This was no ordinary outlet

Home Inspector with Perfection Inspection, Inc.


A large part of my job is learning. Learning about materials, techniques and styles allows me to be a resource when questions arise. it is important for home inspectors to be "know it alls" about most things relating to homes. Just as important as knowing about stuff is realizing that there is always new stuff to learn about. I am never surprised when I discover something completely new and that is one of the best parts of my job.
The video below was taken on a re-inspection. I had griped about the lack of power to the second outlet in the bathroom on the initial inspection. The sellers enlightened me on the more secretive purpose for this particular outlet!



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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, I have yet to find any of those yet but there was a story a while back of that trick being used as a place to hide drug money in a Meth house.

Dec 14, 2010 03:56 AM #1
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

What would you hide in a place that small? Cool idea though and it had you fooled, so I guess it works.

Dec 14, 2010 05:49 AM #2
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I know an inspector who has used that trick in his house for a number of years!  LOTS can be hidden in that little space.

The master bathroom is one of the manufacturer's suggested locations for the new outlet box.  And the kid's room, beside their bed and end table.  Another place is the kitchen wall, as there are already many outlets there, especially if there is tile on the wall.

Wow, how did he know so much about that?

There are other really good places, like soup cans, powdered cleaner cans, shaving cream cans, and real, hollowed out books - these can be filled with whatever and "hidden" with other like cans or products. 

NO burglar can take the time to look through all that.  They want to be in and out of your house in 20 minutes or less.  That's what makes them so effective.

But make sure there are people in your family who know where all these things are in the event of an untimely death.  Otherwise, what is hidden there can be lost forever, or found by someone wanting to shave...

Dec 14, 2010 09:01 PM #3
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

I've seen several of those around here.  It is crucial to make sure others know where to find the stuff you've hidden.

Dec 14, 2010 11:09 PM #4
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

Charles:  That makes sense.  Leave it up to the criminals to be creative.

Todd:  I felt a little silly for griping about it.  But it was very convincing, it even felt like a real outlet when my tester was plugged in!

Jay:  ...another inspector eh?

Erby:  I can just hear the headlines now: "couple finds rare treasures while repairing their electrical system!"

Dec 15, 2010 01:38 AM #5
Hank Richter
HomePro Inspections of RI - Providence, RI

I had the same issue in the bathroom, only I cited it because the outlet was under the sink and the sink was not properly caulked and leaked. The seller said they didn't need to caulk because the outlet wasn't real! Kinda missed the point!

Dec 15, 2010 02:25 AM #6
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I found one of those years ago in a master bedroom. I tried to plug the tester in an found the jewelry stash. It is a neat trick.

Dec 15, 2010 01:13 PM #7
Mel Wagner
Knipe Realty - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Agent Salem Oregon Real Estate

I've seen these before, but would never have thought to suggest it to you.  I've seen hairspray cans that are little hiding spots... all kinds of different things.  I don't know about stashing jewelry in one though... I prefer a safe for that.

Dec 19, 2010 01:20 PM #8
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I love it! But now that it’s on YouTube, even the bad guys know about it. L

Dec 22, 2010 03:28 AM #9
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Jim Allhiser

Salem, Oregon Home Inspector
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