What I'm Seeing Now

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Are Those Termites In The Electric Panel Box?

Are those termites in the electric panel box?

That was the question I got by the buyers of this church.

This is one of 8 panel boxes in the building.  It is located on the wall between a hallway and the sanctuary.  That wall is concrete block, and extends to the slab.  The slab below is cracked!

Do you see what we saw?

There was a substantial amount of mud around, and inside, this box.

Are they active?

There was mud powder and dried termite carcasses on a box and the floor directly underneath.

So perhaps!

This is the second time I have seen an electric panel box infested with termites.

There are theories why they seem attracted to electricity.

One is that termites may feel the power fields.

And another theory is that they like the heat.  That transformer is 124F, which is warm for a transformer in my experience.  Is the heat there caused by what it services or the termites?

Whatever it is, if they come they can't stay long or they will dry up. 

My recommendation:  you don't know what a home inspector might find, no matter where you look to buy!   Things are what they are.  This will have to be investigated by a termite specialist, of course.  And probably an electrician!  I don't know where this will go, but it will have to go somewhere!  I would like to know what the final verdict and fix are!

 

 

 

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 30 commentsJay Markanich • April 12 2016 02:46AM

Comments

Wow, 8 panel boxes. That must have been quite an inspection.

Interesting about termites around the panel box, maybe because of the heat. That's something to keep an eye out for!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 3 years ago

The  visual of dried termite carcasses before breakfast...urgh...

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 3 years ago

I've only seen it twice, Kat.  And the building originated in 1976 and the electrical was, um, interesting.

Enjoy S&D!  And be gladsome!  It's been cold and they have not sprouted yet...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Everything seems to be looking for power and if from the north heat!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 3 years ago

We have had a cold spell, Raymond.  I expect yours was much worse!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Thank you very much, Jay, for sharing your experience and your photographs.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. Those awful termites can certainly cause havoc wherever they choose to roam! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 3 years ago

I am here all the time Roy.  Thanks.

Wayne - and they roam!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Attention: Dead Termite Walking! They are much tastier when they're crisp...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 3 years ago

I have seen this issue so many times I care not to count Jay Markanich . Often, they will come through the conduits to the box

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc.) about 3 years ago

It's the Mud Mile, Fred!  Maybe Mr. Jingles will show up too.

I had an exterior receptacle the other day that I showed was full of mud S&N.  But this is only my second panel box!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Hi Jay - Termites aren't the only ones who enjoy a bit of a tingle every now and then:

 

 spiders

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 3 years ago

Wow, Dick, Momma Gargantuan Spider decided to have her babies there, giving them a jolt into life!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

I think those termites are from the order blattodea frankensteinium.  Shocking!

 

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 3 years ago

I think you nailed it Stephen.  By the way, "Young Frankenstein" is on TV this Saturday night at 8pm...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

I've not seen termites around an electrical panel, but do remember a swarm of honey bees which had taken up temporary residence there.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 3 years ago

Termites - eek! - I had a termite inspection once and the inspector was cutting through a trail when a live one showed itself -- the inspector jumped back all freaked out.  Caused all of us to scream!  It was quite the education!

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 Month Realty) about 3 years ago

Dear Jay,

That is really weird. Never seen such a thing. I thought, they like moist, rotting wood.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) about 3 years ago

Myrl - termites, spiders and now bees - maybe the insect world likes what electricity has to offer!

Diana - once I got a photo of a bunch of termites on my thumb.  The six people at the inspection saw it happen.  The termite company that was "protecting" the house under contract said that the photo was from another house, and that I was lieing.  Um...

Dorte - they do!  That's what they eat!  But apparently when they are having a break they like the electric spa?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Termites are very common here in Arizona. I've seen some mud tubes in my day but nothing that big!

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) about 3 years ago

I think it's a condo, Nicole.  There are more people here, therefore the termites have learned from humans that multi-unit dwellings are very efficient.

Bada boom.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

I've seen that before and I was absolutely shocked when the inspector showed it to me.. I wasn't suppose to be at the property for the inspection (was told that) anyway was my first inspection and learned a lot. Buyer couldn't be there and asked me to stand in for him. Learned so much that day.  Have seen my share of snakes wrapped around transformers and tarantulas too.

Posted by Theresa Akin (CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP) about 3 years ago

Theresa - I appreciate it when agents are at the inspection!  This was a very large colony near this box.

I was called the other day because an AC unit would not work.  I looked inside the compressor outdoors to find a large snake wrapped around things, and there looked like there had been quite an electric shock!  He fried the system and himself.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Never knew they hung out in electrical boxes.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 3 years ago

Lyn - they go between banquets and hang out at the spa.  A little side trip!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

What a shocking revelation!  I always get a charge out of your post.  I could go on but I think this is "pun"ishment enough.  

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 3 years ago

None intended, to be sure, Gene!  I had a post the other day where an exterior receptacle was full of termite mud.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Just one of Gods' creatures that we have to deal with.

 

Posted by Gene Allen, Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate (Fathom Realty) about 3 years ago

Those creatures, and ants (different species), outweigh us humans by 2 - 34 times Gene!

All because that is how the plan was designed!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Maria - if that is your real name - not only is that comment silly, but it is inappropriate to use my blog post as an advertising platform.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

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