What I'm Seeing Now


This Is An Electrical "Repair" You Will Not Believe

This is an electrical "repair" you will not believe.

This is so disheartening.  What good is a license in a trade if it is demonstrated over and over that it means nothing?  In recent years my problem with the trades is the absolute disappearance of professionalism.  I could point to many reasons for this, but let's just leave it at the word professionalism.

My clients had a house fire that necessitated pretty much a complete rebuild.  While some aspects of the house remained, they needed virtually new everything.

The restoration company they selected has given them problems from the start.  To say they have been sloppy is an understatement.  Words like uncooperative, impertinent, and unsuccessful would also be understatements.

They have failed county inspections.

Finally my clients called me to get an idea of what things needed to be done properly to complete the job.  They wanted fresh eyes.  They wanted an objective opinion.


For example - new well equipment was installed in the crawl space.

It required new wiring and a new connection.

And this is what I saw.

>  The wiring is haphazard.
>  The wire is improperly stripped.

>  The protective box is missing.
The box cover is missing.

Basic Electricity 101, that any LICENSED  electrician would know and understand, says that connections are to be protected inside a box and that the box is covered with a hard, removable plate.

Why?  The key word is PROTECTION.  The code requires that the wiring junction is protected by a solid box and that the box is covered to prevent sparks from escaping. 

Again, the key word is PROTECTION.

My report identifyied the improper connection shown in the photo above, and this is what the LICENSED  electrician came up with as a "repair."

Calling me to tell me she was sending me a photo, my client sent me this.

That is the same electrical connection. 

What are you looking at?  This is what the LICENSED  electrician thinks is a protective box with a cover.

You are looking at a plastic cup.


The blue tape is painter's tape.


So, to house and protect the electrical junction we have a taped, plastic cup.




So, we come full circle to my original question.  What is the point of requiring state and local licenses and certifications for trades if someone is going into business and doing kind of thing to people needing work done in their houses?  The work above demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the professional license and the certification.

The work above is idiocy and a joke.

My recommendation:  this sort of work will happen over and over unless people stand up to it.  Hire fresh eyes and an objective opinion to protect yourself during contractual work on your home.  Is this happening everywhere?  If state and local professional licenses do not protect the consumer, what will?  Such protection should not be the purview of the home inspection industry, but that's a good start.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 13 commentsJay Markanich • June 22 2016 03:52AM


Thanks for sharing that disaster Jay Markanich - wish I had taken pics of some of the things I've seen over the years

Posted by Jennifer Mackay, Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582 (Counts Real Estate Group, Inc.) about 4 years ago

Such a pretty shade of blue....this wiring looks like Dini did it !

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

Good morning Jay. It is hard to believe what the electrician did the first time around. His solution is grounds for license revocation! Enjoy your day!

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

Wow! That is pathetic. Jay, we have a few goobers out here in the valley that would have done the same thing, and then they would have complained when the inspector rejected their work. I have an electrician on a project today cleaning up this kind of stuff. The city inspector is threatening to condemn the house if the owner doesn't get it straightened out. The property was worked on by a LICENSED electrician. It's is disheartening.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

This is one for the record books.

The government is quick to collect the money for a license but unrealistic when it comes to helping its owner's.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 4 years ago

Unbelieveable! Jay Markanich How can anyone, or company retain their tradesmen license? Hope you reported them!

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) about 4 years ago

Sadly shoddy work is not an unusual occurrence and this is quite bad!

Posted by Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life (Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com) about 4 years ago

First thing that comes to mind for me is testing... do they not have to pass a test to get their license there? That is pitiful!

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

At least the electrician looped the electrical feed around the pipe a few times so if someone trips over the lead, it won't get pulled out of the cup! 

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 4 years ago

Jennifer - in my one or two blogs there are a few pictures!  Every time I think I've seen it all, I realize I will never see it all!

S&D - you'd think that around here at least, AT LEAST!, they would use a cup with Redskin colors.

I agree Wayne.  It is not my purview to go after this, but the homeowners can!

Mike - it is hard to say, and defend, that one is licensed and certified when there are others out there with the same licensing who do this sort of thing.  Pathetic is the word for the day.  Our country is being turned upside down and into a Third World state with this kind of joke work happening more and more often.

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

Raymond - the state of Virginia this year required all home inspectors to be licensed by a particular department (which I had resisted over the years) so I sent in my 1" thick packet and passed the test (missed 7 out of 200) and now I am considered a professional by the state!  You're right, they collected a lot of money.  That I am treated the same as a newbie is silliness.

S&N - that is beyond me.  If they do this kind of thing here, what is to say this is not their typical sort of work standard?

Tanya - sad beyond belief.  It really peeves me and makes me sorry for what our trades are becoming.

They do Fred!  I have seen it happen like this - Bossman takes Employee to the place to get tested and says that since Employee doesn't understand the language so well he will help translate the test.  Ummmm...  Then he simply gives the answers to Employee.  Employee then becomes the Bossman of his own company.  Excellent!  I saw two people get their driver's license that way.

Stephen - wrapped to code, no doubt!  Tightly, and to just the right NEC angles and curves.

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

Hi Jay - That's, sadly, not unbelievable, but when I can spot it right away, you know there's a serious problem.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 4 years ago

Dick - I confess to never seeing a plastic cup electrical junction "box" before.

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

This blog does not allow anonymous comments