Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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Bellingham Home Inspector (King of the House) Octopus Wiring

Can you identify octopus wiring? Do you know what it is? I see lots of it in Whatcom County and Bellingham. Basically, it is often found in older homes where there are too few receptacles to meet the needs of the occupant's electric demands. It is easily recognized by anyone who knows what to look for -- electric extension cords being run all over the house -- heck they might be routed over the burners of the stove and often receptacles will have one or more multi-outlet adapters plugged into them and additional electric outlet strips plugged into those.

Octopus wiring is not a good thing. It can overload circuits and, besides, you do not want massive numbers of extension cords in use at a home. Below is a wonderful example of classic octopus wiring from a kitchen.

A variation of this is often found outside as well.

Or down in the crawl space. 

It is not a surprise to know that all of these shots are from the very same house. Licensed electrician ASAP please!

Thanks for stopping by,

Steven L. Smith

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Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 17 commentsSteven L. Smith • October 27 2010 09:54AM

Comments

Identify it? I create it. The computer made me do it, along with his friends the printer and the monitor and their cousins the phone charger and the blue tooth charger and the camera charger and the electronic key pad charger and the... No picture to protect the guilty.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) about 9 years ago

Glen,

At least with much of the computer stuff, some of it is low voltage wiring from on component to another.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Steve - Yikes, that's pretty scary. But I agree with Glenn - technology if sometimes at fault. I used to see a lot of this sort of thing back in the old homes in Boston.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 9 years ago

Mmmmm.  One more of those Henry Weinhards and the owner may not care.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Steven - I just looked under my desk, there is an octopus under there.  Very colorful, too.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) about 9 years ago

GUILTY! The only thing missing from my house are the bottles of beer.

OK, it may not be that bad..... until you look under my desk.

I lied, it is that bad....

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 9 years ago

Before any of you feel bad about your wires, I will state that the photos came from "super" inspector Charlie Bee's house.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

I agree with Jeff #3...that is scary! Under my desk I have the same issue...and behind my family room TV.. other than that I am okay... and my parents taught me not to leave lights on...so I am a fanatic about turning off the lights.

Now my kids leave them on all the time...until I told them they were going to have to pay part of the electricity if they kept leaving them on! And they knew I was serious...they are old enough.  I hope that makes me ok Steven?

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) about 9 years ago

Mr. Smith is inhaling the funny stuff again----he often gets the pictures of my house and his house mixed up even though it is impossible to do so.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 9 years ago

Congratulations on the feature!  I agree with the others.  I have octupus wiring under my desk and I don't like it.  It gets dusty!

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 9 years ago

Steven, Congrats on the feature. I know exactly what you are talking about. I hate to see power strips plugged into power strips...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 9 years ago

The computer and the home entertainment center. Actually the entertainment center looks more like spaghetti behind the cabinet.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 9 years ago

We do have a ton of wires to keep track of anymore.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Geez, Steve, I feel kind of badly that you were right here in my neighborhood and didn't even stop by...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

Whaddya mean .... you can't plug power strips into power strips? How else can you make the one plug in the room work for all 23 gagets?

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 9 years ago

Steve,

 

Funny, I have seen this also. I have done some of these in the past. Hey more gadgets deserve more outlets right. I like the armored cable on the waste line, get better grounding that way ; )

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 9 years ago

This is also the type of home they're famous for asking the highest prices for, too, right?

Posted by Stacey Mayer, Snohomish-Homes.com (Snohomish-Homes.com) about 9 years ago

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