Home Improvement: BUYING A HOME – HIDDEN SAFETY DANGERS
JUST BECAUSE IT WORKS – DOESN’T MEAN IT IS SAFE
BUT IT WORKS…
Last week I did a home inspection for a couple who have signed a contract to purchase a home in Palm Beach County.
The seller did not appreciate my thorough work, and called me over the weekend to say “but it works.” Just because something works, doesn’t mean it is safe and complies with the building, electric, plumbing or mechanical codes.
ELECTRICAL SHOCKS ARE NOT A LAUGHING MATTER
If your electric outlets are not properly grounded, you can be in for the shock of your life. Electricity can pass through your appliances, or anything you plug into your outlet, directly into you. One clue that an outlet may not be properly grounded is that computers and / or appliances may not work when plugged in.
Other times, you may just get shocked when using something that was plugged into an ungrounded outlet. Unfortunately, I know first hand. It happened to me at a job site. Lucky for me, I wasn’t injured.
But the violations I found for the buyer could be a shocking experience for him or someone at his new home.
SOME OF THE VIOLATIONS
It May Be A Shocking Experience
Many of the violations we found, although they may not inhibit the function of the electric can cause electrical shock.
Problem 1 – Missing Breaker Slot Covers
Problem 2 – Water Heater “Whip” Requires a Strain Relief Strap
Problem 3 – Pool Pump is Missing Ground Wire
This shocking experience can happen to you…
Look what happened to these young children (this video is graphic) when a pool was not properly grounded.
Problem 4 – There is a Hole in the Wall and It is For the Electric
If you want to run power to something that is outside of your house, drilling a hole in the exterior wall to run a plug through it is not the way to do it!
Neither is painting the wire to match the exterior color a good way to hide it from the trained eyes of a home inspector.
IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT – NOT!!!
After more than 25 years of serving South Florida, I have seen many things. Even when my daughter bought her first home, I found many electrical code violations and told her she would need to have the items repaired.
The seller would not negotiate on the price and I explained to her she had to consider the repairs as part of the cost of the home.
My recommendation to the buyer who asked me to do the home inspection is to negotiate with the seller. Only the buyer can determine if they want the home as-is, if they want to do the repairs themselves, or if they will allow the owner of the home to do any of the repairs.
Although the seller and his real estate agent want to argue that the electric works, the buyer must remember – safety first. The main purpose of codes is to define the minimum, SAFE way of doing things. Can anyone really argue against life safety?
If you want a professional remodeling experience or a home inspection with a home remodeling expert view, contact your local design-build contractor, Leading Edge Homes. Inc.
Todd Perry, a State of Florida Certified Building Contractor and president of Leading Edge Homes, Inc., provided this information.