In this case the drywall told the tale, and the tester verified the truth.
When I see new electrical installations, I wonder as to how professional they might be.
This kitchen had 8 new canister light fixtures.
Walking in I knew where to look.
Getting out my flashlight I set it next to the ceiling to sweep across to look for drywall spots that would indicate what I thought to be the case.
And I was not disappointed. I could see two spots just about the size of a junction box.
Breaking out the voltage tester I asked the Realtor to put it on a certain spot.
We saw what I predicted we would see. It lit up.
In fact, it lit up in the two places I said it would light up! What's that mean?
The tester demonstrates that there are two junction boxes buried in the drywall of the ceiling.
There used to be two light fixtures in the kitchen ceiling.
Wanting to get modern and chic this seller removed them, using the connections there to furnish electricity for the new canister lights he wanted in the ceiling.
Once done, he covered each box with drywall and had a new, chic kitchen!
What should I have seen instead?
Each of the junction boxes, indeed any electrical connection inside a box, should have been covered with a round plate. Those two plates would have demonstrated where the connections were, and allowed access.
The code requires visible access to every electrical connection, be it a box, a switch, a receptacle, or whatever. If there is a problem with the wiring, or if work has to be done, access must be visible and provided so quick work is possible.
My recommendation: electrical codes are there for a reason. They provide a minimum standard, and sometimes even the best practice, for electrical work to provide a floor for practice and safety. No access to electrical junction boxes behind drywall is very unsafe. It is very unprofessional. It shows that work has been wrongly done here, and can be a sign of findings to come. And in this house there was other improper and unprofessional electrical work done all over!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560