electrical outlet flow

Old 03-04-04, 08:05 AM
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Unhappy electrical outlet flow

We're looking into buying a home that did not have gcfi? outlets, the electrical wiring was under the insulation in the ceiling, there was double tapping in the electrical box, and there is an outlet next to the spa. Are these easy to fix and could they have caused any lasting damage?
Old 03-04-04, 08:36 AM
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Your question is a bit confusing.

It is easy and straight foward to add GFCI outlets. They cost $10 to $15 each.

I assume that by "double tapping in the electric box" that you mean two wires connected to a single breaker. This may not be a violation (it depends on the box). It may not be a problem either. It is fairly easy to add a new breaker, if there is space in the panel. It is fairly easy to replace a regular breaker with a tendem breaker, if tandem breakers are allowed and the box is not already maxed out.

An outlet near a spa can easily be disabled. It is also possible to remove it. How easy it is to remove depends on how the wiring is run.

Wiring under insulation is not an issue. Junction boxes hidden under insulation are a problem, but can usually be easily corrected.

I am guessing that you are looking at a home inspectors report.

Do not take a home inspector's report as gospel. Some are more knowledgeable than others on electric issues. The finding also do not necessarily indicate code violations. The house should have been wired to code when it was wired, but there are no requirements to bring the house up to code unless renovations are done, and then usually only those areas renovated need to be brought up to code.

What you have indicated would not worry me at all if I were looking at the house. There are plenty of other things relkated to the electrical that I would worry about.
Old 03-04-04, 08:40 AM
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It is very common to request these items be corrected as a condition of sale. Most sellers comply. I suggest you ask that the work be done by a licensed electrician and that you be provided with a statement by that electrician of what he did.

Of course, you must be prepared for what you will do if the seller says "no," and he has a right to do that.

GFCI is pretty easy. You'll probably need one GFCI for each bathroom, several for the kitchen, one for the front porch, one for the back porch, one for the basement, and one for the garage. They cost about $15 each if you install them yourself, which should be feasible. Depending on how the house is wired, one GFCI will probably serve to protect more than one outlet, but to be conservative, estimate that you need one for every location.

Electrical wiring under the insulation is fine unless the wiring is 80-year-old knob and tube. If the house does have K&T, I recommend you deduct $10,000 from your offer to compensate.

Double-tapping in the electrical box is very commonly cited by the home inspector. Often it is with the recommendation to "have it checked by an electrician." The electrician often finds that it's okay. Even if not okay, it's usually very easy to fix with a ten-cent wire nut.

Outlet next to the spa may be okay, depending on how many feet that is. Even if not okay, it'll cost you nineteen cents to remove it and put a blank cover plate on it.

Try asking the seller to mitigate first.
Old 03-04-04, 09:00 AM
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electrical problems

Thank you so much for your info. It's true, I am looking at a inspectors report and am not sure what would be hazardous. I appreciate your quick answers. Thank you both.

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