Change your panel, Change your life.

Look at the last photo in this blog. You don’t have to know a thing about electricity to know that it’s perfect and state of the art, SAFE.

If you’ve been told you’ve got panel issuses you should read this article.

Change your panel, Change your life. Wenatchee and Chelan Home Inspection Services.

We rarely think about it. It serves us every day.  It is the largest safety device in your home but most do not appreciate what is does.

It is your electrical service panel. It is the heart of the home electrical system and is in essence the heart of our modern lifestyle.

If you went to your main service panel and shut off the main breaker what would your life be in your home? No lights, no heat, no cooking, no TV so on… and so on.

As a home inspector I had a curious thought. Why is it when I recommend a panel be replaced it becomes more of an issue than other components of the home?

As home inspectors we often cite that a roof need replacement or if an air conditioner or heat pump is old it is ready for replacement or your water heater needs replacement. Most people understand and are used to the thought that these types of components reach the end of a useful lifespan and should be replaced.

                                      Zinsco Panel with smoke damage Wenatchee home inspection

But the main service panel, now that is a different story. This seems to get homeowners and some realtors a little jumpy. They start to question my recommendation and ask more questions.

This brings me to my main point. Service panels and their associated components were built for the time they were installed.  As such they were not designed in many ways for our modern lifestyles and demands. Americans use more electrical power per person than do people of any other country in the world, but that does not mean that we have a better understanding of electricity.

Safety features and design requirements have been developed, improved and implemented in newer installations.

                                         overcrowding and poor bend radius Chelan Home Inspection

Through time many of these older panels become overcrowded and their initial design was poor at best. Time is not a friend of electrical systems and they should be replaced.

So here is a thought, roof replacement cost is about 6-7 k and up. An air conditioner/heat pump can be 2-3k and up. The cost to replace a service panel is usually in the $1200 to $1500 range.

I know this is not cheap but this is the one component that may save your life. A roof leak is bad but it most likely will not kill you. If your service panel catches fire or does not properly function it may have a devastating consequence.

Now I acknowledge that the events that have to happen to create a life threatening situation is a low probability but this is a safety device. It is like the airbag in your car, you sure hope to never need it but you will be glad it is there in the event of an accident.

                                   New installation Wenatchee Real Estate Inspection

The NFPA reported in 2009, an estimated 44,800 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition.  These fires resulted in 472 civilian deaths, 1,500 civilian injuries, and $1.6 billion in direct property damage.NFPA electrical fires report.

A study conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the 1980s indicated that the frequency of fires in residential electrical systems was disproportionately high in homes more than 40 years old. The thought is that the aging of older electrical systems, combined with the fact that older homes were not built to the more rigid building codes of recent times, were deemed the most likely contributing factors.Residential Electrical Aging Research Project.

If you have a panel manufactured by Zinsco, Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) or even Bryant, these panels have a reputation for being problematic and a potential safety hazard and should be replaced sooner versus later but any electrical system 40 years or older needs a thorough evaluation.

As home inspectors we are hired to provide information. There is no pass or fail of a home. We all assume some risk but understanding that risk will help you make a better decision.


“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Red Adair

NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service                                               509-670-9572


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

You Sure Don’t Want To See These Two Kissing!

The Pot Light And The Duct: Anybody who appreciates a good turn of phrase will enjoy this artfull done bit of ‘toung in cheek’ writing. The writer is drawing attention to a serious condition.

This is a re-blog article written by Jay Markanich of Bristow, Virginia. Please follow the links to leave any comments directly on his blog. Thanks

Kids.  I know, I know.  This is a couple you don’t even want together, and you sure don’t want to see these two kissing!

Call me a bigot, I don’t care.  These two simply shouldn’t be together.  Their kind shouldn’t even mingle.

