Technically Speaking

Home Builder with Floor Coverings International

I just had to reblog this posty by Jay Markanich.  I see very similar "technically speaking" issue just about every day while in client's homes.  How many time have YOU seen similar items/issues?

Original content by Jay Markanich 3380-000723

Listing agents can be funny.  Some like to show up at the end of a home inspection on their listing "just to answer any questions."  Sometimes they also feel the need to give me a little history, just so I know.

I have been doing this long enough to be able to translate all that.  What the agent is really saying is, "I know there's going to be a list and I want a head's up now before the report actually comes out."  And, "This homeowner lived here a long time and did a lot of work himself.  He is very home savvy."

On this particular inspection, the house was in overall good condition.  But there was a long list of things that simply needed to be corrected, technically speaking. 

Take this dryer outlet for example.

1.  It's junction is inside an electrical box and that box is secured to the wall.  This is all correct, technically speaking.  But it's secured onto a small wood strip glued to a concrete block wall.  I assumed (you don't want to assume really) that the box was screwed to that wood strip, but I really don't know.  This is all incorrect, technically speaking.

And it's been fine until now.

2.  The service cable goes inside the box where a junction has been made.  This is all correct, technically speaking.  But the box is very small for such a large cable and because of that the cable had to be pulled out of the box in order for everything to fit inside.  This is all incorrect, technically speaking.

And it's been fine until now.

3.  Further, that cable was improperly stripped, leaving the hot and neutral cables exposed to potential damage.  This is not a small amperage line and can really hurt somebody!  That gray insulation with the writing on it should go completely inside the box, technically speaking.

And it's been fine until now.

4.  The service cables are so large that where they go into the box they are very tight and cannot be easily pulled out.  This is all correct, technically speaking.  But the National Electric Code stipulates that any electrical cable going into any electrical box should be secured with a connector clamp.  This clamp does two things - it holds the cable tightly in place and prevents any sparks from escaping through that hole.  Because this box is too small, the hole accommodating the cables is very small and a connector clamp will not fit.  Therefore one is not present.  This is all incorrect, technically speaking.

And it's been fine until now.

5.  The box has a protective metal cover which houses the junction properly and prevents sparks from escaping.  This is all correct, technically speaking.  But really a cover plate is needed.  Do you see the ground lines on the right side of the outlet holes?  A cover plate would protect that also.  That is another reason why this box should be installed beside a 2x4 stud, securely fastened, and flush to the edge, so a cover plate rests flat and secure.  There is no properly-placed cover plate.  This is all incorrect, technically speaking.

And it's been fine until now.

Why do I keep saying technically speaking?  Because bubbly Miss Listing Agent kept saying that this dryer receptacle had been there a long time and had been fine until now, so "technically speaking" it is OK!  With every little point I made about THIS ONE THING, the Little Miss kept debating me with her "technically speaking" come back!  She also said, "And it's been fine until now..." more than once.

I WAS JUST ABOUT AS TIRED HEARING ALL THAT AS YOU HAVE BEEN READING IT!  Although you knew I was leading to a point, didn't you!  After that, when she pressed me for the "rest of the list," I politely refused saying it would be in the report.  I WAS DONE!

How about I do my job and you do yours, lady?  Go home.

My recommendation:  This was just one example of one problem that was OK, technically speaking, and OK to do for yourself, technically speaking, but not OK to sell to someone else because, after all, it was incorrect, technically speaking.  And if the house catches fire or my clients are hurt because of something that I let go and did not mention, well, technically speaking, it would make me feel bad and disrupt my life in a big way!

I will admit to seeing things that are very inventive and not correct, technically speaking, but wouldn't bother me if I was to buy the house.  If it's alright for me, and after discussing it with my clients it's alright with them, I let it go.

The Golden Rule, after all, is a very good way to live, and that's NOT technically speaking.




Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

Comments (5)

Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Technically speaking, this is pretty funny!

Mike in Tucson

Dec 25, 2010 11:08 PM
Navona Hart
Real Living Cornerstone - Farmville, VA
Selling the Best Properties in Central Virginia

Well in my world....technically speaking that is....this is often when I can't get the parties to agree.  Because it has been fine so far!  Really!  Thanks for the post.

Dec 25, 2010 11:10 PM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

They were so many code violations installing that plug dryer that it will probably required a 12 page report!

Dec 26, 2010 12:07 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I bet you flooring guys get the technically speaking line a lot!  Thanks for the reblog Mark!

Dec 26, 2010 12:40 AM
Mark Woodward
Floor Coverings International - Randolph, NJ
We bring the flooring store to your door

Jay - you are very welcome!!!  Yes, we sure do get the technically speaking line often.  Thx for a great post.

Dec 26, 2010 06:54 PM