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Sort of a cross between “There, I Fixed It“, Cheap-Ass Tools, and Doh! comes an ASHI Reporter’s Postcards from the Field monthly feature. It documents a variety of funny — and weird and disturbing — home inspectors’ finds.

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This kind of stuff will murder you in an inspection. There are about a hundred different ways to get creative with outlets and power but if an inspector is coming anywhere near your job site, don’t let them find this.

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Inlet? [Source]

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9 Responses to Doh! Outlets — What Not To Do

  1. Shopmonger says:

    I was looking into buying another house last year and went into a home that read “Unique layout” So i was interested. Unfortunate Unique also applied to the wiring. It was just like this all over the house….. and a few pigtails open and even a few with no wire screws on them……..Nothing like showing a house with open wires…and to top it off the owners were home, and sitting around the table, smoking, in their undershirts, with 2 loaded handguns on the table……something right out of a movie….

    ShopMonger

  2. BigEdJr says:

    That is an awesome website. Hours of horror-tainment…

  3. kyle says:

    I like the inner tube as a trap-way to be inventive

  4. David Bryan says:

    That’s definitely something that grabs your attention, but while it’s not good, it might not be as bad as it looks. At least it’s visible, and some of the most dangerous wiring is hidden where you can’t see it. If the outlet is properly wired in the first place it’s already better than a lot of what you might find lurking behind a cover plate. If the overcurrent protection is properly sized, all connections reliable and the circuit not improperly loaded, even better. If the ground return path is not only continuous but of low impedance, better yet. If that flexible cord is being used to feed other outlets, that’s dangerous wiring. But I can imagine circumstances where you’d end up with something that looks like that which could have a reasonable explanation. I agree with Gordon that no matter what you’ll find on the other side of that wall, it’s “what not to do” with an outlet, but I’ve seen a lot worse.

  5. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    OK, in college the entire bottom of the kitchen sink trap fell out – it had rotted, and had minor leaks for a few months, but when bumped by a detergent bottle it completely disintegrated. As it was Saturday night, no stores were open – nor on Sunday. I ended up fabricating a new trap out of duct tape, and ended up using it for a couple of weeks.

  6. Chris says:

    @MeasureOnceCutTwice: and the difference between you and those people is that you had the good sense to know that was a temporary fix, and then replace it with the right thing later.

    You *did* replace it with a real trap later, right? :-p

    cl

  7. Michael W says:

    There are literally pages of these on their website, under “Postcards From The Field”.

    Part of my building career has been fixing things like this. It’s amazing how many prior owners can muddle up a 200 year old house ;)

  8. [...] of outlets, it’s often nice to test whether they’re live. The $25 Milwaukee 2201-20 will do that, [...]

  9. Nate says:

    It’s worth pointing out that ASHI is for home inspectors, who primarily do prepurchase inspections for homebuyers. They’re not code inspectors, they don’t write violations, and they rarely get near jobsites of any sort. An ASHI inspector’s reaction to something like this is to explain, to their client, what it means. What the client (usually the buyer) does with that information is up to them. The buyer’s reaction frequently involves further price negotiations in addition to the obvious attention during upkeep or renovation.

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