaker, hold on lemme see...

What kind of panel was that?

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 2 years ago

They should have connected the dryer vent to the bathroom vent like one of your earlier inspections found!  Problem, at least part of the problem solved.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 2 years ago

Oh for heavens sake.  I even know better than the idiot that did these DIY projects.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 2 years ago

C'mon Wayne!  Sidle up to the wild side!  You can get a facial!

Fred - I think GE.  Forget the finger.  The only valid test is the old tongue.  Plenty o' room!

Stephen - I had one of those today!  I don't even have the photo processed!

Chris Ann - yeah, but have you read the book, "Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench?"  I have a copy.  C'mon over.  I'll take a thermal image, process it in black and white so the image looks, um, ghostly, and say I got a thermal image of a ghost that I will name Little Chrissie.

No really, c'mon over!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

Oh my. I always get nervous when I see modifications to panels, and sadly, I see them numerous times a year. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 2 years ago

I saw a rendering of the weird new Redskin stadium today Mike.  It has a moat?!

Let's see - rabid fans, testosterone, alcohol, and a moat.  What could possibly go wrong?

I thought if you saw this you'd get a kick!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

I wonder how much EXTRA that buyer was willing to pay to live in a FIRE HAZARD  Jay Markanich !

Posted by DEANNA EARLY - - ( NMLS # 268590 ), Virginia Mortgage Loan Originator (American National Bank and Trust) over 2 years ago

Deanna - um, a much higher premium?

Bada boom...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 2 years ago

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