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Home Inspection Nightmares II

Home inspectors have the scariest jobs. The latest house horrors unveiled by the pros, courtesy of the ASHI Reporter.

I Smell a Rat

Photo by Luciano Marquez

This is a photograph of a rat that entered an electrical panel through an open knockout. When it came in contact with the grounded box, it got fried! I show this picture, which I carry to all inspections, to homeowners who pooh-pooh my complaint of open knock-outs at electrical panels.

Luciano Marquez

Mr. Home Inspector

Union City, N.J.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

A Plumbing Odyssey

Photo by Tom Smith

Wasn't there a screen saver like this? This is a picture of some amateur plumbing work for the drain system of a home.

Tom Smith

The HomeTeam Inspection Service

Hermitage, Tenn.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Generally, a solid shim block or steel plate is used between a support column and girder. When not available, is it ok to use a rusted old pipe wrench and weightlifter's plate?

Al DeLong

Double Check Home Inspection Group, L.L.C.

Spartanburg, S.C.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Stefanie Brandenburg

If you have a broken framing member in your attic, use the all-purpose structural repair kit—duct tape!

Stefanie Brandenburg

Upstate Home Detectives

Taylors, S.C.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Shockingly Hot

Photo by Pete Jung

I guess we would call it a 1921 oversized junction box (1-foot-by-1½-feet)! Someone left a note attached indicating some of the wires were hot!! This 'box' was located on the basement ceiling and open when I found it! It's an electrocution waiting to happen.

Pete Jung, Hinson & Jung

LLC Home Inspections and Services

Germantown, MD

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

First Hot Water Heater in Space?

Photo by Chris Brown

Not only did the homeowners install the water heater on its side, but they replaced the tank pressure relief valve (which allows the heater to let off steam) with a large pressure gauge. So now you can just watch the pressure build. Ever seen an explosion turn a hot water into a missile? Fortunately, the house was vacant and the heater not pressurized at time of inspection.

Chris Brown

Florida HomePro

Jacksonville, Fla.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Fire Waiting to Happen

Photo by Bob Mulloy

I had to stop while driving by a home to take this picture. What comes out of a chimney? Hot sparks, heated flue gases...guess they've got good fire insurance.

Bob Mulloy

Allsafe Home Inspection Service, Inc.

East Bridgewater, Mass.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Recycling Gone Too Far

Photo by Kim Thormodsgard

The homeowner thought: "I knew I could find a use for that old jockstrap someday."

Kim Thormodsgard

Thor Home Inspection Service, Inc.

Sioux Falls, S.D.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Where There's a Flue, There's a Way!

Photo by Corey Folsom

So much for creative storage solutions.

Corey Folsom

Property Inspector

Ben Lomond, Calif.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Bag It

Photo by Dave Kent

This is what was found inside a 200-amp electrical panel: a plastic shopping bag wrapped around the service-entrance cables.

Dave Kent

Added Value Home Inspections, LLC

Portage, Mich.


Photo by Russ Augustine

Here is a photo of a dryer vent showing why they're not supposed to be screened. I've heard of saving your pocket change for a rainy day, but saving the pocket lint? This was someone's idea to keep out the birds; it took quite a bit of work to make it this nice.

Russ Augustine

Augustine Home Inspections

Russ Augustine & Assoc. Inc.

Schaumburg, Ill.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Chris Wunderler

This is a pic of a grey electrical panel with an apartment-size washer/dryer combo sitting right in front of it. Hope the owners don't have to get into it in a hurry in case of an emergency.

Chris Wunderler

Tru-Blu Home Inspections

St. Petersburg, Fla.


Photo by Jeff Leighton

The client had never looked inside the crawl space. This chimney was mostly supported by air. She was grateful for the discovery and was going to call a mason after the inspection was completed.

Jeff Leighton

Inspect-It 1st Property Inspection

Scarborough, Maine

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Mark Oldroyd

I found this tree, used as structural support, at a recent inspection.

Mark Oldroyd

A Realty Check

Wildwood, Mo.

Unhandyman Special

Photo by Dave Macy

I was surprised to see these wooden dowels plugging holes in the plumbing pipes. There were no active leaks.

Dave Macy

Home Safe Home Inspections

Broadview Heights, Ohio

Have a Seat

Photo by Todd Moelker

Have a seat and tell me about proper flex duct support. I found this in the crawlspace of a

manufactured home.

Todd Moelker

Alert Inspection Services LLC

Hudsonville, Mich.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Full Exposure—How Shocking!

Photo by Charles H. Nance

Here is the latest in electrical wiring techniques for dryer hookups. I guess he ran out of electrical tape in the middle of this project. It is interesting to note that this had been this way for some time, and that the recent inspection by the municipal inspector failed to mention it as a problem. My guess is that the homeowner turned off the breaker before connecting this, or he never would have survived the 240-volt jolt.

courtesy of the ASHI ReporterCharles H. Nance

P.E., CHN Inspections, LLC

Wildwood, Mo.

Cheapness Knows No Bounds

Photo by Ron Cook

The homeowner of this house apparently did not want to buy two garage door openers and installed one in the center of the two doors and connected them.

Ron Cook

Close-Up Home Inspection

Hopedale, Mass.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Marketing Opportunity

Photo by C. John Limongello

The people at Rubbermaid may be proud of a new-found use for a garbage can lid! Who knows what happened to the original cap to this attic fan.

C. John Limongello

Land America Property Inspection Services

Marietta, Ga.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Jim Krider

Some fireplaces are easier to inspect than others...

Jim Krider

House Smart

Atlanta, Ga.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter