Are There Fireworks at Your House?

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

All our homes have electricity brought to us from a set of wires from the street. They either come under ground, as is the case more so today, or over head which is the most common entry to find.

When bringing the electric service wires to the house they must be attached at some point to the exterior. Back in the day the wires were clamped to the house, later they were inserted inside a pipe or mast with the mast clamped to the house.

The wire from the street must be angled appropriately to give it clearance from the home. Getting the right angle can be difficult unless the mast is used.

During the last few weeks I have found a bunch of service wires actually touching or too close to the house. These ranged from old to new homes.

In each of the three pictures the wires are actually touching the house on aluminum trim coverings. Aluminum is what all those wires are made from since is such a good conductor. Despite that the wires can not contact the home for obvious safety reasons; they will also wear from rubbing.

Over time a nice hole will form in the wires until one day POW, lightning and fireworks! Then lights out.

Often to fix a problem like this takes a concerted effort from the electric utility and a licensed electrician. The utility will usually not touch anything attached to the house like the mast. An electrician will then be required to make any adjustments at that point.

This is again one of those simple things anyone with two good eyes can go and check for themselves. Have you looked at your entry cables lately?

James Quarello
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Rainmaker
298,491
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

Good reminder and great plug on the Fourth of July people forget how simple it is to avoid major fireworks like that. Luckily a lot of hte homes here have underground even the older homes.

Jun 24, 2009 07:39 AM #1
Ambassador
789,633
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Oh my gosh what a set of pictures. It made me cringe . Thanks for the post it was amazing

Jun 24, 2009 08:09 AM #2
Ambassador
1,090,529
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

James, or they merely energize the gutters on the house waiting for someone to put an aluminum ladder against the gutter:)

Jun 24, 2009 09:35 AM #3
Rainmaker
635,962
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Heather, I would imagine in Florida underground wires would be a necessity.

Charlie, I cringe too when I get close to wires like those above.

Charles, Like the unsuspecting home inspector. That'll wake you up faster than coffee!

Jun 24, 2009 12:42 PM #4
Rainmaker
179,204
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

I don't get close to them.  Right away I recommend a call to the local power company. Charles has a point, I've had that experience.

Jun 24, 2009 04:04 PM #5
Rainmaker
635,962
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jack, You were shocked through your ladder? Well apparently you came out okay...or did you? :)

Jun 24, 2009 04:10 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,182,068
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

James,

I prefer my fireworks on the fourth, not quite as unplanned as all that that you describe.

Jun 24, 2009 11:57 PM #7
Rainmaker
635,962
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Steven, I do as well. I had my share of unplanned fireworks.

Jun 25, 2009 04:59 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,245,379
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Oh oh, they're NOT supposed to touch the house?

Jun 25, 2009 08:18 PM #9
Rainmaker
635,962
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, It would seem that we are the only ones in the know.

Jun 26, 2009 06:48 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,182,068
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

Speaking of the fourth of July, hoping for some fireworks at your barbecue.

Nutsy

Jun 26, 2009 04:03 PM #11
Rainmaker
635,962
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector
Nutsy, You'll get the works from the fire. Sparks and lots of heat.
Jun 26, 2009 06:18 PM #12
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James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector
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