Electric Heater Safety

By
Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Recently I read a post by Charles "Chuckie" Buell, where he talked about cords being run over electric heaters. I guess it was a coincidence but at an inspection recently, I ran into a great example of the "cord over the heater syndrome". It is a very common occurance in Bellingham. Problem is, people do not know that there is an inherent problem with the arrangement. Below is the language, and photos, straight from my report. 

"Electric outlets/receptacles are installed directly above bedroom and living room heaters. While this was a common installation practice a few years ago, it can be a significant safety hazard when cords are draped over the heaters -- which is the case in the living room. I recommend that the client consider having an electrician move the receptacles away from the heaters. Otherwise, make absolutely sure that cords do not run over the front of the heaters."

  

Cord over heater                                                                  Same heater, tested earlier in the day

 

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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Washington Whatcom County Bellingham
Groups:
Dedicated Bloggers
Home Inspectors across the country
Puget Sound - WA Real Estate
Tags:
electric heaters
bellingham home inspector
receptacles
ferndale
lynden
blaine
custer
sudden valley
mount baker

Comments 14 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,166,381
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

It was built this way by people who know what they're doing.   It must be fine. 

What, me worry?

February 03, 2011 06:57 PM
Ambassador
1,661,157
Dale Baker
New Hampshire Relocation and Views Info Blog
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections

Howdy and evening to you Steve

Steve, it sure is not a good thing, when cords are ran over heaters in a home. Folks sure don't want to end up having a fire.

 

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

February 03, 2011 07:22 PM
Rainmaker
1,172,396
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

AR was out so I had no clue that this post was getting comments. Hmmm.

February 04, 2011 12:06 AM
Rainmaker
340,861
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Steve,

It seems to be such a common occurrence with baseboards.

February 04, 2011 12:24 AM
Rainmaker
1,172,396
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Don,

If I see a 70's house, and it has electric heat, it will be like this. I have never heard of anyone changing them out hence my suggestion that they do so, with remarks that they keep cords away from them.  At least they will do that part we hope. I have seen towels hanging down on them, curtains over them. That makes the electric cord problem seem mild in comparison.

February 04, 2011 10:38 AM
Rainmaker
1,172,396

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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Additional Information

Steven L. Smith, King of the House Home Inspection, provides information for real estate buyers, sellers and real estate industry professionals. Blog posts emphasize issues commonly found in Bellingham, WA and Whatcom County. Smith is Washington State Licensed Home Inspector #207, a state licensed structural pest inspector, ASHI certified inspector #252760 and one of the most experienced inspectors in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest. Steven L. Smith is lead instructor of home inspection at Bellingham Technical College and teaches classes for Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Steve was a two-term member of the state licensing board.