What I'm Seeing Now


Electrical Receptacles CANNOT Be Shared

Electrical receptacles CANNOT be shared.

It's possible I have not seen this before.  I don't think I have.

This homeowner decided to finish the basement.

Apparently a kitchen needed to be installed down there as well.

A portion of the basement had been finished by the builder, but all that needed to change.

But some of what the builder had done, like the electrical, was used by the homeowner, but in an improper way.

This is the new receptacle for the new kitchen range.

It is a high-amperage appliance, with a high-amperage wire.  But the best place for the range was right where a receptacle from the previous electrical installation was present.  The new range needed its own receptacle!

It was not possible to see inside the wall, but the previous circuit junction box may still be in there.  And not fooling around with this receptacle I don't know if there was a junction box for the wires sticking out from inside the wall or not (I suspect not).  But I don't care.

This is pathetic and dangerous!

The wire from the original receptacle is sticking out from behind the new range receptacle.  That black wire is still hot!

It is my practice to pull out a range to see the connections behind.  Without saying a word to my client, a young lady, I showed her this receptacle and asked her what she thought.  She said it doesn't look right.  And further she asked, "is that safe?"

If it doesn't look right to someone who does not do electricity or inspections for a living, you can bet it probably isn't right.  And this isn't right!

My recommendation:  what possesses people to do dangerous or silly or very unprofessional things to their houses and then try to sell these things to other people is beyond me.  But I am beyond surprised, even when I see something new!  And this was new!  This is the same basement with the "kitchen" sink drain that runs uphill for about 20'.  I'm not sure what people are thinking, except that they want this or that in their house and don't want to spend money on a professional to do it right.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 8 commentsJay Markanich • July 27 2016 01:50AM


Jay Markanich When you encountered this, I am sure the first thought by you and the buyer was, "What other surprises are hidden in this house?"

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

Good morning Jay,

Looks like an octopus waiting to get its tentacles around you!

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

We always ask what permits are on file....and find out that asking is not enough sometimes and you need to check with the municipality.

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

S&N - the house was a disaster and I think my client appropriately walked away.

Could be Raymond, but don't touch!

S&D - this was this particular agent's first home inspection.  He learned tons I think.

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

Just because it's a simple looking system doesn't mean anybody can do it.... don't mess with Mr. Electricity, he will bite you!

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

And this little number is silliness, Fred.  As I say to my Scouts, fire has to be managed!

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

Jay, maybe the house is on a hill and the downward slant makes the drain work properly!  That said, this electrical work shows whoever did the work has no idea what they are doing.  And if this is what you can see, what crazy wiring is hiding behind the drywall!

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

Silly me, Stephen, but I think you're right!

Disregard the drain post...

Or not.

The electrical everywhere here was most interesting!

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

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