two circuits providing one outlet????


Old 10-18-11, 05:00 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1
two circuits providing one outlet????

I live in a mobile home which I purchased this year.

Before the purchasing of the mobile home the realtor was to ensure the outlets were up to code. After the fact I found out the electrician she hired was basically a handyman who has "licensed bonded and insured" written on his van. Turns out he is not a licensed electrician.

Problem #1. My one outside outlet is not working. It had a gfi outlet so I tried to replace it with another gfi outlet.

I switched off the circuit I thought was the circuit providing power. When I took off two of the wires (three sets of romex coming into the outlet) I got a small shock. I then discovered it took another circuit breaker to remove total power from the outlet.

Problem #2. After replacing gfi outlet outdoors with new one it does not work. I called the guy who did the original work and he came out and after about 45 minutes asked him to send someone who is specific to electrical work.

Problem #3. He apparently put too many gfi outlets within one circuit because in one electrical circuit there are 5 gfi outlets and when I read electrical forums and web sites and talk to friends that only the first electrical outlet on a circuit needs to be a gfi outlet.

Everyone is passing the buck. The home inspector, the realtor, the worker...

I am most concerned about problem number one.

I have been told by home inspector to call electrician licensing board, file an error's and omissions claim,

If the handyman says on his van Licensed, bonded, insured I am wondering whether simply filing a claim with his insurance company would be the way to go....

Very confused....

PS the sales contract work was performed before closing and the seller paid for the work out of their side.
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Old 10-18-11, 07:34 AM
tldoug's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 317
"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

It sounds as if you have been inconvenienced with no out-of-pocket expense for the "work" that was done. That is the best part I can think of.
1. In states where licensing is required, it is unlawful to represent that you have a license if you do not. Here in NM, that can earn you jail time.
2. That yokel claimed licensure and isn't licensed, what makes you think he has insurance?
3. Based on your description, the seller is the injured party for the cost of this work. They should be the ones to report the handyman AND the real estate agent. I would start on the agent by going to the broker for repayment. If that fails, I would go to the State Real Estate Licensing board. My claim would be that the agent knowingly hired an unlicensed and unqualified person to do those repailrs without the consent of either the seller or buyer. There is nothing to keep you from going after the agent, too. I would ask for costs for my time and materials plus they pay for having a licensed electrician that you select correct this condition.
Old 10-18-11, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
Originally Posted by psalm10720 View Post
a handyman who has "licensed bonded and insured" written on his van.
I agree with tldoug. I am adding that while "licensed" implies that the contractor holds a license to do the work he has agreed to do, and a jury could reasonably conclude that this was deceptive, he could just say that he is licensed to drive, remove lead paint, cut hair, or sell real estate.

When you hire an electrician, plumber, lawyer, architect, engineer, or anyone else required to be licensed, find out where they are licensed (i.e. state or locally) and verify the license info.

Is the seller's real estate agent (aka Realtor (TM)) a licensed broker? If so it would be hard for her to plead ignorance. Having a license to sell real estate means you have to know a little something about what you're doing.
Old 10-18-11, 08:46 AM
ray2047's Avatar
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Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
While we could walk you through your main electrical problem but I'd suggest an electrician if you haven't done this before. Your problem with power bleeding between circuits can be difficult to trace if your not knowledgeable of how circuits work.
Old 10-19-11, 12:10 PM
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Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,587
A GFI can protect any receptacle downstream of it if they are wired using the LOAD terminals. You can also install a GFI at every box where GFI protection is needed and only use the LINE terminals.

I think you might have a loose connection or another tripped GFI that has not been found.

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