Look at that hot thing – young, petit hard body, great curves, round caboose, maybe a little overdressed.  You can just see how wired and hot she is.  All that clothing though!  She really shouldn’t be so wrapped up.  She needs to show herself off better, let some of her smoking, hot self dissipate.  But still, she’s the light of somebody’s life.

And look at him.  Laying beside her.  Just snuggling up.  Can’t keep his body off of her.  Tall, thin, full of hot air.  He does his best work in the dark.  Just the kind I hate seeing around her.  Just the kind.  And he’s strapped in, ready for the long haul.

I actually feel worse for him than her.  He’s going to get burned, and burned bad!  She’s going to punch a hole right through those skinny ribs.  Funny, at first my instinct was to protect her, but it’s him that needs the distance.  She is stuck in her ways, and will never move.

But he’s stealing a kiss!  What a dope.  He is thin skinned.  He has no idea what he’s in for.

They haven’t been together long, only a couple of days.  And they are both so young, neither knows what it’s like to be really turned on, YET, at least to the degree they will when they get hot for each other.  But once they’re turned on, wow, things will get hot fast!

So what can I do?  I have no relationship with either one.  I’m just a friend looking out for the best interests of someone buying into this whole thing.  They hired me because they know how discriminating I can be.  That’s right, I discriminate.  I’m like that – really critical.  Sure, some people don’t like it, but I am who I am and make money because of it!  And, like the detective I am, I snapped a revealing photo.  Proof!  Right there!

Some very nice people have asked me for my opinion and I intend to give it.


And don’t let them even touch each other again.  Proximity is everything.  This couple was put together through no fault of their own.  But keep them apart.  Forever.

My recommendation:  tough love is very parental, looks cold, but sometimes it’s the best thing.  It’s especially helpful, though, crucial really, in the long run.  The best time to catch a couple like this is on an inspection of new construction, before the final walk through.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

One Of The First Things You Should Do After Moving Into Your New Home

This is not a re-hash of the usual “Top Ten Things To Do When…..”. These maintenance clean ups are really perodic chores that we need to be doing always, not just after a move or before a sale. Thats a good time to check them though.

I’ve rebloged or re-postied Sharons article to highlight it with my viewers. Please follow the link to her blog and there post any comments you wish to make.

What’s One Of The First Things You Should Do After Moving Into Your New Home?

You’ve just moved, and the last thing you need is me adding to your “to-do” list.  But this is something many homeowners don’t think of and it could become a serious problem if neglected.

If the previous owners didn’t follow manufacturers’ suggested maintenance on their appliances, you could be the one paying the price.

water filter

When we moved into our home earlier this year I wasn’t happy with the taste of the water that dispensed from the refrigerator door.

 My husband checked the filter, and the filter was disgusting.

This type of filter is supposed to be changed every six months.

Based on it’s appearance, we weren’t sure it had ever been changed.

A dirty, clogged filter can cause serious damage to your refrigerator and is a threat to your family’s health.

We replaced the filter and the water tastes great and flows much faster now.


Another area to check is under the refrigerator.  In order to run efficiently, the coils must be cleaned regularly.

 Here’s what we found when we checked under ours:

dirty refrigerator coils

 It requires 25% more energy to run the refrigerator when the coils are covered in dust.


What about the other appliances??

Some washing machines have water filters that need changing.

Lint-clogged dryer exhaust vents are the #1 cause of dryer fires.  Manufacturers recommend cleaning at least once a year to be sure your dryer is operating efficiently and to prevent fires.

Cleaning Tip for greasy stove hood filters:

vents in pan of water

Boil water in a very large pan.  Add 1/2 Cup Baking Soda….very slowly (a spoonful at a time) because it will fizz.  Place stove hood filter in boiling water and continue to boil about 5 mins.  All the grease will melt away.  Rinse under hot water and let air dry.

One of the first things you should do after moving is

check all appliances, heating/AC systems, and water/air purifiers for filters that need cleaning or replacement.

 It could extend the life of the product, protect the health of your family, and save you time and money.



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Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post