To state that the kitchen had some electrical issues would be accurate. That there was only one circuit for all the receptacles in the kitchen is not that unusual—if the house was from 1900—but this was basically “new” work, done less than 7 years ago.
The work was “less than professional” and most likely the work had no chance of being done under permit.
If this was the end of the story you would be perfectly justified in just clicking away–but hang in there, you just know it has to get better.
So this one circuit “begins” on one side of the kitchen where it picks up the refrigerator. It then wiggles its way over to the adjacent bathroom receptacle. It then goes through the wall to kitchen receptacle number one, toward the kitchen sink and receptacle number two where it then goes past the kitchen sink to receptacle number three—and then “apparently” to number four on the side panel of the washer/dryer.
But wait a minute–how come I haven’t said GFCI yet? So I plugged my little 3-bulb tester into a receptacle and pushed the test button. I heard the familiar “snap” as the GFCI tripped.
Now imagine in your own mind, a whole bunch of words I am saying in my mind, that I cannot use in this post.
The “snap” came from behind the stacking washer/dryer at the end of the kitchen countertop—behind the side panel that encloses the washer/dryer.
How could anyone do this?
But wait a minute–as it turns out, the WASHING MACHINE is the first receptacle in the circuit, not the last as I originally thought, and of course they are all GFCI protected–bathroom included!
For those of you that do not know–there is required to be at least two countertop appliance circuits. The washing machine needs its own circuit. The bathroom needs its own circuit (or at least a circuit separate from the things that it shares in this case).
How could anyone do this?
It least it gave me the reason why the sloppily installed receptacle on the side panel of the washer/dryer was not functional. AHHHH those silver linings!
It was not actually a receptacle at all, as you can see in the picture I was able to get with my camera over the top of the stacked washer/dryer.
It was one of those fake receptacles that people put over a hole in the wall where they hide their flash-drives, drugs and mad money.
Now you can see it through the access hole.
Well it seems at least the “Why would anyone do this,” is at least a little bit better.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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