by Steve Vacha President Email Steve   It is estimated that a normal house receives up to 4,000 electrical surges every year. Ever wonder why your dishwasher or microwave suddenly stopped working one day? Electrical surges may be the hidden culprit. My new home’s A/C unit had to be replaced three times in the first 3 years. Finally, the HVAC tech suggested installing a surge protection device on the unit. The A/C has worked fine ...


Going Where Most Buyers Don’t Go

By Steve Vacha President, Home Standards Inspection Services EMAIL STEVE   So, what is with this picture (to the right) I took recently at a home? Looks like a normal electrical panel with a screw driver sitting on top of it. I am told this very scenario killed a young man who was doing mission work at a church. A breaker went bad and he had ...


Outlet in Bondage – by Dave Six

Never seen it done this way, it looks more like it's being held hostage !


GFCI Outlets: The (Un)Shocking Story

  By Jon Vacha Vice President, Home Standards Inspection Services EMAIL JON   A GFCI outlet is an outlet with the little push button that you often find in bathrooms and kitchens. But why is there a push button and what the heck does “GFCI” mean? During inspection walkthroughs GFCI outlets are almost always discussed. Sometimes the GFCI outlets are not present where they should be, sometimes we just want to alert the buyer to ...


Sump Pit Surprises

Apparently this is where Victoria disposes of her secrets!


This built-in microwave from the 1980's is still in immaculate condition and still working.  This was probably the high end microwave of it's time.  Why get something new if the old one is still working!!


They’re Out There!

Sometimes when doing an inspection, we come across what can I only be describe as “jaw dropping” examples of how not to build a house.  The other day, I had two such events in the same home.  While checking the electrical panel, I noted that all the circuit grounds had been tied together instead of going to the buss bar.  Then, the grounds had been intertwined with a (roughly) 14 ...


Electrical Panel Concerns

Electrical Panel Concerns By Steve Vacha Most of us have an innate respect or fear of electricity.  Be it our parents warning us about it from an early age or maybe having the outlet spark on us as we tried to plug in a damaged tool or appliance.  Our homes today have many safety features to allow us the benefit of electricity. One of the most important safety features is the electrical circuit breaker ...



Energy Steve Vacha   Where would we be without it?  We only have to remember how out of sorts we get when there is a short power outage at our homes. The cost of energy is going up. We pay more and more to heat our homes and keep the lights on. The cost to the environment rises as we take more and more to power our lives.  Our world needs new ways to utilize ...