Limitations

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

WorkshopOne of the harder lessons I believe people have to learn in life, particularly when growing up and later going through life, is what one can and can not do. Now I am not speaking of rules or laws, for those also must be learned. Each one of us has strengths and weaknesses. Some people are good at sports, others at the arts and some at building things. Even when you excel at a particular talent, there is always someone, somewhere who is a little better than you. A reminder of one's limitations and an opportunity for humility, welcomed or denied. As a home inspector I see the work of those that are exceptionally talented and some that are in complete denial. A recent inspection showcased the latter.

Electrical wiringElectrical work should always, always, always be left to a licensed professional. Electricity is a force that is unforgiving and deadly. One of the unique characteristics of electricity and wiring is that a circuit or multiple circuits incorrectly wired may very well function as intended. The fact that something works can give the installer a false sense of accomplishment. Meanwhile the circuitry is a potential danger.

While inspecting a detached garage with a full workshop above, I found the building had electrical service installed. By the size of the electrical conduit on the exterior, I was expecting to find a service panel with numerous circuits.

The numerous circuits were there, the service panel was not.

Lots of wires, but no breakersOn the inside wall where the service entered the building, was a large electrical enclosure with, count 'em, eight individual circuits exiting the box. The Handy Andy that did the wiring even labeled all the cables. What he didn't do was install any kind of circuit protection, i.e. circuit breakers and a panel designed to hold them. All the circuits, as best as I could tell are spliced to... Well I'm not really sure. As one can see the inside of the box is a tangle of wires, which I was not going to attempt to sort out. I will leave that to a more qualified person, a licensed electrician.

You see I know my limitations. 

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

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Rainmaker
488,542
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim, You do not like big ol junction boxes? 

Nov 06, 2014 10:18 PM #13
Rainmaker
2,434,058
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

When I heard that a seasoned licensed veteran Electrician got electrocuted one day, I knew I was doomed if I went near anything in that world...Taboo for me

Nov 06, 2014 10:42 PM #14
Rainmaker
563,600
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Yikes, what a mess! You have to have a healthy respect for electricity, it's nothing to play around with!

Nov 06, 2014 10:47 PM #15
Rainmaker
786,079
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Look at that cable management... Better leave it to the professional.  Looks like you could mess something up in a hurry. 

Nov 07, 2014 12:24 AM #16
Rainmaker
970,924
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post James!  Practicing outside our area of expertise is not a good idea, nor in your business either!

Nov 07, 2014 12:36 AM #17
Ambassador
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Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I was shocked to find that my home was a disaster waiting to happen. I had a home inspection done on my home....just for safety....and my electrical issues were significant. 

Nov 07, 2014 02:52 AM #18
Rainmaker
316,969
Scott Gleason
RE/MAX Select - Westfield, NJ
Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist

Even the "A" type personalities need to be aware of their limitations; especially when it comes to something as vital as electric issues.

Nov 07, 2014 03:53 AM #19
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Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

James Quarello - I think we all have our own challenges! Or as you mentioned, 'Limitations'!

Nov 07, 2014 12:40 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,317,476
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I think it is best to leave electrical and plumbing to the pros.

Nov 07, 2014 12:51 PM #21
Rainmaker
4,432,093
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

It is important to have a home inspection when buying a house so that the inspector can point out things that need to be addressed by the experts.

Nov 07, 2014 08:43 PM #22
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jill, The trophy for everyone is alive and well. I have to agree, it does not teach kids how to lose or be humble. 

Joe, I had to laugh to when I discovered this gem. I mean what else can you do?

Don, I don't dislike them :)

Richie, Yes, even the pros can make mistakes. I think you have re-enforced the point of leaving the electrical to the pros. 

Fred, You do. As we know not everyone does.

Kevin, It's a mess already :)

Jan, I think the concept is pretty universal. 

Karen, You NEVER know! The amount of clients I have had that were shocked by what was present is uncountable. 

Scott, Personalities have nothing to do with one's limitations, just the perception of them. 

Praful, Yes, for certain.

Joan, Yes it is.

Gita, No argument here :)

Nov 07, 2014 09:37 PM #23
Rainmaker
1,839,304
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Let's see.  The hip bone is connected to ... no, that's not it.  Oh, i before e except after ... no.

Um.

I know one of these does the saw.  Or the drill.

I'll get back to it after lunch.  Hey, the game's on!

Nov 08, 2014 08:09 PM #24
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, All Ican say is, I'm glad that I don't have to sort this out. Inside the house was just as fun. 

Nov 08, 2014 08:19 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,509,240
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Of all the forces in this world, the two most dangerous in my opinion are electricity and a gun. Either can kill quickly in the hands of untrained!

Nov 08, 2014 09:02 PM #26
Rainmaker
1,839,304
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

But you have to give the guy credit for a really cool shed.  That's outstanding!

Nov 09, 2014 12:50 AM #27
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Gary, They sure will.

Jay, The guy didn't build it...thankfully

Nov 10, 2014 05:36 AM #28
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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning James. I don't know why people like to fool with the one thing that will either burn their house down or kill them.

Nov 12, 2014 05:13 PM #29
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I don't know why either Michael. 

Nov 12, 2014 09:58 PM #30
Rainmaker
334,844
Art Welch
Superstars Realty - Buckeye, AZ
Broker

I am currently in escrow on a home built 50 years ago without permits.  Every inch of aluminum is going to be pulled and replaced by copper.  The Electrician was so happy when I said fix it right!

 

Nov 13, 2014 01:15 AM #31
Rainmaker
985,913
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

For a Connecticut Home Inspector, call James Quarello at (203) 887-4782.

Nov 13, 2014 05:08 AM #32
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