Chris' Corner: Dangerous Receptacle Installation - "That's How They're Doing It Now."

Dangerous Receptacle Installation - "That's How They're Doing It Now."


In this recent post, Jay Markanich, a knowledgeable home inspector from Bristow Virgina and active rain blogger points out that there can be wisdom in the way of ages, and not to consider something new just because other people are doing it this way now...

Considering any diy home project, research first and get some advice from good authorities before you start...


If something has always been done a certain way for decades, either through common sense, best practice or because of codes, and suddenly it changes because someone thinks "that's how they're doing it now," then we need to rethink sanity.  Who makes these changes?!

This is new construction, again (!), and here is the view under the kitchen sink.

Something might spring out at you.  Yes, the disposal receptacle.

Is that under the drain and disposal?  Yes!
Is it facing up and ready to receive a drippy leak?  Yes!
Is the box metal?  Yes!
Was this intentional?  Yes!
How do I know - because the box is screwed into the cabinet floor.
Is the disposal circuit on a GFI breaker?  No!
Should it be?  No!  (Well, maybe when done like this!)
Should it need to be?  No!

Everything about that is about as dumb as it can be.  The receptacle box should be high on the rear wall of the cabinet, away from water, spilled cleansers and other stuff and damage.  It is a dangerous receptacle installation!


It isn't the disposal plugged in there!  It's the dishwasher!  The disposal is hard wired and clipped to the drain line, as it should be!

Here's the rest that bothers me:

1.  That braided hose services the dishwasher water.  It comes out of the hot water handle in the back, loops around the FRONT of the cabinet, to pass through a hole in the BACK of the cabinet, a hole full of sharp edges and splinters, to service the dishwasher.  Why not shorten it, run it straight out the back of the cabinet, thereby protecting it from damage as kitchen things get put into the cabinet?
2.  The gray conduit you see services the disposal switch, located under the cabinet.  The switch location is fine.  But why not run that conduit along the top of the cabinet to go down and pass through the rear corner, out of sight and not in the way?
3.  The dishwasher plug is looped in the front of the cabinet, unprotected and passes through a hole full of sharp wood and splinters.  I have never seen a dishwasher plugged into a receptacle before, but if this is how this one is wired up why not do the cord installation smartly?

Funniest of all, the supervisor showed up to do his thing with the buyer.

He walked into the kitchen and saw me and his face went white!  He knows me pretty well!  I opened the cabinet and asked him to look inside and he looked down at his feet like he was caught at something! 

He said simply, "That's how they're doing it now."

My answer to that?  "So!  It's dumb and dangerous!  And who are 'they'!?"  And I went through my litany of bothers.

AND HE AGREED WITH ME!  And he said they would change it all.

I wondered if it was my job to express myself and what bothered me?  ;>)

My recommendation:  if something that is supposed to be done right is suddenly changed and done wrong or dangerously, don't ever accept the excuse that it is the new way they are doing it!  How "THEY" do it is irrelevant if it is wrong!  And your home inspector will know what looks right and what does not!

Don't ever discount the value of a home inspection on new construction!  You never know what you will run into!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

Interested in Buying or Selling Real Estate?

  ph: 1.866.936.3500

Chay Realty Inc.,

Comment balloon 3 commentsChris Smith • July 09 2011 08:08AM


Good morning, Chris. I missed this post by Jay. Thanks for the reblog. There is nothing that surprises me anymore...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Oh my. I also own an electrical contracting company, and I can promise you that "they" are not doing it this way now.  Sloppy work at best.  More issues than you can count.  Thanks for the re-blog.  Missed it the first time through.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 9 years ago

I see this same thing from time to time, its dumb allright, plus it takes up floor space for storing things, but appently it is legal.

Posted by Paul Lesieur (203kloanmn) over 9 years ago