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This house was being used to grow marijuana. A grow house consumes a lot of electricity. This is the patched foundation under the electrical panel where the grow house operators drilled through it to get unobserved access top to the underground hydro wires. This allows them to steal the electricity for the grow operation before it read by the hydro meter on the outside of the house. It is important for a home buyer in this situation to be absolutely sure that Hydro is completely satisfied regarding any outstanding amounts owed for electricity at this home. It is also advisable that Hydro be called in to dig up the wires and ensure that they are properly repaired after they were cut into by the grow house operators, for safety sake.

The wires shown in this picture are the incoming electrical service cable at the top of the hydro mast on this house. The connections on the power lines are supposed to covered with a proper insulating material. This semi exposed connection is so close to the bare ground/neutral wire that it is obviously arcing across (probably in rainy weather only) and pitting the ground wire. If these two wires ever touch each other, (say, in windy weather)  they will short and burn through each other, giving off a light show that the neighbours will remember for a long time and this house will then be out of power, possibly along with half the neighbourhood. The local hydro utility should be called in to correct this problem. Since it is the local utility's responsibility for the service cable connections at the top of the mast, there should be no charge to the homeowner for this urgent safety correction.


The wire to the left of this main electrical shutoff switch is the system ground wire. It is supposed to be connected to the incoming water pipe for the house. This should be corrected immediately for safety sake so that a short to ground in the system will blow a fuse or trip a breaker instead of energizing the device box or the housing of the device that is connected to it. The correction should be done by a qualified electrician.

This clothes drier electrical plug has no metal box to contain the wire connections. A person reaching for the laundry soap (blue and white box in the picture) could electrocute themselves. The correction of this problem involves less than $10.00 worth of parts. A small price to pay considering the alternatives.


This is an Air conditioner electrical supply cable hooked up to the 'street' side of this home's MAIN power disconnect. There is no way to shut off the power to this cable. It is a fire hazard that must be corrected immediately by a QUALIFIED electrician.

This picture is of knob and tube electrical wire. It was used in pre 1950 homes and will, if still active, attract insurance issues regarding price and even availability.


This electrical panel is mounted directly on combustible wood paneling. There is supposed to be a sheet of drywall (considered non combustible) between the electrical panel and the wood paneling. This oversight, which is relatively simple to correct, was found on a TWO MONTH OLD home.


This is a picture inside an electrical panel. At the end of the top row, you can see the side of a GFCI (personal safety) breaker. At the end of the bottom row, you can see the badly burnt and exploded side of the lower GFCI breaker. The breaker literally blew apart in the panel. Fortunately, it was at the end of the row. It may have caused a lot more damage if it had been placed between other breakers. This breaker provided personal safety protection from electrocution to the master washroom whirlpool tub. The question is: Is this just a GFCI breaker failure (+/- $ 150.00 to replace) or did it explode because of some failure with the whirlpool motor or wiring? This will require a qualified electrician to investigate and find out exactly what happened.  Without taking off the cover of the electrical panel, It would have been virtually impossible to detect this problem. There were no visible clues outside of the panel, except for the breaker being in the 'tripped' position. 

Photo Gallery Courtesy of Tim Purtill (Canspec Home Services Ltd)

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