Not So Shocking Truth

Not So Shocking Truth By Jon Vacha A GFCI outlet is an outlet with the little push button that you see 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 where the resets are for ...


Going Where Most Home Buyers Don’t Go

Going where most buyers don’t go.   by Steve Vacha So, what is with this picture I took recently at a home?  Looks like a normal electrical panel with a screw driver sitting on top of it. This very scenario killed a young man I am told who was doing mission work at a church.  A breaker went bad and he had to take the panel off to change the breaker.   As he took ...


Power line clearance

There needs to be at least ten feet of clearance from the ground for the power line that comes into a house. Most new houses have the power coming in under ground. But, in older houses we find clearance issues periodically. Sometimes the electrical mast on the house will come loose and the line will droop. Other times a home owner will build a deck under the electrical line and then ...


Electrical blunder

On a recent inspection we discovered this- A electrical plug that connects to a 220 outlet had been hard wired to two 110 outlets. They had a gas oven so figured they would still make use of the 220 outlet... a dangerous idea!


Lightning Strikes INSIDE?

Approximately 1,000 people in the US are struck by lightning every year. Contrary to popular belief, however, not all of these people are outside while struck. Some of them are struck while inside their very homes. The insurance industry estimates about 6.5% of all property/casualty claims are related to lightning strikes. Some newer homes are equipped to absorb a lightning strike; however, in most cases the electrical paths are available for lighting ...


To Ground or not to Ground?

By Steve Vacha, President Home Standards Inspection Services Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) is a corrugated pipe with distinctive yellow coating and is much thinner than other, traditionally used pipes. This thinner pipe has been known to develop holes when energized by an electrical lightning strike. Several years ago I inspected a home that had this occur. The home owner was in her kitchen and noticed the smell of natural gas. She quickly ...