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Interior Inspections Contains discussions about the interior portion of a home inspection. This includes stairs, walls, floors, ceilings, smoke detectors, etc.

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  #1  
Old 1/28/13, 1:30 AM
Marc Schrader's Avatar
Marc Schrader Marc Schrader is offline
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Default I got shocked by the ceiling...

Okay it wasn't a strong shock, but non the less it was odd. I was feeling a water damaged plaster ceiling, trying to figure out why the ceiling was corroding and rusted. Upon entering the attic I saw some knob and tube coming out of blown in cellulose insulation. The ceiling was damaged from poor flashing around a chimney and therefore water was dripping from the chimney flashing onto the insulation and therefore onto the ceiling below the insulation. Would I be correct to assume that the knob and tube is likely in contact with either the "wet" insulation/ plaster ceiling, therefore energizing the ceiling? What would cause the plaster to rust like this? This house is probably about 100 years old.got-shocked-ceiling-328-e-madison-waterloo-wi-056.jpg
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  #2  
Old 1/28/13, 7:45 AM
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James F. McKee James F. McKee is online now
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Default Re: I got shocked by the ceiling...

could be metal lathe at the corners.....



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  #3  
Old 1/28/13, 8:49 AM
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Philippe G. Heller Philippe G. Heller is offline
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Default I got shocked by the ceiling...

Knob and tube should not be in contact with combustibles. That is why it was isolated with ceramic insulators. It should be called out as a fire hazard.

Rust may be from steel flashing? Sometimes the cellulose darkens water. It may not be rust.
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Old 1/28/13, 11:23 AM
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Michael Larson Michael Larson is online now
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Default Re: I got shocked by the ceiling...

Knob and tube must not be buried in insulation. Period.



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  #5  
Old 1/28/13, 7:52 PM
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cnorlen cnorlen is offline
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Default Re: I got shocked by the ceiling...

Nails used to secure lath would be likely source of rust.



Chad Norlen

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  #6  
Old 1/28/13, 11:40 PM
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Cameron Anderson Cameron Anderson is offline
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Default Re: I got shocked by the ceiling...

It's probably not just rust, but a combination of deposits picked up by the water as it passed over the brick, mortar, flashing, roofing, old darkened framing, fasteners, lathe and plaster.

As far as the shock is concerned, were you standing on something to reach the ceiling or was it low enough touch? You're probably correct, with old and wet knob and tube there are plenty of scenarios where you could have been in parallel with a circuit and gotten a mild shock. Glad you are still here to tell the story.
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  #7  
Old 1/29/13, 12:36 AM
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Marc Schrader Marc Schrader is offline
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Default Re: I got shocked by the ceiling...

Thanks for all the input. FYI I did call it out as a safety concern. Next time I'll pull out the old non contact voltage tester before I touch something water damaged....
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  #8  
Old 1/30/13, 6:50 AM
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Stephan Tremblay, CMI Stephan Tremblay, CMI is offline
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Default Re: I got shocked by the ceiling...

Wow, I've never considered this as a shock hazard but will definitely think twice next time! Thanks for sharing!
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  #9  
Old 1/30/13, 10:31 AM
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Gary Farnsworth, CMI Gary Farnsworth, CMI is offline
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Default Re: I got shocked by the ceiling...

Anytime I see knob/tube, my electrical inspection is over. Recommend replacement, etc.........



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Formerly Serving the Greater Kansas City Metro Area
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