Sometimes things are much worse than they look

Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

It is very common in homes find receptacles with signs of overheating.

overheated receptacle


Most common are receptacles in bathrooms and rooms where space heaters or hair dryers have been used.

Sometimes the signs of overheating at the exterior (like in the preceding picture) is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how much damage is lurking behind the cover.

In this case, after taking off the cover plate, extensive damage to the receptacle and the plastic box itself was evident.

badly damaged receptacle

This is one of the ways fires happen in homes and this home was probably lucky to not have had one.

If you have receptacles that look anything like the one in the picture---some signs of overheating---please have them replaced by a licensed electrical contractor before using it again. It may be in worse condition and more dangerous than it looks from the outside.

Notice that this one---even though incredibly damaged, was still energized and "functional."


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Cynthia Grimes
eXp Realty, LLC - Westminster, MD
"With You Every Step Home!"

Wow, that is scary!!!  If I see any damage I would replace them, I have a fear of there being a fire.

Jan 28, 2016 11:18 PM #1
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

AGain, great pix to drive the points of the post are an expert!

Jan 28, 2016 11:23 PM #2
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Well you didn't need the thermal camera to find that baby!

Jan 28, 2016 11:57 PM #3
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

 Electricity always gets my full respect and should be repaired by a licensed electrician Charles Buell 

Jan 29, 2016 05:35 AM #4
Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Charles electrical is one thing I pay attention to. My question is - is it only necesssry to replace the outlet or could there be a bigger issues lurking in the wiring as well?

Jan 29, 2016 05:46 AM #5
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's the easy way to test it!  The lick test is fail safe.  But not always fun...

Jan 29, 2016 06:29 AM #6
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

I'm always amazed at some of the small things that sellers don't fix prior to listing their house or even before inspection. 

Jan 29, 2016 10:26 AM #7
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Uh oh. Probably not a good sign.

Jan 29, 2016 11:31 PM #8
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Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspector
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