Vancouver Home Inspection Reveals Deadly Wiring in Attic

During my home inspections, I always make a point of walking every square foot of the attic, if possible. More often than not, I’ll find something that another inspector might miss. What I usually find is a leaking roof, missing insulation, or an animal or two.

The worst hazard I have ever found was from this home in East Vancouver. It was an old-timer and the price was very good, which attracted by client to it.

Dangerous Vancouver Home

Entering the attic, I followed the usual routine – checking for leaks, asbestos, and bad wiring.

Loose Fill Attic Insulation

One thing we can usually find in an attic is the presence of knob and tube wiring in the home. Knob and Tube is an old wiring method that is considered extremely hazardous and obsolete by today’s standards. Here’s a photo of the old wiring peeking out from below the insulation – a bad idea which is a possible fire hazard:

Buried Knob and Tube Wiring

At the bottom you can see the old ceramic knob – using an AC Volt Pen I was able to confirm that the wiring was live. This could be a potentially huge cost to the buyer if the insurance company will not insure the house until it gets re-wired.

When I turned around, I saw this:

Live Wires in Attic

Old wires, stretched across the length of the attic. At either end of them were glass Coke bottle necks, anchoring and insulating the wires from the wood rafters.

Volt testing confirmed these were live – not only that, but they were bare and exposed in sections:

Live Wires in Attic

Someone touching these lines would get quite a shock – and the attic was dark, which made it hard to see. This “electric fence” in the attic made this house a complete safety hazard. We called in a professional electrician to evaluate the system, and the home needed thousands of dollars of electrical work.

Have us find potential safety hazards in your home – call 604 395-2795 or email us today.

About the Author DavidFairbairn

Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email today!

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