Home Inspection: Serious Electrocution Hazard...HOMEOWNERS and HOME INSPECTORS MUST READ!!!

By
Home Inspector with Foundation-2-Rooftop, Inc.
http://actvra.in/6Wx

HUGE SAFETY WARNING FOR HOMEOWNERS!!!  While performing a home inspection in Glenwood, Iowa, I was checking the A/C sub-box's wiring.  I went to put the metal cover back on and the cover hit the lugs, sending sparks flying.  Luckily, I had my hands in the reflex position to contract away from the wiring and not extend towards it.  (Note: If you ever check electrical boxes, backhand the panel before attempting to open it.  If the metal cover is energized, your muscles will reflex away from the box.  If you have your palm side of your hand touching it, your muscles will extend your arm forward and you'll continue to get eletrocuted until the main breaker trips or until you fall to the ground.)

After looking closely at the A/C sub-panel, I noticed the lugs the cover touched were sticking out past the plastic protection.  The whole point of the plastic is to ensure that the metal cover can't physically touch the energized lugs.  Whoever installed the sub-box didn't install it properly! 

For my fellow home inspectors out there reading this, I've never come across this in over 9 years of performing home inspections.  I came REALLY close to getting 220 through my body.  Take caution!

Dear God, Thank you for keeping me safe!!!

Serious electrical hazard on A/C sub-box

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Comments 22 New Comment

Anonymous
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Rainer
18,209
Irene Lai-Chan
M.S., REALTOR
Rando Real Estate

Good to know you're ok.  I've emailed the short URL to my husband, who is the only one in the house that has any opportunity to get near one of these electrical boxes.  We have a newer home but it's always good to know how to approach electrical panels.  Thanks and have a safe and productive Monday!

 

March 21, 2011 03:04 PM
Rainer
82,142
Melody Russell
Ranked as 1 of TOP 3 Santa Cruz County Realtors.
Keller Williams Realty, Santa Cruz, CA.

Thank you for the info. I will be passing this on to my inspectors.

March 21, 2011 03:20 PM
Rainer
26,253
Lydia Lucas
Prudential CT Realty

Thanks for the heads-up, Greg! Thank God you're okay.

March 21, 2011 03:58 PM
Rainmaker
1,088,113
Tom Arstingstall
General Contractor, Sacramento, CA - 916-765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366

Glad that you are okay. I'm with David Stokes on this one, turn off the power leading to that disconnect first. I'm a coward cautious person.

Thanks for the advice Greg.

March 22, 2011 01:50 AM
Anonymous #22
Anonymous
Los Angeles certified home inspector

Buying a home involves a lot of steps and Proper home inspection is a very important thing, before the investment for home buyers.

<a href="http://www.equityinspection.com/">Los Angeles certified home inspector</a>

 

June 21, 2012 11:31 PM
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Rainer
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Greg Wayman

ASHI Certified Inspector - 402-330-1701
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Additional Information

My blog is packed full of home inspection related articles that are useful for homeowners, Buyers, Sellers, and real estate agents. I also post interesting inspection pics regularly as I run across something on my inspections that peak my interest. Enjoy!