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  • Writer's picturegarysjordan

Home Moanership III

Updated: Jan 17, 2023


Electricity. The dotter has complained that the lights sometimes flicker. For the past few days, they dim and flicker and then go out altogether for a few minutes. This is a phenomenon that does not occur in the Owner's Suite AKA the basement.

It got worse. The dotter called in an electrician, Michael & Son, who explained that we have 100 amp service and 1950s' Tuck & Roll wiring. (I think he said "knob and tube wiring" but....) Then he quoted us $23.000 to replace it all and that it would leave the plaster walls and ceilings torn and rent, not covered by the estimate.

Ignore the deep sink. Ignore the water heater. The object in the far corner is an oil furnace/air handling unit. The brownouts appear to coincide with operation of the furnace. The electrician did not attempt to determine if the unit is grounding out or drawing more than rated amps - that requires an HVAC technician. A specialist.

Did I mention Buyer's Remorse?


Michael and Son invoice:

Arrived at customers today regarding some lighting that was flickering and dimming. I found that the main panel in the home is a 100 Main breaker. Also I noticed that there is two feeds coming off the load side of the meter one feeding a fuse panel In the kitchen the other feed the main panel in the basement. Lights are dimming and flickering due to overloading the power coming to the home. I also found that the lights and outlet on the main flood are nob and tube this will need to be replaced to upgrade the service. I presented and walked through the estimates with customer as well.

I contacted my agent, Jessica of Hogan Group, to find out if any of this was covered under our contract with the seller. She came Monday with her own electricians. She refused to bad-mouth Michael and Son contractors but perhaps we could do better.... My own opinion of them as liars and thieves and scam artists was growing.

Her electricians were the same way. Nothing said that would make them liable in a lawsuit, but no way they would ever deal with them. This is why you're always supposed to get three independent quotes before work is done. As for the knob & tube wiring, they had me Google (I used DuckDuckGo) for it and none of my wiring looks anything like the pictures of wiring that hasn't been used since the 1930s.

They did find issues with the furnace, mostly from incompetent repairs previously performed. There was a mare's nest of wiring which they corrected. Then they went looking for why the furnace wouldn't run and found one leg from the meter at 105 Volts and the other at 120 Volts. Per their instructions, I contacted Dominion Electric, Dom-El immediately dispatched a technician to replace the meter, which returned the second leg to 120 Volts and allowed Stove, Dryer, Water Heater and Furnace to operate normally!

The Dom-El (sounds Kryptonian, dunnit?) tech said the new meter was just a band-aid, that the meter base needed replacement. Dom-El will provide the base for free, but I need licensed contractors to install it. Incidentally, the Dom-El tech managed the same libel-free opinion of M&S. Agent Jess will return with her electricians for the base replacement. Also, their work on the furnace was free, but the base will cost several hundred in labor. That's considerably less than M&S wanted to "replace all my wiring."


I should mention that the reason the basement and second floor were not subject to flickering or power loss is that their feeder breakers are on the 120 Volt leg - now both legs are 120 Volts.



If you are in the market for a new home in Virginia, you could do far worse than to contact Jess Benedict,

(I think I love her. :) )


Jess Benedict Virginia Licensed REALTOR® W 804.913.2783

The Hogan Group Real Estate

9842 Lori Rd, Chesterfield, VA 23832 "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" Eleanor Roosevelt

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