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-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jennifer Dulmaine 07/02/2010 07:05 PM
Topic:
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Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
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Adventures in Home Inspecting
Professional Home Inspectors
Tags:
electrical problems
electrical problems due to moisture
electric meter

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Ambassador
1,083,579
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

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

Jul 02, 2010 02:38 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,233,621
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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

Jul 02, 2010 02:43 PM #2
Rainmaker
453,503
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

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

Jul 02, 2010 06:01 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,233,621
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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

Jul 02, 2010 06:19 PM #4
Rainer
73,993
Jennifer Dulmaine
Keller Williams Realty - Spencer, MA
Seth Campbell Realty Group

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

Jul 02, 2010 07:04 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,233,621
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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

Jul 02, 2010 07:27 PM #6
Rainmaker
633,325
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

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

Jul 02, 2010 08:51 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,233,621
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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

Jul 02, 2010 08:52 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,371,707
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS

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....!

Jul 03, 2010 06:28 AM #9
Rainmaker
1,233,621
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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

Jul 03, 2010 06:50 AM #10
Anonymous
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

Jul 09, 2010 03:37 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,233,621
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

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

Jul 09, 2010 06:02 AM #12
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Rainmaker
1,233,621

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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