Home Buying in Westwood>Question Details

Alicia, Home Buyer in Westwood, KS

I just had a home inspection for a house i am considering buying. The house is a 1954 ranch and it is wired

Asked by Alicia, Westwood, KS Sat May 9, 2009

with low-voltage wiring and two prong outlets. Does anyone know how big of an issue this is?? any help would be great.

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Hello Alicia,

Without seeing the home, or the inspection report wording, it would be difficult to comment on the "Low Voltage Wiring" part of the question. As for the two prong outlet issue this is considered a safety issue by more modern standards. Newer appliances, electronic equipment, etc. all are equipped with the third prong on their electric cords. The third prong is called the Equipment Ground and is use as a safety precaution in the event there is a fault with the appliance that causes current to flow on the outside metallic parts of the appliance. Instead of you possibly being hurt (shocked) the current is drained off with the third connection (Equipment Ground). Additionally some equipment may experience issues without the presence of the third, equipment ground wire.

The significance of this issue can only be determined by knowing what you meant by "low-voltage wiring"? The issue is correctable as long as the existing wiring is considered capable of handling the loads you plan to impose on them, if there is a third conductor on the electrical cabling to each outlet (a ground wire) and there are no other issues with the electrical system preventing corrections to be affected.

Here are a few links that explain the importance of the three Vs. two prong outlet issue:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/how_to_central/home_clinic/1…
http://www.rd.com/advice-and-know-how/how-to-make-your-old-t…
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wiring/part1/section-33.html

Have you discussed this issue with your Home Inspector? Your Inspector should be able to provide you additional information regarding this condition and what it might take to correct. If you have additional questions I am happy to answer them. My email is available on my WEB site.

Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
http://www.psinspection.com
214-418-4366 (cell)
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor

Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
Web Reference: http://www.psinspection.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 9, 2009
Thumbs up,Emmanuel. Really informative answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 9, 2009
your best option would probably be to discuss this with your inspector. My first house had the old wiring and when too many things were operating at the same time(for example the fridge and the AC window unit kicked on at the same time) the power would go out. Lots of fun when you are in the shower at night and the house goes dark(all i could think of was Psycho)especially when the fuse box is in the basement. My husband wasn't home& i ended up calling the next door neighbor from the upstairs bedroom phone to come over with a flashlight and reset the fusebox.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 9, 2009
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