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No Christmas Card From The Seller

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I just recieved one of those lovely phone calls from a pissed-off seller whose deal I blew. Apparently I have wreaked havoc on their lives for no good reason, and I have some explaining to do. Okay.

I won't bore you gentlemen with all of the sordid details, but the crown jewel was a 34 year old Zinzco panel with a split main. Some fine fellow had saved a little money by double-lugging the wires for the subpanel feed to the shop, at the main lugs of the panel. I can only suppose the chap failed to sufficiently tighten them, resulting in a fairly crispy lower lug and wires. The upper one was sort of green, but the lower one had a few different hues working. The subpanel had numerous errors.

So she bitched semi-politely, I stood by the accuracy of my report and mentioned that I had 58 photographs on file to back up all of it. She fumed some more and said "Good day". She also assured me that they would NEVER recommend me to anyone....so there, I guess she told me.

All I can say is these are the times when it is SO BEAUTIFUL to KNOW at the bottom of your heart that you did the job to the fullest extent, with NOTHING to hide. How must these calls feel to the gutless wonders who sell-out every day of their miserable lives, over and over and over? It must be terrible...I hope so.

Bring it on, I got yer lawsuit right here mo' fro'.

Brian G.

Wreaker Of Havoc [:-batman]

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Mr. G.:

I would take 100 of those over "My buyer just had the house inspected and you missed something on your pre-sale inspection".

At the end of the day it's a "man in the mirror" thing.


Thought I would paste the "Man in the Mirror" here for those that might not be familiar with it.

When you get all you want and you struggle for self,

and the world makes you king for a day,

then go to the mirror and look at yourself

and see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your mother, your father or wife

whose judgement upon you must pass,

but the man, whose verdict counts most in your life

is the one staring back from the glass.

He's the fellow to please,

never mind all the rest.

For he's with you right to the end,

and you've passed your most difficult test

if the man in the glass is your friend.

You can fool the whole world,

down the highway of years,

and take pats on the back as you pass.

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

if you've cheated the man in the glass.

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Originally posted by Terence McCann

I would take 100 of those over "My buyer just had the house inspected and you missed something on your pre-sale inspection".

Amen. It's been an strange week, I got one of those calls yesterday from a client in the next town. She said they had found some significant structural damage under the front door, and wanted to know if I remembered anything about it (hint-hint). She was very nice. I told her I was tied up (true) but would look into it right away and get back to her. Thankfully it was in the report and I had a photo to back it up, specifically referred to by number. She was just confused. For about 10 minutes, that was scary. This other thing didn't scare me at all.

At the end of the day it's a "man in the mirror" thing.

So it is. I'm well familiar with this piece.

When you get all you want and you struggle for self,

Terry, I think that's:

When you get all you want in your struggle for self (I think)

Brian G.

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I feel the pain....

A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from a client whom I performed a buyers inspection for last November. In the attic of this 98 year old home, I had noted several open electrical splices made outside covered and secured boxes, etc. The home's electrical system had been upgraded from K&T to a modern 200 amp service when the previous owners moved in.

Anyhoo, the client was "just leting me know" that her "electrican" had been in the attic and noticed several "open electrical splices and that the wiring for all the overhead lighting was spliced into the still active K&T". She said she was concerned about the costs of having the wiring redone in the attic since she had told her insurance company of the new 200 amp service. She asked if I knew why the Sellers had lied on their disclosure form and how I could have missed such an obvious problem. I asked if any repairs had been made and when she said no, I made an appointment to come out the next day.

When I got there, a handyman guy that had been doing some repairs was there as well. Come to find out, there was no active K&T in the attic, the handyman was the "electrician" who wasn't really an electrician, the buyer's agent hadn't completed an inspection addendum to the contract addressing anything in my original report, I don't think the clients or the agent even read the report.

btw....When I asked the handyman for one of his business cards he said "I don't use no cards in by business. I never saw the need."

Going into it I was worried that I had missed something obvious and would be lucky to get out of it by refunding the inspection fee and not getting sued. What I found out was that people that don't know what they're talking about can cause some some serious stress and wasted time. I wasted a couple of hours learning this lesson.

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It's easy to miss still-active K & T around here, since a lot of homes have had cellulose insulation blown in right over the top of all of the K & T conductors. Sometimes even over any later add-ons done in NM cable.

One can go into an attic, find NM strung willy-nilly everywhere, presume, based on a new panel and new NM coming into it that all of the K & T is gone, but there can still be K & T circuits hooked up and active beneath all of that cells, where the electrician found it difficult to get to. They even cover it with fiberglass insulation here, but those are usually easier to spot.

It's a never-ending crap shoot. I think the only thing that will ever save me or another inspector in this area, if we miss this kind of thing, is the fact that it is so widespread that one has a choice - either excavate to the fixtures and cabling under all of that cells to reveal all of the K & T, or accept the fact that it is concealed from view and therefore technically excluded from the scope of the inspection.

I go with the latter. It makes sense to me. I won't bust open walls to examine wiring in walls, why the hell should I shovel away thousands of pounds of heavy cells and then have to restore it, only to have the client decide he or she doesn't want to purchase a home with K & T, in which case the seller is then screaming at me and wants me to restore the pristine look of all of that cells in the attic.


Mike (House Swammi)

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