Are You Connected?

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

I often do inspections on older houses that have been remodeled.  This one turned out to be a pretty good one.  There were a few things, there always are it seems.  But this one thing stood out.

This very new disposal was installed and they used the old cable to do so.  While that isn't necessarily a problem, two things needed to be done. 

First, the cable should have been trimmed a bit to utilize new, smooth copper and get rid of the frayed material. 

And, second, they should have used a connector clamp and secured the cable to the drain nearby.

Connector clamps are very important.  Every electrical connection should have some sort of clamp.

Guaranteed, one came in the kit when this disposal was purchased.  It would look much like this.  Maybe they didn't think it was important, or didn't know, or actually found it in the box when they were finished and wondered what it was!  Who knows?  It is very easy to install.

Not surprisingly, there is a purpose in putting one in.  They do two things - they secure the cable into the box so it cannot accidentally be pulled away, and they fill the hole so no sparks can escape.  An electrical spark is about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and can easily cause a fire.  The clamp is machined to perfectly pop into the hole into which the cable would go.  It tightens down real easily, and it makes everything very secure.

My recommendation:   When you see a remodel, one way to check to see how professionally it was done is to reach under the disposal and feel for a very secure clamp.  You won't get shocked if you touch it.  It is little stuff like this that makes a job top rate or otherwise.

Wisdom looks for the small and simple.  And a professional pays attention to it!

 

 

Posted by

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


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Tags:
unprofessional work
connector clamp
electrical problems
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Rainer
28,917
Jennifer Zammit
Realty Executives Elite Ltd. - London, ON
A.C.C.I.

Thanks for the tip and the photo. It truly is worth a thousand words.

Jul 17, 2009 09:00 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,252,737
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You are very welcome, Jennifer.  So, reach under there and feel around!

Jul 17, 2009 09:03 AM #2
Rainmaker
224,250
Suesan Jenifer Therriault
JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team - Blakeslee, PA
"Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own".

Jay,
I see so many jobs where the contractor didn't bother to use electrical connectors. I don't understand what they think they're saving. All they accomplish is to make me look harder.

Jul 17, 2009 09:11 AM #3
Rainmaker
256,463
Alexander- Slocum
RE/MAX equity group - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
REMAX Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate

Thanks for the excellent explanation on this.  It is very often the case that the attention to details with the inexpensive parts can mean the difference between peace-of-mind and living with a hidden error that could be a ticking time-bomb!  John

Jul 17, 2009 09:11 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,252,737
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Suesan - and everywhere!  Hot water heaters, ovens, dryer outlets, disposals!  It goes on and on...

Alexander - the little things make all the difference.  But if a contractor is concerned with the small details, they will be concerned with the larger ones.

Jul 17, 2009 09:14 AM #5
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

My favorite saying is"the devil is in the details". This is one example

Jul 18, 2009 07:45 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,252,737
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Susan - devilish work, to be sure.  Actually not connecting that cable properly is dangerous.

Jul 18, 2009 07:47 AM #7
Rainmaker
229,465
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Home Inspections

What about the wire itself?  I can't quite tell from the picture, but it looks like unprotected NM wire to me.

Jul 19, 2009 09:34 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,252,737
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Reuben - it is a 55 year old house with some 55 year old wiring.  This is the old wrapped wiring, with paper filler.  You can see one of the cables inside.  If it was to be trimmed off to new, unfrayed material I think it would be fine with a clamp.

Jul 20, 2009 05:19 AM #9
Rainmaker
637,034
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay this is an awesome quote. Yours?

"Wisdom looks for the small and simple.  And a professional pays attention to it!"

Jul 20, 2009 07:10 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,252,737
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Si, mi amigo...

But you can use it if you want.  Fees not charged.

Jul 20, 2009 08:22 PM #11
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Rainmaker
1,252,737

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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