Electrical Thoughts

Home Inspector with Tribuzio Home Inspection Services

A home should have , at least, a 100 amp service. Any homes that have 60 amp or less should be updated.

But if the oppertunity arises, the wise choice is to have 200 amp electrical service installed.

That will be sufficient to handle the present day needs of our electronics driven society.


Commonthings i have found lately whilst inspecting the electrical system:

* No  AFCI protection for bedrooms ( arc fault Circuit Interupters- help prevent shorts)

* Painted over GFCI RECEPTACLES that no longer work.

* loose in wall receptacles- often results in a bad grounding receptacle.

* miswired receptacles ( hot and neutral is reversed, ground and neutral is reversed etc.)

* missing knockouts in distribution panel and junctionboxes

* exposed wires, often live.


this is just a short list, theres often more wackyness.



Comments (11)

Gene Allen
Fathom Realty - Cary, NC
Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate
Sounds like pretty commonplace problems that I find all the time.
Nov 19, 2008 07:25 AM
Joseph Tribuzio
Tribuzio Home Inspection Services - Chicago, IL

Yeah that was the idea. :)

I forgot to mention another BIG one:  No labeling of breakers in the distribution panel or the sub.


Nov 19, 2008 08:03 AM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

I take it you are talking new construction Joe.

If I can add one more it is not having all the kitchen recepticles wired for GFCI where required, such as the island counters.

It is just shocking I tell you. (sorry,couldn't resist)

Nov 19, 2008 11:46 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

All that stuff's a day in the park...  come to Northern Virginia.

Nov 19, 2008 12:24 PM
Joseph Tribuzio
Tribuzio Home Inspection Services - Chicago, IL

YEAH, i know

 but Chicago is probably just as bad.

i've also seen the fuseboxes that are rusting out, the distribution panel boards that have water leaking into them, the cloth covered conducters with crumbling sheathing, the double lugging the double tapping, the extention cords running all over the place.

yes it gets worse... :)


Nov 19, 2008 03:54 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

In my county we have thousands of foreclosed homes just sitting, and getting moldier by the minute.  They were populated by people who bought them without credit histories, tickler interest rates, false socials, the inability to pay, yadda, yadda.  While there they changed the houses to include many bedrooms (one house recently had 9!!), added AC, bathrooms where there weren't bathrooms, two or even three (!) "kitchens," etc.  The wiring for all this is, how do I say, classically stupid, third or fourth world, laughable, infantile, dangerous - pick it!  Many houses have burned down, and every time I hear of another one on the radio I can only imagine why. 

Sure, I have all the stuff in the other posts above as well.  We all do - salt and pepper to our inspection meals.  But that's wear and tear and poor maintenance.  That stuff happens from sins of "O"mission.  I am seeing and talking about sins of "CO"mission.  These people have done this stuff on purpose!

One day, should these houses be brought back into a livable, hopefully code-complying condition, some electrician is going to have a field day - that or he will have pulled all his hair out by the end of the project!

And it keeps us employed!!

Nov 19, 2008 09:35 PM
Greg Wilson
1st Cornerstone Realty - Schaumburg, IL

Thanks for the post.  Any tips I can pass on to my clients are always helpful.

Nov 30, 2008 07:50 AM
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

I think electrical is probably the most important of the inspection items, primarily because it can kill you or burn your house down in a very short time.

HOWEVER, most electrical problems are simply (and in the grand scheme of things) economically fixed.  They just need some duct tape and an unlicensed electrical buddy like Uncle Billy.

(where is that danged sarcasm emoticon!)

Nov 30, 2008 11:04 PM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

The electrical section of my report is usually the longest section, yet so many of the things I note can be fixed pretty easily and pretty inexpensively.

Feb 09, 2009 06:39 PM
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy there Joseph


You've sure done a mighty fine job of going right to the point, about the Electrical.

Jan 10, 2010 10:27 AM
Baker Home Inspection and Commercial Properties Inspections
Baker Residential and Commercial Properties Inspections - Springfield, VT
Home and Commercial Properties Inspections Vermont

Hi there and evening Joseph
Joseph, I'm sure hopping my comment finds everything is going well for you!

Sep 25, 2011 04:45 PM