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Steve Head Shot July 2016 240x300 obl88jnc9mn43zpn64v1l85hh0sicl9nkf1f5j3y66 How a Yard Sprinkler Could Kill YouSteve Vacha, President, Home Standards

Inspecting a home on a golf course and testing the sprinkler could have been the end of this old inspector.

The first few zones operated just fine on this meticulously cared for yard. But, when I went to the back yard, I saw a large puddle of water on the concrete patio next to the house. Then I noticed the water bubbling up out of the conduit that houses the main electrical wiring to the house meter.

I turned off the sprinkler and the bubbling stopped. Somehow one of the sprinkler water lines was damaged and the water found its way to this feeder pipe someplace in the yard, and was following the pipe to the house.

My old brain realized I did not want to walk in this water, just as I was about to step in it. This wiring is supposed to be sealed, but with 220 amps of power running through this line I was not going to take the chance. Also – the conduit was not supposed to be acting as a bubbling spring every time the sprinkler ran.

A shock from a 110 line, such as most outlets or lights, has been known to kill people. A shock from a 220 line such as a dryer outlet, can certainly kill a person.

This is the reason any electrical issue, even outlets that are loose or worn are marked a safety concern in an inspection. And please, don’t let your sprinkler system do you in.