How safe is your home?   An Eagle Eye Inspector can be consulted to inspect the electrical wiring components in your home whether you are planning to sell or planning to remain.

SECTION 1: Common defects and amateur installations

In the Electrical section of the photo library I have tried to categorize the different types of defects and safety hazards that I have found.   I have many photos from previous inspections and I will be exchanging some of the photos over time so that the viewer can see them all.

The installer replaced the disposal but failed to secure the conduit to the disposal housing in order to prevent damage to the terminal connections or insulation.


The installer failed to insert the connections inside the disposal housing and clamp the conductor at the entrance.   The purpose of clamping is to prevent accidental disconnection of the terminal connections.   Movement of stored items rubbing against the electrical wiring under the kitchen sink can cause loosening of the connections.

I have dubbed this photo "Nightmare Wiring".   The installer placed a junction box in the ceiling cavity above a dropped ceiling but stopped at that.   The junction box is too small or there are too many connections for this box, the wiring is not clamped a the entrances and there is no cover.

This is a 240 Volt dryer receptacle in a laundry room that is hanging from the conductor instead being fastened to wall.   In addition, a second terminal connection has been made to power another appliance from the 240V receptacle.   Adding another circuit inside 240V receptacles to power additional appliances is not recommended due to improper over-current protection and the receptacle is not designed for that purpose.

This view of what inspectors term "open splicing" is very typical of many older dwellings.   Several problems are apparent.  The terminal connections are not made inside a junction box and the insulation that is in close proximity to the connection is made of cellulose, or shredded newspaper, which can be highly flammable under some conditions.

In the crawl space, the installer wanted to make a splice on to an existing conductor.  The wiring in use is cloth covered with both positive and neutral conductors inside the sheathing.   Electrical tape has been applied to keep the conductors secured together.  Another example of "thrill-seeker wiring".

This scene looks innocent enough except that the installer has used NM-type (Romex-brand) wiring and a male plug assembly to connect the dishwasher to a source of power.   Appliance disconnect devices should be within arms reach of the appliance (under the floor does not apply) and NM wiring was not intended for use with plug connectors.

If I tell you this is a connection for a range/oven does it frighten you too?   The installer did not have the time to install a 240 Volt range receptacle so they twisted the conductors together and forgot about the ground and any means of disconnection in the event of service needs.

Above a dropped ceiling, a connection is made to power the lighting.   Lots of problems here.  

In the attic, examples of open splices and the yellow wire nuts cover the exposed conductors for an abandoned circuit.   An electrician is needed here.

The amateur installer of this circuit believed strongly in the power of duct tape.  

A swollen or cracked filler over the rivets serving the fuse holders is evidence of a previously overheated and damaged fuse holder. Replacement is recommended immediately.