A Short Collection of Bad Ideas: Edition 1.

A Short Collection of Bad Ideas, Version 1.

These are the things that keep my job interesting.

People often ask me, "What is the most interesting/weirdest thing you've seen on an inspection?" So far, the winner of that prize is a set of heavy duty eye bolts installed in a master bedroom ceiling, directly above the bed. Luckily, the seller of the home was there to tell me what they were for, as though I hadn't already connected the dots. Different strokes for different folks. Beyond that, I see things all the time that make me scratch my head and laugh... If you see any of the following things going on in your house, think about making a change. If you've got eye bolts in your bedroom ceiling, good for you, have a good time.

Hiding the Main Water Shut-Off

If you have a leak that you don't know how to stop, the main shut-off is the "panic button." Don't hide it from yourself. I recently inspected a home that had the water main hidden behind a faux HVAC register. It took me 20 minutes just to find it, and it took a power tool to get the register off! Imagine that a pipe burst and water began spewing everywhere in this house. The homeowner would be frantically trying to shut off the water, and if it takes 20 minutes to find the main shut off, serious damage to walls, flooring, and trim could result. I know it is ugly, but keep your water main accessible.

Electrical Panel in a Kitchen Cabinet.

Beyond the fact that there is less storage for Tupperware, putting an electrical panel in a kitchen cabinet is a bone-headed idea. You need to have 3 feet of clearance to the left and right of a main panel and this one doesn't have it. The thing wasn't even fastened to the wall! It was just laying loosely in the cabinet with all of the electricity for the house and the barn flowing through it. Inside the panel, I found the worst wiring arrangement I had ever seen. Clearly not a professional job.

Window for a Backboard.

This requires little explanation. I'm guessing that the basketball goal was installed by a window salesman. Somehow, that window is original. I guess the homeowners just weren't into basketball. With my shot, I wouldn't have gotten through a game of "horse" without busting that thing out. @gjm

Stacks on Stacks of Adapters

My theory is, if you want to burn your house down, just burn it down... don't wait for a situation like this to do it for you. So here's the setup - the garage door opener cord wouldn't quite make it to the light socket (which, by the way, is the wrong place to plug in a 500 watt electric motor), so the homeowner decided to string together a bunch of adapters. Honestly, it's pretty clever. Also, it's a terrible idea. All of those connections were supporting the weight of a tight, long run of wire. If one of them pulled just a little bit loose, you could easily create a short that could start an electrical fire. Maybe I'm old fashion, buy I usually recommend plugging this type of stuff into an outlet...
Well, that's all I've got for now. I hope you find this as entertaining as I did. Take care of yourselves.
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