Rodents and Insulation – June 2024

Insulation and Wiring - Rule #62 of home inspection: If a rodent *can* gnaw on a thing, it *will* gnaw on that thing. All rodents, including mice and rats, have four front teeth that never stop growing and must be worn down to keep them at a manageable size. If necessary, they’ll simply grind their teeth together to keep them at a manageable length, [...]

Electrical Service Drops – May 2024

Avoid a "hot" summer. This electrical service drop contains a variety of defects: Both the utility splices are exposed at the "hot" legs of the service drop. The exposed conductors could shock or kill a person or animal. A strong wind could blow the splices into each other, causing an electrical arc that would damage them and pose a fire hazard to the house. [...]

2024-05-03T12:00:23-07:00May 1st, 2024|Electrical, Snaps from the Field|

Electrical and Plumbing – September 2023

Fashionable sinks haven’t sported S-traps for over 100 years. Like wearing white shoes after labor day, S-traps simply aren’t done.  Of course, the lack of a high loop at the dishwasher drain is also a sad error. These mistakes will make little difference, however, to the poor soul who reaches a wet hand under the sink to turn on the disposer, only to [...]

2024-02-23T11:34:57-08:00September 1st, 2023|Electrical, Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Electrical Wiring – April, 2023

What are we trying to achieve here? We’re not sure exactly what’s going on here with this electrical setup, but it looks like the breaker on the left was tripping and someone “solved” the problem by running three strands of magnet wire to an adjacent breaker. This would certainly stop the first breaker from tripping. Of course, it could also cause the house [...]

2023-10-31T10:16:31-07:00April 3rd, 2023|Electrical, Snaps from the Field|

Electrical Grounding – February, 2023

Et tu, plumber? Back in the day, this would have been the house’s “main grounding connection.” It’s where the electrical service was grounded to the house’s steel water pipe. Somewhere along the way, someone changed out the thicker steel pipe for a more slender copper tube. Disturbed rust on the screw threads shows where someone loosened the clamp to change it, but callously [...]

2024-02-23T11:35:32-08:00February 1st, 2023|Electrical, Snaps from the Field|

Electrical Wiring – Oct. 2021

Rule #63 of home inspections: If anyone *can* do their own electrical wiring, anyone *will* do their own electrical wiring. Especially with Home Depot and Lowes there to encourage them. This light fixture is intended to be installed over a flush-mount electrical box. (That’s a box that fits inside the wall and is flush with the surface of the wall – or better, yet, [...]

2023-06-14T16:56:29-07:00October 1st, 2021|Electrical, Snaps from the Field|
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