I Know You Conduit!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Walking around the house with my client I noticed that the conduit which houses and protects the service conductors to the house had pulled away from under the meter.

Without a slip joint, as soil settles, so, sometimes, can the conduit. The problem with that is that doing so can expose the conductors to water.

You can see that this conduit had been repaired once.  It has pulled away again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As this settlement occurs the box can settle too.  Such is the case on this house.

What can this cause?  Sometimes it can cause problems with the neutral line.  As water gets down into the conduit, if there is a small tear or hole in the insulation it can infest the service conductors. 

Service conductors are typically aluminum.  Water can cause many problems, obviously, but especially with aluminum, which can turn to powder.  In this house something had happened because on one side of the house the voltage registered 40 and the other it registered 165!

Notice also where the main enters the house.  That is enough gap for water to wander into the panel box via the cable.  That's not good either!

My recommendation:  When you are walking around the house with your clients, have a good look at the electric meter and service cables.  You might see what I saw here.  I know you conduit too!

 

 

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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Re-Bloggged 1 time:

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  1. Jennifer Dulmaine 07/02/2010 07:05 PM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Active Rain Block Party
Adventures in Home Inspecting
Professional Home Inspectors
Tags:
electrical problems
electrical problems due to moisture
electric meter

Comments 12 New Comment

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Ambassador
1,068,875
Charles Buell
Seattle Home Inspector
Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Jay, a slip joint is a good idea on these service laterals----missing all the time

July 02, 2010 02:38 PM
Rainmaker
1,218,326
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

They are kind of a recent thing, and easy to do Charlie.  Finally the builders are wising up to that.

July 02, 2010 02:43 PM
Rainmaker
453,501
John Mulkey
Housing Guru
TheHousingGuru.com

Jay - We live and learn--hopefully.  We have made some improvements in the way service cables are protected, but nothing beats using your brain.

July 02, 2010 06:01 PM
Rainmaker
1,218,326
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

My inspection this afternoon John, had a very nice slip joint built in.  It had the ability to sink over 2'!  That's thinking.

July 02, 2010 06:19 PM
Rainer
73,993
Jennifer Dulmaine
Seth Campbell Realty Group
Keller Williams Realty

Jay another great tip i really like reading your blogs..the things you see are helpful when going into homes...thanks for shaing Jen

July 02, 2010 07:04 PM
Rainmaker
1,218,326
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Thank you Jen, I am glad you enjoy them.  I try to be instructive (well, except the Billy Jays posts...).

July 02, 2010 07:27 PM
Rainmaker
627,162
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

Sounds like the house was unbalanced in more ways than one.

July 02, 2010 08:51 PM
Rainmaker
1,218,326
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

By the time we left, Jim, the universe was in balance once again...

July 02, 2010 08:52 PM
Rainmaker
1,343,925
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS
Keller Williams 414-525-0563

Water is such an enemy to a house top to bottom...roof to foundation...this is just one more place homeowners should be wary of finding the leak/seep....!

July 03, 2010 06:28 AM
Rainmaker
1,218,326
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

There are many places S&D!  And I have seen the TV commercials and know water and electrical don't mix well.

July 03, 2010 06:50 AM
Anonymous #11
Anonymous
Anonymous

I notice there doesn't appear to be an electric panel there at the meter. Where do they put them in your neck of the woods? Invariably ours are always at the electric meter, and usually the front corner of the house, making it easy for criminals.... I'l just leave it there. Don't want to get them any ideas. LOL

July 09, 2010 03:37 AM
Rainmaker
1,218,326
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Russel - always inside the house or garage.  For reasons of protection from weather (ice and snow) and them there criminals!

July 09, 2010 06:02 AM
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,218,326

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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