San Diego Home Inspections — CAUTION: Don't turn things on if you don't know why they've been turned off!
Russel Ray provides some great advice here. I can only imagine what may have happened had we not been present when the electricity had been turned on. This was at a townhome in Santee, attached to many others, and in the middle of the day. A fire would have been a really bad thing.
Don't turn things on
if you don't know why they've been turned off!!
I was out at an inspection with Stephanie Reynolds today that had been postponed from December 30 because the utilities were not on.
After San Diego Gas & Electric turned the electricity back on, they left a note saying that they had left the main circuit breaker off because no one was home. There's a reason why they do that.
We home inspectors don't turn anything on if it's been turned off because we don't know why they've been turned off! It could be something simple, such as the house being shut down to save on utility bills while the home is on the market. It could be something more significant, such as a a major water leak, a gas leak, or a short circuit that they didn't have time to repair, so they just shut things off.
Today was a great example. I made the assumption that all the utilities were turned off because the house was vacant and probably foreclosed. However, shortly after I turned the main circuit breaker on, the cooling system started up, and shortly after that we heard a loud pop and the cooling system abruptly stopped.
Something in the cooling condenser shorted out and the condenser started smoking, and the smell was absolutely nothing like mom's apple pie. After I turned the circuit breaker off for the cooling condenser, we completed the inspection.
I have more stories for you, too, so if you don't know why things have been turned off, and you won't be able to stick around the property for a couple of hours to make sure that there is no gas leak, water leak, or short chircuit, don't turn things on! Have the owner of the property or his representative take the liability for that. It might cause a short delay, but that's better than the alternative: gas explosion, flooded home, or burned down home.
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