Hidden boxes- Camera captured.

Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Hidden boxes- Camera captured. Cle Elum and Kittitas Home Inspections

As I have stated before sometimes the camera is the home inspector’s best tool.

Here is another example of this handy tool. I have a habit of sticking my camera in places I cannot see or easily access.

This was a wall with a cavity above with floor framing and conduits. I reached up and stuck my camera up there and take a few pictures.

When I return back to the office and start preparing my report I go through my pictures and review my home inspection again. Many times I will see something that I did not see or notice while on the inspection.

Here we have a junction box that was hidden in the ceiling. This is a no-no in wiring practices. All junction boxes have to be accessible.

Hidden junction box

There is good reason for this. These are the weak link in any circuit wiring. And as you see in this example further evaluation and repair is in need.

The NEC (National Electrical Code) states-
314.29 Boxes, Conduit Bodies, and Handhole Enclosures to Be Accessible.
Boxes, conduit bodies, and handhole enclosures shall be installed so that the wiring contained in them can be rendered accessible without removing any part of the building or, in underground circuits, without excavating sidewalks, paving, earth, or other substance that is to be used to establish the finished grade.  

Accessible (as applied to wiring methods) is defined as;  capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building.


“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”

Will Durant

NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service




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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Donald, this is a case where technology wins out. The camera gave you another set of eyes. Good catch!

Oct 04, 2012 02:48 AM #16
Shane Barker
Amerifirst Financial, INC. - Salt Lake City, UT

Wow, great job catching that and great info to keep in mind for future reference.

Oct 04, 2012 03:31 AM #17
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Don, also a good reminder of the many things we cannot see during an inspection---who knows what evil lurks behind that beautiful remodel.

Oct 04, 2012 04:28 AM #18
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Michael, This is especially important as my eyes age ; )

Shane, Thank you.

Charlie, So very true. Tip of the iceberg as they say.

Oct 04, 2012 04:51 AM #19
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Don -- great catch - and with the new cameras, you don't hve to worry too much about them being out of focus, or blurry.

Oct 04, 2012 06:51 AM #20
Beth Paterson
Reverse Mortgages SIDAC, LLC, NMLS #1790592 - Saint Paul, MN
CRMP, NMLS #342859

Donald, great, informative post!  The cameras today sure make it easy to use in places you would not otherwise be able to inspect.  Homeowners are lucky to have such a thorough inspector as you.

Oct 04, 2012 07:48 AM #21
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Steven, As good as they are I still get some blurry shots. It could be from dust and crud causing it.

Beth, Thank you very much.

Oct 04, 2012 08:00 AM #22
Toby Barnett
KW North Sound - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

Wow, I would have never guessed to have my inspector do that. Nice suggestion and great capture!

Oct 04, 2012 08:34 AM #23
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

That's a pretty impressive capture.  I would have never thought to look for that.  

Oct 04, 2012 09:20 AM #24
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC



Kevin, Thanks,  just never know what you will find when you stick your camera in these places.

Oct 04, 2012 09:41 AM #25
Tanya Van Blake-Coleman
Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com - St Thomas, VI
Improving the Quality of Your Life

Great information. The comment solicited even more to learn from. I have a contractor I work with that does the same thing when remodeling. The access to areas you otherwise can't see makes a huge difference.

Oct 04, 2012 10:46 AM #26
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I have an inspector who does a nice job, but he doesn't use a camera.  It is becoming more and more important because it helps document what the inspector saw. When many seller's agents don't come to the inspections and very rarely is the seller present, the photos assist in illustrating any issues of concern.

Oct 04, 2012 12:08 PM #27
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

A camera is a great tool. It's the one I use the most. It's really good for tight places. I love mine for those close to the ground decks and for checking the disposal for a cord grip.

Oct 04, 2012 02:08 PM #28
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Donald - The camera can be a great tool when we can't actually see things.

Oct 04, 2012 02:52 PM #29
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Donald, I’d say further evaluation and repair are needed … holy gads.  Makes me wonder about the person who did that in the first place.  Great job on using a camera in situations like this one. 

Oct 04, 2012 05:21 PM #30
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's it in a nutshell!  And judging from the uniformity and color of the dust on everything, that's been there for a long time!

Oct 04, 2012 09:28 PM #31
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Van, I do have a boroscope but I only break that out when requested.

Joan, I would be lost without my camera. I use it as a note book also.

Rob, Ain't that the truth. I am regularly sticking under decks also.

Kathleen, This is one of the buildind that had lots of issues to deal with.

Jay, You are abolutely right. It might of been there for a very long time.

Oct 04, 2012 11:10 PM #32
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

The camera is a periscope. I had to use mine the other day to "inspect" the inaccessible attic. Not ideal, but I was able to see some of the attic through the photos later. 

Oct 05, 2012 11:00 PM #33
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim, Ain't that fun when you get home and see those areas that you there would be no other way to have a clue.

Oct 05, 2012 11:17 PM #34
Andy Chaudoir
Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown, TX
Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas

Hello Donald - I have to agree, it's one of the most useful tools we carry.  I stick my camera into tight spaces all the time and am often surprised at what it finds.

Mar 20, 2014 07:00 AM #35
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Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
Home Inspection Services and Inspection Questions

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