El Dorado Hills - Homes & News - DeeDee Riley Realtor: How Tight Is Too Tight?

How Tight Is Too Tight?

Be a home inspector and look at this photo and tell me everything you see that you think is a problem:

 

1.  It is in a vulnerable place, and outdoors.

2.  It is a cable not made for an outdoor application.

3.  Hard to tell in this photo, it is not a grounded cable.

4.  What you can't see it that it comes out of a light fixture, traveling as you see here, and goes into and services another light fixture.

Yikes!

This home inspector was very close to the cable and noticed something else.

The cable is stapled too tightly.

A cable can be stapled too tightly?  Yes!

Here is a close up.  This is stapled too tightly!

Not only is the staple bent (it was installed using a hammer, by an individual obviously not used to hammering electric staples) but it is cutting through the insulation!  And cutting through both sides.  And it is metal.

IT IS VERY DANGEROUS!

As that cable expands and contracts with heat and cold cycles, and as that staple further and further cuts into the insulation, sooner or later that metal will conduct electricity from the one side to the other.  Arcing will happen, and possibly a fire.

A competent and experienced electrician would never have done this.

How should a properly-installed staple look?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If a single cable like the left photo and if a double cable like the right.  Yes, they make staples different lengths to accommodate different applications.

Notice how the cables are gently but firmly attached?  This is also indoors so there will be less expansion and contraction, but even if there was such these staples would not be cutting into the insulation.  This is a professional job.

My recommendation:  if you see electric cables here or there outdoors, pay attention to where they are and to how they have been attached.  They could be a problem waiting to happen.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 21 commentsJay Markanich • January 05 2011 09:01AM

Comments

Thank you Jay!  Always good to know those extra little things we should be looking for!

Posted by Bill & Cyndi Daves, TeamDAVES - Your REALTORS In the GA/NC Mountains! (Hiawassee, Young Harris, Blairsville, Hayesville, Murphy and Beyond!) over 7 years ago

B&C - you are very welcome!  Believe me when I say, it is hard to see it all!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

And that's why we ALWAYS recommend a Professional Home Inspection!!!  Thanks for the great information and the show and tell (otherwise, I'd probably miss the whole point)!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 7 years ago

I was good at show and tell in school too Tish!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I can only imagine the amount of people that put up their Christmas lights with a staple gun, while they are on lol

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA (Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) over 7 years ago

You gotta wonder Don!  Personally I would kind of like to watch that...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay,

Another great job of pointing out a detail most of us would overlook.  Thanks!

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 7 years ago

Jay,

Not on inspections but at rentals I have bought, I have found staples that are THROUGH the sheathing.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Jay, I did not know this. I used to install antennas as a part time job many years ago and we always went for tight. Never knew there could be a problem as long as the ends had a loop or some extra space. I'm only talking RG59, nothing carrying a current.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Bob Timm, Project Coordinator for Tivoli Homes (Tivoli Custom Homes) over 7 years ago

You're welcome Mike.  'Tis the job of the home inspector, 'tis.

No surprise there Steve.  No arcing?  No black spots?  Just waiting for the time to come I guess...

But still, Bob, cannot water that gets inside do damage to the co-ax and affect the signal?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I see this way too often. Always recommend that they hire a licensed electrician to come in and do a correct installation.

Posted by Steve Hall, Make the Call to Hankins and Hall (RE/MAX United) over 7 years ago

Well, Steve, this house had a lot of electrical issues, so this would just be part of that list!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Let me get this straight, some ran the cable to light. How many channels does it get.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

Good stuff, Jay. Great picture of the wrong way to do it!

Posted by Jason Channell, The House Sleuth (Diadem Property Inspections - Serving Southeast Michigan) over 7 years ago

Jim - I think that was a cable TV cable!  If that's the same system as mine, Comcast, then they get about 75 channels in that light.  That cable was cut pretty bad and if co-ax it might be why it hasn't arced yet.  But one day!

Jason - got to pay attention to the small stuff!  Electric cables are pretty serious things!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Great post, as usual, Jay!!!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) over 7 years ago

Thanks DeeDee, but things like this are more common than most people might imagine.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Love the pictures, keep 'em coming!  Funny but scary...

Great post as usual!

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 7 years ago

Welkommen again, Justin.  I expect they will keep coming...   ;)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - thanks once again for a great post that provides vital information on how things SHOULD be done!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 7 years ago

Thanks Barbara-Jo, again!  And thanks for the reblog!  Great new photo too...!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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