electrical issues: Alterations - 04/14/15 10:59 AM
Some changes to your home are best left to professionals
When looking to purchase a home, part of the fun is imagining putting your personal touches on the house. Like changing out that hideous lime green carpet for a much nicer shade of fuschia. No question, home improvement is an extremely individual form of expression. 
Seeing decorating train wrecks or just plain dated motifs is part of the usual landscape for a home inspector. Occasionally these glaring style faux pas are mentioned during the buyers initial conversation with me on the phone. I politely point out that "ugly" has no impact what so ever … (11 comments)

electrical issues: Inspected Once, Twice, Three Times - 06/24/12 09:41 PM
In the present state of the real estate market, multiple inspections occurring on the same house has become common. For one reason or another, and I take those reasons with a grain of salt, a house doesn't make it to the closing table with a previous buyer(s). In this month alone I have inspected two properties that had previous buyers and inspections. One of these homes had two buyers and two home inspections.
With both these houses I was informed of the previous inspections by the listing agent. This information was said in such a way as if to say, "your … (38 comments)

electrical issues: Inspected Once, Twice... - 04/25/11 02:02 AM
Home inspectors are not omniscient, all though at times there seems to be that perception. I have heard on many occasions, "the inspector should have caught that". This includes things like damage found inside walls, leaks that occur years after the homeowners have moved in, and stuff that doesn't necessarily fall into a home inspection. Often I find by asking a few questions, the inspector wasn't at fault, the perception is off. However, there are times when it is clear to me things were missed.
I have found during my own inspections items that were not caught by previous inspections. Now … (17 comments)

electrical issues: What Is Professional Responsibility? - 02/01/11 12:38 AM
As a home inspector in Connecticut I am a licensed professional service provider. There are many licensed trades and professions in my State, many of which are associated with people's homes. A license requirement means there is a defined amount of training involved in order to ply that particular trade or profession. A license also implies a higher level of skill and most importantly responsibility.
The license holder is held ultimately responsible for the work they perform. Lose the license, lose your livelihood.  In other words if you or someone working under your license screws up, you are held accountable.
On … (9 comments)

electrical issues: Does Old Mean Antiquated? - 11/18/10 02:08 AM
Residential electrical systems have gone through many changes over the years since they were first put into houses. Many of the changes have been safety related. One safety item that is about as old as the first house wiring is circuit protection.
Most everyone is familiar with circuit breakers or fuses, both are types of circuit protection. Fuses were the first form of circuit protection until they were replaced by circuit breakers or so most people believe.
Fuses have not been completely replaced by circuit breakers. In fact in some applications they are preferred. I spent over twenty years in manufacturing … (16 comments)

electrical issues: Times Change And Now It's Time For A Change - 09/12/10 09:33 AM
Something that I try and keep in mind as a Connecticut home inspector is that houses and the ways of building them have changed over the years. What was perfectly acceptable or perhaps never thought to be a problem, say 50 years ago, is today no longer a suitable method of construction.
One particular area of the home that probably has under gone and continues to experience the most change is the electrical service. During a training seminar not too long ago the instructor asked if anyone knew how many changes had been made to the newest edition of the electric … (14 comments)

electrical issues: What I Learned in First Grade Sure Comes in Handy - 08/23/10 03:16 AM
First grade was where I remember first being taught how to add. Sure I "knew" how before going to school.  For instance I could do a good job of adding up all the candy I was given at Halloween. Yes sir, there is no doubt about it adding, and don't forget subtracting, are quite useful skills to possess. My adding skills came in very handy the other day on an inspection.
The split level house I was inspecting had 2 air conditioning systems, one for the lower levels and one for the upper level. Each air conditioning unit consists of 2 sections, … (19 comments)

electrical issues: Hide and Seek - 02/27/10 11:16 PM
I used to love to play hide and seek as a kid. It was one of my favorite games. As a home inspector there are times where I have to play hide and seek with building components.
People absolutely hate those gaudy pipes and unsightly wires that make our modern conveniences possible. They hide them behind things like walls for example.
Now I'm not against hiding pipes and wires all together, but there are certain devices that need to be readily accessible. Often in the pursuit of form over function people will do some silly things. I would assume without understanding … (12 comments)

electrical issues: How Many Wrongs Before its Right? - 12/05/09 01:22 AM
One of the biggest misconceptions I find in the real estate business is new homes don't need inspections. I hear this time and time again and time and time again I find problems with new homes.
The prevailing logic for not needing an inspection on a new home is the home has been inspected by the local building official.
The difference between a home inspection conducted by an independent and in most instances licensed home inspector and the town building official are many. The most significant disparity would be the home inspector is hired by the customer to perform an inspection … (23 comments)

electrical issues: Are You Smarter Than a Home Inspector--The Answer - 08/21/09 11:52 PM
Yesterday I wrote a post titled Are You Smarter Than a Home Inspector asking non home inspectors to identify the defects in an electric panel. No one actually took a guess. Chickens, LOL. Well today I will show you the answer.
You can see the same panel at the right but now it's labeled.
By the way my intent was not to embarrass anyone, but to show that we all have specialized jobs. Once in a whle you run into someone who thinks they can do what you do. They might say something like "that looks easy" or some other silly … (13 comments)

electrical issues: Are There Fireworks at Your House? - 06/24/09 12:05 AM
All our homes have electricity brought to us from a set of wires from the street. They either come under ground, as is the case more so today, or over head which is the most common entry to find.
When bringing the electric service wires to the house they must be attached at some point to the exterior. Back in the day the wires were clamped to the house, later they were inserted inside a pipe or mast with the mast clamped to the house.
The wire from the street must be angled appropriately to give it clearance from the home. … (12 comments)

electrical issues: We All Need Our Space - 06/18/09 01:04 AM
You ever feel crowded, boxed in, no room to breathe?  We all need some space around us or a comfort zone. Sometimes we want more, like when you're steaming mad because some just cut us off on the highway. Then there are times we like to very close and intimate.
With homes there are no emotions involved, instead we have rules or codes that define much of how components should be built or installed. The rules often state specific parameters for an installation.
One rule is how much space is required around electric panels. A specified amount of space is necessary … (10 comments)

electrical issues: When is a Main not a Main? - 03/11/09 12:23 PM
Electricity is some what of a mystery to most people. All those wires can look pretty confusing and intimidating. The truth is every wire has a proper place. In a main electric panel there are only a few places where each wire belongs.
There are usually three wires in every house circuit. A hot (black or red wire), neutral (white) and ground, (bare or green). Each wire has a specific place and function. Connecting wires together that should be kept separate can have bad consequences. These may be immediately apparent, seeing big colorful flashes and sparks or latent, typically after someone … (22 comments)

 
James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) Rainmaker large

James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector

Wallingford, CT

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JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

Address: Wallingford, CT, 06492

Office: (203) 887-4782

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